How to live a happy life? The ultimate guide from a leading life & spiritual coach

By Harrish Sairaman – Leading Life and Spiritual Coach,

 

How to live a happy life? It’s one of the most common questions faced by people all over the world.

That’s why we like to share ‘the ultimate guide to a happy life’ from Harrish Sairaman, one of the leading life, spiritual, and performance coach who is helping many organizations and innumerable people achieve their true potential through his company Cogniizant Transformation since 2006. He has shared some amazing tips to live a happy life by sharing solutions to common problems faced by many people.

So, here are the detailed tips to live a happy life from the leading life coach Harrish Sairaman:


1. How to find happiness in life?

‘Happiness’ is considered more like an ultimate goal of life; something which is very difficult to achieve. The thought, itself is detrimental to the lasting of happiness. According to me, the following points are ‘key to a happy life’:

a. A deeper understanding and experience that happiness is not an ultimate, or long-term goal, but a daily experience! Don’t make it a tough far-sighted goal. In fact, happiness can be experienced every day. So the first requirement is to change your perspective on happiness.

b. Happiness can be independent of outside factors, but your emotions must be dependent on ‘you and you only!’. Today people have ensured that their excitement, enthusiasm, and happiness is dependent on others, and external factors. We might be interdependent on these factors, but the total control should be with us.

c. Having a goal of, ‘being happy all the time’ is setting yourself for a frustration. Not because it is possible or impossible, but because we have the privilege of experiencing a spectrum of emotions. Sometimes, we can be sad, angry, excited, enthusiastic, and even happy. Getting upset is not wrong, we just need to work on it, and once again bounce back to positive emotion.

So, do not look at ‘Happiness’ as a far-fetched thing just because people are promoting it that way, it’s totally in your reach, you totally deserve it, and you are already experiencing it in bits. Just be conscious and have a journey of continuous improvement.


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2. How to overcome work stress?

Work stress is not a new word for many, some are regularly hearing it, and some are experiencing the same. Work stress can have various causes; hence the solutions have to be specific to the cause.

a. Inability to handle work or workload:

It is important to introspect if the work is really stressful or the lack of current knowledge, skills, and motivation is creating stress. So instead of judging the target, and the work; it would be great to introspect, and analyse what needs to be changed? What needs to be learnt to handle the work stress?

b. Lack of time management & prioritization:

For many people, work stress is due to improper time management. Undoubtedly people are running ‘hard’ but helter-skelter, randomly picking up what comes up. Some time devoted daily for planning, prioritizing, introspecting would definitely reduce the work stress.

c. Inability to express:

Sometimes the workload might be unrealistic to handle, but out of fear one may not express. Instead of suffering later, it’s better to express or check with the seniors on ‘how’ it can be addressed.

d. Basic emotional weakness:

Some people get stressed due to emotional weakness. Regular meditation, proper diet, exercise and proper sleep can really help.

Work pressure and demand are ever increasing, and this is its innate nature. So, one must continuously enhance mental, emotional, physical abilities to overcome stress and progress in a quantum way. Sharpen your ‘axe’ as we say.


3. How to tackle peer comparison?

Peer comparison is inevitable; until and unless your mind is totally free of perceptive filters, or you do not have a desire to excel. In the corporate world, comparisons are not only inevitable but also important. The reason I say this is because peer comparison is not wrong or bad, but if it leads to frustration, then it is definitely not good.

Comparison and competition both are great. If we change our perceptive filters about it, then comparisons can serve as great constructive feedback. When we compare and see anyone outperforming us, it is feedback for us that something is missing and can be a great learning experience. It also tells that we can be better, and there is scope for improvement. Continuous learning is the best way of growing and to continuously learn we need to work on our shortcomings. So, here it is, the comparison is giving a valuable lesson. On the other hand, if we compare and see others not outperforming us, it’s feedback that we are doing a great job.

If we can compare only to grow and reflect, the quality of comparison will transform the frustration into curiosity, excitement and positivity.


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4. How to have a positive start of the day?

