Tag Archives: immune system

Fourteen Reasons to be Grateful

iGnite -gratitude changes everything

Point to Ponder:
Do you regularly acknowledge what you are grateful for?

by Neissa Brown Springmann

by Neissa Brown Springmann

As you have likely noticed, during the month of November we are celebrating gratitude! Not only are we eager to blast out our gratitude in our social media #ignitegratefulgram contest, but we are fired up to wear our gratitude loud and proud with our NEW ‘Grateful’ fall apparel.

We are not at all suggesting or asking that you post or wear your grateful spirit to be boastful about your “things”. Instead, the motivation behind our Grateful Campaign is to encourage the daily action of giving thanks for our amazing lives and blessings…because when life gets inevitably tough, a grateful spirit can change a bad day into a good day, and a good day into a great day, because gratitude changes everything. I’m hopeful that our Grateful Campaign will inspire and reignite a grateful spirit in everyone.

There is no denying that acknowledging our blessings on a daily basis leads to a physiological reaction that creates a happy and peacful state in the body. To go a step further, based on the findings from a fascinating gratitude experiment conducted by two psychologists, writing down what we are grateful for leads to even greater results. Check this out:

“Two psychologists, Michael McCollough of Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, and Robert Emmons of the University of California at Davis, wrote an article about an experiment they conducted on gratitude and its impact on well-being. The study split several hundred people into three different groups and all of the participants were asked to keep daily diaries. The first group kept a diary of the events that occurred during the day without being told specifically to write about either good or bad things; the second group was told to record their unpleasant experiences; and the last group was instructed to make a daily list of things for which they were grateful. The results of the study indicated that daily gratitude exercises resulted in higher reported levels of 1. alertness, 2. enthusiasm, 3. determination, 4. optimism, and 5. energy. In addition, those in the gratitude group experienced less 6. depression and 7. stress, and 8. were more likely to help others, 9. exercised more regularly, and 10. made greater progress toward achieving personal goals. In addition, Dr. Emmons’ research shows that those who practice gratitude tend to be more 11. creative, 12. bounce back more quickly from adversity, 13. have a stronger immune system, and 14. have stronger social relationships than those who don’t practice gratitude. He further points out that “To say we feel grateful is not to say that everything in our lives is necessarily great. It just means we are aware of our blessings.” – The Change Blog

Something that I am experimenting with in our family is a gratitude jar. The jar sits in the middle of our dining room table and each evening at dinner, we talk about one thing we are grateful for, followed with writing it down on piece of paper and placing it in the jar. Because I have small children who can’t write, I have been writing what they say as as well as including the date. It has become a sweet and focused time which stirs up great conversation (even with a two and a four year old). My personal goal is to revisit the jar of notes during our Thanksgiving meal and to continue writing down what we are grateful for throughout the month of November and the remainder of the year.

Another idea is to print and cut out our Grateful Printables. Then, place your jar, printables and pen in a high-traffic area in your home and anytime you or your family members pass by it, drop a gratitude note in the jar. From a good nights rest, a warm a cup of coffee to the blessing of good health, family and friends, it all counts and taking the time to acknowledging your blessings will make a positive impact in your health, relationships and overall quality of life. And, several months from now or anytime you need a pick-me-up, all you have to do is read what’s in the jar and you are guaranteed a good laugh, happy cry and/or mood booster. Why? Because gratitude changes everything!

Action Item:
Print out our Grateful Printables. Place your jar, printables and pen in a high-traffic area in your home and anytime you or your family members pass by it, drop a gratitude note in the jar. Or, at dinner each evening have each family member write down and discuss what they are grateful for and place in the jar.

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Summer is for FUN!

Summer is a time to lighten up and let some fun in your life!
– Francesca Zapanta

Point to Ponder:
What things do you enjoy doing most for fun?
Action Item:
Embrace the summer season for what it is and use it as a time for fun, play and relaxation. Write down three ways you plan to have fun this summer.

About Neissa

by Neissa Springmann

Each season arrives with very unique characteristics and fortunately summertime is light, carefree and always comes just in time. Mother nature knows what we need and the summer season gives us permission to a break from “the grind.” Thankfully, school is out and the days are long, leaving us with extra time for fun, play, and relaxation; and while having fun is definitely something we all want, interestingly enough, fun is a necessity! We need to have fun because having fun contributes to your overall health and wellness:

  1. Having fun strengthens your immune system, whereas when you are stressed and not having fun your body produces extra cortisol (the fight or flight hormone), causing physical changes from rapid heartbeat to an increase in blood pressure.
  2. You’ll live longer! Fun-loving and positive people live 7.5 years longer than pessimists.
  3. When you’re having fun, smiling and laughing your stress naturally decreases and your overall outlook on life improves, leading to a healthier and happier you!

There ya go! The proof is in the pudding and just as it’s essential to exercise for overall health and wellness, it’s also essential to have FUN, which is what iGnite is all about. Therefore, I hope you will not pass up an opportunity to join your friends for lunch, a weekday movie matinée, a pool side happy hour or a weekend away for some play this summer!

 

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The Tastier Way to Drink Adequate Water

hydrate

During this time of the year, the cooler weather causes us to not crave as much water as we do in the warmer months. We do, however, usually crave tasty warm drinks such as coffee and coffee mixtures. While they may be temporarily satisfying and give us a quick pick-me-up, they are also dehydrating. So, especially this time of year, we must be sure to hydrate with water! Staying adequately hydrated is one of the best solutions to eliminating mental fog, energy dips and helping with digestion and weight loss. Who doesn’t want that?

So exactly how much water should you drink? Aim to drink half your body weight in ounces of water each day, and more if you exercise. Get bored with plain old water? Here are a couple great alternatives to make it more enjoyable and add additional benefits:

Add Lemon to your Water for a number of healthy benefits

Add a squirt of lemon for not only taste, but also for its antibacterial and antiviral properties, immune-boosting vitamins and minerals, digestive assistance and liver cleansing benefits.

Or, mix up our favorite water substitute “The iGnite Cranberry Cocktail,” found in New York Times Best Seller The Fat Flush Plan. It not only tastes great, but also helps eliminate water retention, cleanses accumulated wastes from the lymphatic system and helps to clean up cellulite.

Mix up the iGnite Cranberry Cocktail
CRANBERRY WATER RECIPE Makes 32 oz.

  • 4 oz Unsweetened 100% Cranberry Juice from Concentrate (found in the juice aisle in most grocery stores)
  • 28 oz Water
  • 1/3 Tsp of liquid Stevia
  • Squirt of lemon for added flavor

Those of us at iGnite swear by this cranberry water — always keep a jug of it in your ‘fridge and you will be amazed at how much more liquid you drink throughout the day.

Try it out & let us know what you think!

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