The Advantage of a Cuddle Buddy

Have you ever felt that feeling of cloistered peace within a night’s rest, listening to the drifting wind or the soothing rain? That warm sensation that you are watched over, safe and not alone? Perhaps the comforting cuddling of another, despite the struggles and turmoils of the day by day. This elusive ideal sensation of peacetime, of relaxation. It should belong to all, as it astronomically improves one’s well being, and attitude towards life. But what is one to do in the cold, when there is no other to aid in this feeling?

Perhaps it may be received as juvenile, rejected, or unsettling, but the positive results are positively undeniable. The solution is to cuddle inanimate, comfortable objects in the absence of another. Sometimes, it is even more advantageous to cuddle inanimate objects in the presence of another partner. Why is this the case? There are two answers to this question, however. The secular advantage, in the chemical balance of the body, or perhaps the more personal perspective from that of one’s own actions.

Examining the secular advantage to inanimate cuddling is the simple act of endorphin stimulation. The comforting touch of another, be it inanimate or otherwise, is of a healing process that aids in the reinforcement of safe feelings. This act of routine or occasional relaxation provides a necessary reprieve from the day to day stresses of the singular individual. Although it may seem tacky, it allows one to revisit the instinctive comforts of youth and safety, and allows for a better sense of security overall. The continuous, unchecked anxiety of the individual unconcerned for their own wellbeing can be detrimental to daily life, so it is imperative to keep the anxiety in check and take care of it.

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When looking from the personal experience perspective, the advantage of such cuddling and relief, be it an object or person, is not totally obvious. Some find it warm, unsettling, or perhaps lack the experience of such practice. But it cannot be denied the relief when, faced with monstrous and overwhelming obstacles, that one simple hug from the correct individual may grant one the strength to persevere and continue to provide their best in the trials ahead. That correct hug, that promise of safety, can be provided by something like a doll or teddy as well if preferred. 

There is nothing shameful or condemnable about self-help. It is the responsibility of yourself to tend to yourself and enjoy life’s wonders and enchanting moments, even in spite of the seemingly inescapable lows of life. No matter the person, the tools, or the object, it is important to care for your wellbeing, in any way possible. What have you to lose?

4 Scientifically-Based Benefits Of CBD

1. CBD Can Relieve Chronic Pain

Did you know that the use of marijuana for pain dates back as far as 3000 years ago? However, the exact components responsible for its pain-relieving effect have just been discovered a few years ago. CBD is one of these compounds.

Our body is composed of a specialized system known as the Endocannabinoid System (or ECS). This system regulates various body functions such as sleep, appetite, pain, and immune system response. The human body produces endocannabinoids (neurotransmitters) that naturally bind to cannabinoid receptors in the nervous system.

According to studies, CBD may help remedy chronic pain by either, interacting with neurotransmitters, reducing inflammation, or impacting the normal functioning of endocannabinoid receptors. Several studies have shown that a combination of THC and CBD can help treat pain in multiple sclerosis and arthritis patients.

In a study involving 47 multiple sclerosis patients, it was discovered that those who received Sativex (a combination of CBD and THC) experienced considerable improvement in walking, muscle spasms and pain as compared to those who received a placebo.

In another study involving people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, it was discovered that Sativex helped improve sleep quality, pain at rest, and in the movement for all the 58 participants.

2. CBD Helps Reduce Anxiety And Depression Symptoms

According to the World Health Organization (or WHO), more than 300 million people suffer from depression. According to WHO, more than 800,000 people die due to suicide every year. Further, WHO states that depression is the largest single contributor to disability across the globe. Anxiety disorders are the sixth-largest contributor to disability.

These simple statistics show that anxiety and depression are common medical disorders. You should therefore not feel alone since, as you have seen, more than 300 million people have gone through the same or similar things that you are experiencing right now.

Although most people still rely on pharmaceutical drugs to deal with these conditions, some of these drugs are not only ineffective but may also have severe side effects or lead to substance abuse. It is for this reason that most people have opted to take relief in medical marijuana.

A group of 24 people suffering from social anxiety disorder was either given a placebo or 600 mg of CBD just before a public speaking test. It was discovered that the group that received CBD experienced less discomfort, cognitive impairment, and anxiety in their speech performance than their counterparts who received a placebo.

