We’ve all heard how grateful thinking can shift our mindset, but keeping a daily gratitude journal has actually been scientifically proven to have huge benefits. Why is writing a few words of thanks so powerful? In a nutshell, writing in a gratitude journal forces us to pay attention to the good things in life we might otherwise take for granted. In that way, we start to become more attuned to the everyday sources of pleasure around us — and the emotional tone of our life can shift in profound ways.
In Ariana Huffington’s book Thrive, she writes that “Gratitude works its magic by serving as an antidote to negative emotions. It’s like white blood cells for the soul, protecting us from cynicism, entitlement, anger, and resignation.” But that’s not all. Here are some other meaningful ways gratitude journaling has been proven to help. Take a look and get out your pen to start journaling, because this is powerfully good stuff.
- Lowers Stress Levels
- Helps you gain a new perspective of what is important to you and what you truly appreciate in your life.
- By noting what you are grateful for, you gain clarity on what you want to have more of in your life, and what you can cut from your life. Having that vision is the first step to achieving the reality of it.
- Helps you focus on what really matters.
- It helps you learn more about yourself and become more self-aware.
- When you make your gratitude journal a safe zone, for your eyes only, you can write anything you feel without judgment.
- It Increases Positivity – When you take the time to focus on the good things in your life you naturally become more positive.
- It improves self-esteem – Keeping a journal is a very personal activity and allows you to be present with your own achievements.
- It helps you sleep better – Spending just 15 minutes before bed writing down a few grateful sentiments can help you have a much better night’s sleep.
- Dr. Caroline Leaf, a neuroscientist has shown that negative thoughts actually change the brain chemistry and structure. Gratitude causes your brqin to release neurotransmitters and neurohormones that will boost mood, focus, clear thinking and activates a flow of quantum energy through the brain and body, enhancing both mental and physical health.
- It makes you happier – Showing gratitude means you are acknowledging the goodness in your life and by writing these things down you are able to feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, and build stronger relationships.
- On days when you feel blue, read back through your gratitude journal to readjust your attitude and remember that you have great people and things in your life.
You only need to do a cursory google search on daily rituals to get some really interesting ways successful people structure their day and stick to a set of rituals — or habits — that ground them and give their day structure. Daily rituals can be anything you do on the regular, from mindset to self care practices. Benjamin Franklin started his day day with the question “What good shall I do this day?”. There are serious dry-brushing devotees, but here at Raw Sugar Living, we have our own little routines that help us face the day feeling beautiful, refreshed and good-to-go.
Generally we like to wake up before the sun so we have a sense of peace and a little extra time to nurture our bodies. And before we hit the shower, have warm water with some lemon or tea and spend 10 minutes deep breathing and or doing gentle stretching to wake up our bodies.
Shower. Here’s where the good stuff comes in.
—We start the shower with whatever our favorite smelling Body Wash is for that day. We keep a few in the shower so we can match our mood to our scent. The Cold Pressed essential oils and botanicals in our products turn the shower into an aromatherapy and mood lifting experience. Our current go-to is the new White Grapefruit + Rosemary scent for days when we want that spa-like, uplifting and fresh feel.
— Use a Sugar Scrub to exfoliate. Especially now when skin is dry from winter weather. It gives our skin a smooth, refreshed look and leaves the most velvety veil of moisture on our skin so it has that dewy glow to it.
— We keep a lip scrub in the shower to exfoliate our lips too.
— Detox the hair. Our new Scalp Therapy collection helps us remove all the junk thats accumulated on our scalp, like product build-up and pollution residue that hinders the growth of long, strong hair. The activated charcoal and tea tree extracts, lift that out, leaving our hair and scalp super clean and totally revived without stripping it of the essential oils we need for shine and vibrancy.
— Out of the shower we moisturize. Hydration is a biggie with us. Both internally and externally. Right now with the weather, we’re all about Body Butter to make us feel extra moisturized and protected against the lack of moisture in the air.
— Hands get a little extra love and attention with our Micro Algae Hand Cream, made with a progressive blend of Algae, Sea Kelp and Ashwaganda Root extracts plus skin plumping hyaluronic acids and nourishing plant peptides for an anti-aging and skin softening boost.
—Before we head out the door, and all throughout the day, we swipe on our current favorite flavor of Natural Lip Balm, like the yummy Raw Coconut + Mango to soften, soothe and protect our lips with their 95% organic formula.