A morning routine is seeding for the entire day and even for life. There is an age-old saying, ‘Say your prayers before going to sleep and after you get up in the morning.’ Which reflects that these two times are crucial. During these times, we are naturally in the subconscious state, hence seeding the right seeds are crucial. Mornings are like the beginning; hence if the beginning is right, we have a higher probability of the day going right.

Let’s look at some practices that are a blend of spirituality, metaphysics, the yogic culture and science:

a. Gratitude:

The truth is ‘every day is a tremendous opportunity’ to improve every area of life. So one of the best ways to start the morning is with gratitude for all that you have, and a focus on how can we make the day a Great Day. So, questions like ‘What am I thankful for?’, ‘What am I proud of?’ and ‘How can I make my day a great day?’ will help you set the mornings.

b. Program the subconscious mind:

As soon as we get up in the morning, that little drowsy phase is a state of ‘natural hypnosis’ and can be used to program the subconscious mind. So we can either repeat positive statements or listen to positive audios in this state. This will seed the right emotions which can influence the entire day.

c. Planning:

Morning is a great time to plan and reflect for the entire day. With the kind of work pressure and information overload one can go ‘off track’ this morning ritual can definitely help.

d. Respecting the body:

The body needs to be in an optimum state to perform effectively for a long time. Exercising the body through yoga or other forms of exercise is a great way to give a boost. Average people have this beautiful excuse of no time. Remember, if you don’t find time now, one day you will have no choice but to find the time. So, rather than acting out of desperation lets take action with Inspiration.

e. Exercising the mind:

Regular breath work and meditation will not only alleviate the stress levels but also bring in core emotional and mental strength.

These are just some points one can practice. These are investments which will show up as the highest life returns.


5. How to overcome the negative-thinking process to live a happy life?

Negative thinking is a common problem today, and many are experiencing it. While some people have even accepted that it’s part and parcel of life. The good thing is that it can be addressed and eliminated. To overcome negative thinking one needs to understand the origin or the root cause before eliminating it. Else it might just be a symptomatic treatment which obviously wouldn’t last long. Let’s break this up:

a. Meaning of negative thought:

Let’s define negative thinking as the thought process that has no value, sometimes exaggerated, and a thought which evidently goes against our goal. For example, your target is to get promoted this year, but there is a constant nagging of the mind which says ‘It may not happen or something might go wrong.’ The depth and the variation of these kinds of thoughts can be huge.

b. Past experience:

Many times the origin of a negative thought is a negative experience of the past which has jolted a person. Now, it is obvious that the past cannot be changed, but unfortunately, our mind believes that the past is equivalent to the future, which may not be true. If you have been rejected in the past, then in the same future scenario the mind says ‘it will not happen.’ If you asked your mind “how would you know?” it would say “because it has happened in the past. And the past is equivalent to the future.” So, it’s important to learn from the past, and remind your mind that the future need not be like the past, in fact, it can be way better. This is an effective way of breaking the past pattern and the hallucination that the mind has got looped into.

c. Environment:

Our environment has a huge impact on our lives, and the people around us contribute the maximum. A lot of times our negative thoughts are just influenced by the negative people we are with. So, one can become aware of the influencers, and avoid some of those negative people. If it cannot be avoided, one has to consciously connect more with positive people so that the weight of the positive influence becomes more than the negative.

d. Practice:

Whatever we practice we become good at it. Now it does not matter whether you are practising the positive or negative. Some people are auto-pilot negative thinkers. They are not even aware; hence they become good at it. These also include what we read, and what we regularly watch on television.

e. Deeper belief & karmic patterns:

These can be tricky as they might be deeply embedded in the subconscious mind. If you have been practising all of the above points and yet you see a deep-rooted negative emotion surfacing, again and again, there could be something deeper. The good thing is, there are experts and professionals who can help. A professional hypnotherapist, life coach etc. can help and do wonders. However, one needs to maintain a positive thought that these people can help.


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6. How to use self-affirmation technique to become more positive?