Several animal studies have also shown CBD to have antidepressant properties. Researchers credit these properties of CBD to its ability to impact the brain’s receptors for serotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter responsible for regulating social behavior and mood changes.

3. CBD May Help Reduce Acne

According to research, more than 9.4% of the global population suffers from acne. This is a skin condition that can be caused by several factors such as underlying inflammation, bacteria, genetics, and over secretion of sebum.

Researchers believe that due to its ability to reduce sebum secretion and its anti-inflammatory properties, CBD may help treat acne. According to a study on the effects of CBD on human sebocytes, it was discovered that the compound helped prevent the secretion of excessive sebum.

It was also discovered that the compound inhibited the activation of pro-acne agents such as inflammatory cytokines. Scientific research has highlighted the antifungal and antibacterial effects of the cannabis plant. It is believed that these properties may help reduce or prevent infections from pollutants or dirt on the skin.

Although the initial findings are promising, more study is still needed to verify the effectiveness of CBD as a natural remedy for acne.

4. CBD May Help Alleviate Cancer-Related Symptoms

We can never talk about the health benefits of CBD without mentioning its effects on cancer symptoms. It is still too early to make claims about CBD for cancer, but preliminary findings show that the compound can help alleviate the side effects of various treatments associated with cancer treatments.

Another way through which CBD can help cancer patients is through its pain-relieving properties. Both cancer and its treatment can lead to severe pain, mainly due to the inflammation, nerve injury, or pressure on internal organs. Too much pain can become resistant to powerful pain relievers such as opioids.

A study was conducted to find out the effect of both THC and CBD on cancer-patients who could not react to the standard pain-reducing techniques. It was discovered that those who received a combination of both THC and CBD experienced improved symptoms than those who were treated with THC only.

By indirectly acting on CB2 receptors, CBD may help reduce inflammation, hence reducing the pain. Another common effect of cancer treatments such as chemotherapy is nausea and vomiting. Although you can always use pharmaceutical drugs to treat these symptoms, some of these drugs are ineffective hence prompting people to seek alternatives such as CBD.

In a study involving 16 people undergoing chemo, it was discovered that a combination of both THC and CBD helped reduce chemo-related vomiting and nausea better than the standard treatments alone. Some animal and test-tube studies show that CBD may have anti-cancer properties.

In one of the test-tube studies, concentrated CBD helped castigate the death of cancerous breast cells in human. In another study, CBD was seen to inhibit the growth and spread of aggressive cancerous breast cells in mice. However, more studies and research are needed.

If you are a cancer patient and planning to use CBD for the symptoms, it is crucial that you talk with your doctor first as he will be able to advise you appropriately. Other health benefits of CBD include improved heart health, a remedy against arthritis, muscles spasms, Crohn’s disease, etc.

Indeed, CBD can benefit human health in different ways. Pet owners are also turning to CBD for the health and well-being of their dogs and other pets. Whatever you use CBD for, make sure to follow the right dosage instructions, this compound is, after all, a drug like any other.

Seek professional advice if you have concerns about side effects of adding CBD and finding the right dosage to your treatment plan.

Let us know what you think.

 

Better communication applies to self talk, too

Here is one exercise to begin developing positive self-talk:

Write down some of the negative messages inside your mind.  Be specific, whenever possible, and include anyone you remember who contributed to that message.
Next, to those negative messages write down a positive truth in your life.  Don’t give up if you don’t find them quickly.  For every negative message there is positive,  keep looking until you find them.

For example, you might write, when you make a mistake, you think, “I can’t do anything right.” Right beside that negative statement, your positive message could be, “I accept my mistake and am becoming a better person.”

Positive self-talk is not self-deception, positive self-talk is about the truth, in situations and in yourself.  When negative events or mistakes happen, positive self-talk seeks to bring the positive out of the negative to help you do better, go further, or just keep moving forward.

Helping Kids Process Their Emotions Free From Shame

From the Blog of Generation Mindful:

Have you ever heard someone tell a child who is crying to stop? Maybe they lead with something like, “What are you, a baby?” Or maybe they add in  some fear as well by saying, “Stop crying or I’ll give you something to cry about.” Oof.