Our daily ritual gives us the confidence of a totally clean body, a beautifully fresh smell and feel and revived spirit to take on our day.
We love them in our water and our sushi rolls, but cucumbers are so much more than a refreshing bite. They have so many beauty benefits, i.e, the standard cool cucumbers placed over our eyes as a post-late night remedy for puffy eyes. They have the ability to de-puff, cool, soothe and nourish our skin… but there’s more! Cucumber extract contains enzymes, vitamins and minerals essential for strong cell growth and repair. They can help revitalize skin. Here are just a few more benefits of cucumber as an ingredient in your favorite self-care products.
Cucumbers have a high water content and are a natural moisturizer.
They soothe skin. The cooling effect soothes dry, inflamed and even sunburned skin.
Cucumber extracts reduce inflammation and help protect skin from oxidative stress.
The peel contains natural silica that helps firm sagging skin.
Cucumbers contain phytochemicals that help in the production of collagen, so it helps boost skin elasticity and youthfulness.
If you have zero idea what a Maqui Berry is, you are not alone. Maqui Berries are the newest discovery in the superfood family. They are indigenous bright purple, wild berries of Chile, mainly harvested by native Indians and used for hundreds of years for medicinal purposes. But the discovery of Maqui berries to the world at large is a newer phenomenon and the impact is huge.
Consider this. Acai berries contain ten times more antioxidant vitamins than grapes, and twice as many as blueberries. The Maqui berry is reported to have an antioxidant level 4 to 30 times higher than the average Acai berry, basically making it the most superior of all the superfoods.
Maqui Berries have amazing healthy and nutritional benefits, but they’re also a super food for your skin. For starters, the high levels of potent antioxidants have a profound effect on skin in their ability to help fight free radicals that cause premature aging. Free radicals can cause DNA damage and lead to wrinkles and fine lines. Not only does the Maqui Berry help prevent that, but nourishes skin, providing a more radiant and youthful complexion. It also helps repair damaged proteins to protect and promote skin elasticity.
All this makes you understand why our Pineapple + Maqui Berry + Coconut line has become a fan favorite and we just introduced the new Pineapple + Maqui Berry + Coconut Body Wash. The benefits are big and the scent is amazing. Try it here.
“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” Buddha
The most important relationship you will ever have is with yourself. So if you find yourself single this Valentine’s Day, embrace it and use the opportunity to connect with yourself on a totally new level. Focus on the positive aspects of flying solo. Find the beauty in solitude. Be brave. Treat yourself. Be completely selfish and enjoy the gift of having time just for you.
Here are some great ways to show yourself some love on a date night for one.
- Have a self-care day. Walk in nature. Take a bath. Meditate. Cook for yourself. Take one full day to just care for you with special products that make you smell good and feel good, music that lights your soul and food that nourishes you.
- Take a new exercise class. Sign up for yoga, dance, pilates or a new cycling class. Try something different and embrace the challenge of moving in new ways.
- Find a fun workshop, special event or take a cooking class. Trying new things and meeting new people may light a spark that lasts much longer than a day.
- Get inspired. See art. Go to the theater. See a movie. Art inspires creative thinking and reminds you that we live in a big, beautiful world.
- Movie Marathon: Snuggle up. Make popcorn, pick a couple of the Oscar contenders and watch the ones you missed.
- Book a spa day. Getting a massage or a facial will do wonders for your soul. Hang out. Steam. Order a glass of champagne. You deserve it.
- Do something kind for someone else. Plan to do something special for a neighbor or co-worker. Bake something sweet for friends. Just showing some love to others is honoring your best self.
- Sight see in your own town. Make a day of seeing all the sights in your own town you never get a chance to see. Book a table at the hottest restaurant. Take your camera with you for the full tourist vibes.
- Give your bedroom a refresh. Why not spend a day making your room a prettier place to be? Buy some new bedding or pillows for the bed. An update in an instant uplift.
- Table for one. Be brave. Eating alone can often feel awkward, but if you really embrace it, make an event out of it and savor it, it can be an incredibly powerful experience.
- Buy yourself flowers. Your favorites. Bunches of them. You know what you like.
- Give yourself a mini-makeover. Buy a new dress, go to the makeup counter for new spring colors and then go out for a cocktail at the swankiest bar in town.
Whatever you do, remember, time alone can be empowering in your quest for the ultimate love affair — the one you have with yourself. Enjoy it.