Most of us cringe to think these things are being said to children (and they are) but are we aware of the more subtle ways we ourselves might be dismissing children’s emotions

If you’ve ever caught yourself wanting to tell an emotional child to just stop, (so basically, if you are a human being) here are three things to keep in mind that will help you help kids process their emotions free from shame.   

1) ALLOW FOR EMOTIONSKids can actually feel intimidated by their own emotions, especially when adults in their lives react negatively to the expression of those feelings. When we react to a child’s experience and make having big feelings “wrong”, no matter how inconvenient or annoying that experience might me, we are minimizing and at times denying that child the right to their own internal experience. And as tempting as dismissing and denying might seem because we think we are “nipping this bad attitude in the bud”, in actuality, we are likely making things worse; at times even increasing the likelihood that we will find ourselves back in this very place tomorrow. And really, who wants that?

The first step in helping kids learn to process their feelings is acceptance. We get to accept the fact that this child is feeling one form of not happy or another. Allow for emotions. Period. End of story. Whether you see these emotions as logical or ludacris is irrelevant. Hit a pause button on the inner dialog that wants to scream, “What is wrong with you!?!?” and make space for their emotions instead. You do not need to agree with someone’s emotions to make space for them. All you really need to do is allow for them.

In the face of screaming and whining, allowing is easier said than done, so it’s helpful to have a phrase in your back pocket you can turn to for strength. Mine is this:

“EMOTIONS ARE SACRED.”

For me this means that emotions are not right and they are not wrong. They just are. Emotions are safe to feel, they matter, and they are always allowed. Kids are simply exploring a whole new world of feelings and benefit greatly when the adults in their world support this process.

2) RECOGNIZE EMOTIONS: Once you’ve made space for big emotions, the next step is to help children learn to recognize their feelings and the feelings of others. If kids are expressing their big feelings with actions like hurting others or otherwise acting out, see these actions as a form of communication – a cry for help. The phrase I turn to for patience and strength in these challenging moments is this:

“MISBEHAVIOR IS AN UNMET NEED.”

This moves me into thinking, “What’s the need?!” instead of “What is WRONG with this child?!”. With my own energies centered, I am then better equipped to approach the situation, maintaining my boundaries and respecting the child at the very same time. Instead of punishment, when we center ourselves first, we are then able to help children:

  • Think about and express how they were feeling.
  • Draw a connection between their feelings and why/how they acted out.
  • Consider their thoughts, words and actions. Tools like this set of (free) printable calming strategies with cute pictures kids can color along with words (designed for ages 3 to about 9) from the Time-In Toolkit are helpful as are any number of play based approaches to nurturing social and emotional skills in kids.

When we help children process their actions in connection to their thoughts and feelings, free from punishment, shame and blame, we are teaching important social and emotional skills in the most powerful way possible… and that is by example. 

3) MODEL FORGIVENESS: There are times that feel impossible for us to keep our cool. Take the mom in my last parenting class who’s son threw a glass of water at her… a challenging moment to be sure. Despite of our best intentions, we are going to get knocked off center. Instead of beating ourselves up for our anger and frustration in times like these, we can see them as a teaching moment for us to model self love and acceptance in the face of our own mistakes.

When we are aware of our own trigger moments, instead of beating ourselves up, we can simply apologize. The catch phrase we use in my home in the face of our teaching moments is this:

“MISTAKES HELP ME LEARN AND GROW.”

When we model self-love and forgiveness, children learn self-love and forgiveness. Share how you were feeling, what you might have done differently and something you learned. In doing so, you are teaching children that it is possible for us to learn from our mistakes free from shame.

Emotions in and of themselves are never a negative thing and everyday life affords us countless opportunities to support children in learning how to process their emotions. This is no small task, but the stakes are high and the rewards for doing so are even higher. Our very world and peace in our time depends on it. 

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Mom of four, author and parent educator Suzanne Tucker is the founder of Generation Mindful, a line of educational tools, toys and programs committed to connecting the generations playfully and nurturing the human spirit.

Pony Play Images

Pony Play can be one of the most beautiful and disciplined fetishes. Both Handling and Pony Play require discipline, training, and commitment to the experience. Many handlers will train under professional equestrians in order to learn the proper skills necessary to train their pony.