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Tips on reusing your Raw Sugar packaging.
Using eco-friendly packaging is key to helping the environment but if you want to take your love for Mother Nature one step further, why not think about recycling and repurposing your Raw Sugar packaging? It’s a great way to eliminate waste, cut down on plastic purchases and keep your home tidy and organized while you’re at it.
Here are some room by room ideas on how you can put your used Raw Sugar Body Butter and Sugar Scrub containers to use.
Use them to plant and grow small herbs for cooking.
Wrap them in burlap, tie a ribbon around it and plant succulents
Keep loose pens and pencils contained.
Wash containers and use for holding nuts, dried fruits or candy for the kids.
Contain hair bands
Toothbrushes and toothpaste holder
Make up brush holder
Pen and pencil holder
Paper clip holder
Kids crayons or other art supplies such as paint brushes or pens and pencils
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It’s time to make SPF your new BFF. If you’re not wearing sunscreen with some amount of SPF every day, you need to bring it in and make it a part of your high vibe tribe now. SPF is like a bodyguard for your face. Just a bit every morning before you go out will help protect you from all the harm lurking in pollutants, the sun and prevent premature aging.
With the depletion of the ozone layer, our risk of sun damage from harmful UV rays has increased exponentially. Research shows the daily use of an SPF 15 sunscreen can reduce your risk of developing squamous cell carcinoma by about 40%, and lower your melanoma risk by 50%.
On top of skin’s actual health, using an SPF will help keep it looking healthy too. Daily use can prevent premature aging caused by the sun, including wrinkles, sagging and age spots all making you look older and less vibrant. Make sure you use it even when the sun’s not out, the UVB rays are still present even in cold, windy, overcast weather.
So who’s your friend now? SPF. Do not leave home without it.
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Dehydration is the devil. For real. Not getting enough h20 affects us in serious ways; brain fog, headaches, nausea, fatigue, dry and dull skin, loss of elasticity, stress on our vital organs — and that’s just to name a few. So why is it so hard to drink more water? If you’re like most people, you probably just forget.
If you’re serious about getting your skin to glow, your mind clear and want to operate at peak performance, keep a reusable glass or carafe on hand and play some creative games to trick yourself into getting more water in your day. It may just be the key to remembering to hydrate. Happy sipping!
- Every time someone sends you a text, take three sips of water.
- Every time you put on your Raw Sugar, take 3 big gulps of water. (Remember, it helps your skin to glow!)
- Every time you check your email messages, take four sips.
- Every time you sit down at your desk, or get up, drink five sips.
- Every time you make a phone call, drink a full glass.
The focus on the health of our planet has never been greater. Between fires raging, animals on the verge of extinction, rainforest devastation and a vortex of over 1.8 trillion plastic pieces floating between California and Hawaii, the enormity of the situation and lack of solutions can feel overwhelming. The question becomes what can we do as individuals and how can we empower ourselves to help while living our day to day? With the idea that small consistent action produces epic results, what if we did one thing, consistently to be part of the solution? And, what if we got healthy while we were doing our part to keep the planet healthy?
Some creative souls from around the globe have come up with ingenious ways to save the planet while getting in shape. Here are a few that are currently trending.
Plogging: Plogging is really jogging, and picking up litter while you’re doing it. The trend started in Sweden and has since gone global. People have been seen Plogging in Southeast Asia, Japan and other countries around the globe. Why not start a Plogging group in your neighborhood?
Strawkling: Strawkling is basically the act of snorkeling or diving while picking up plastic straws, bags and even discarded fishing lines that are causing so much harm to our sea life. Any plastic we can get out of our oceans and keep away from sea life is a big deal. If you’re a diver or snorkeler, starting a monthly clean up with your snorkeling or diving buddies could have a big impact.
#TrashTag Movement: The #TrashTag movement is a social media effort to encourage picking up trash. Sharing it on social media will hopefully create a domino affect and inspire others to do the same. Way better than sharing pics of what you had for #dinner.
Green Gym Movement: The Green Gym movement is a conservation effort for people who love to work outdoors and in nature. Green Gymers help trim trees and prune bushes in public parks, donating some free time to help the environment thrive.
The scary fact is that by 2050, experts believe that there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish. Anything you can do to help keep our planet healthy while you get yourself healthy is a major step, swim or dive in the right direction.