Affirmations are positive statements that are combined with the power of repetition and visualization to produce a shift in the behaviours and emotions. Before we look at a couple of powerful self – affirmations, let’s understand the ingredients of the technique that makes it powerful:

a. Repetition:

When we repeat anything again and again; it seeps into our subconscious mind; hence it starts becoming a habit.

b. Visualization:

When we visualize clearly and think as if its happening, the mind cannot differentiate between reality and imagination and perceives it to be real. Once that is done, it brings in chemical changes in our system to make it happen.

c. Emotions:

When we visualize clearly, emotions get triggered and once emotions get triggered the mind brings in changes quickly!!!

d. Structure:

The affirmation always has to be created in the present tense and should comprise of positive words only, as we are making the mind believe that it’s happening now. Some examples are:

I. “I enjoy being positive and I am becoming more and more positive every day. As I become more and more positive, my life is now becoming serious of success.
II. “I naturally focus more on the positive side of all my relationships and Life.”


7. How to overcome the fear of failures?

Fear is not a bad emotion, in fact, it is a protective mechanism, and the anticipation of pain (emotional, mental, or physical). Fear is always about the future, felt in the present, based on the past. To overcome the fear of failure, one has to work on the past as well as future so that the fear in the present moment can be eliminated.

a. Past:

Fear of failure normally has a past association in the form of experience or learning from other’s experience and teachings. We cannot change the past, but we can learn from the past and have a positive conclusion. Just because we failed in the past; it is not necessary that it would happen again, provided we learn from it. People who don’t learn, have a higher fear, as they are confident it will happen again. So, effective learning from the past can reduce the fear, as you know the learning will be implemented.

b. Future:

What we think about the future has a direct impact on the present moment. We always have a choice about the future as it has not yet happened. We can either think about the wors or we can think about the best so that fear gets converted into excitement.

So to conclude, if we learn from the past and think about the best possibilities in the future, the fear of failure can be reduced and even eliminated. Also, do not hesitate to take support from mentors, if required.


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8. How to utilize money for happiness?

For a lot of people happiness and money don’t go hand in hand, especially when they view it from their deceptive spiritual and philosophical lens. The true spiritual lens will recognise the symbiotic way of living for both. Yes, happiness can be independent of money, but at the same time, they both can co-exist. There is no need to prioritize or choose one over the other. This approach is required to utilize money to bring in more happiness in life.

It is important to acknowledge that we live in a world where money matters. Happiness can be easily experienced, when people live a life of purpose, contribute, give their best to their family members, and even experience luxuries that they had never experienced before. While a lot of people will reject the relation between luxuries and happy life, but essentially it does exist in a phase of life. It may not be permanent, but the importance cannot be denied.
So, when money is used to create value for others, used as the starting point to venture your dreams, or serves as monetary security for your family members, it definitely adds up to the happiness quotient. Once again, I am not saying money alone creates happiness, but if used in the right way, money can definitely contribute.

 

 

Source: https://www.goodvitae.com

Elmiron: This Common Bladder Pill Is Causing Blindness

Interstitial cystitis (IC) is a chronic bladder condition that may cause scarring and stiffening of the bladder walls. Researchers1 have found that only 10% of those who suffer from IC are men. In the male population, characteristic symptoms include pelvic pain, dysfunction with urination and chronic prostatitis with pain associated with sexual activity. Women who have the condition often have chronic pain in their bladder, irritable bowel syndrome and other issues.

In a population-based study, researchers found the median age of onset was 40 years and up to 50% would experience a spontaneous remission ranging from one month to 80 months. Those with IC were twice as likely to have a history of urinary tract infections.

The researchers found the quality of life in those suffering from IC was lower than those of individuals going through chronic dialysis for renal failure. It’s estimated more than 1 million in the U.S. suffer from this condition, most of whom are women. To date, there’s only one medication approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat IC.2

The drug Elmiron was approved for use in October 1996 as a treatment for pain and discomfort associated with the condition.3 Since it has been the cornerstone of treatment for decades, it’s estimated hundreds of thousands have used the drug.

Elmiron Increases Risk of Retinal Damage

In 2018, Dr. Nieraj Jain from the Emory Eye Center in Atlanta reported six of his patients had developed changes in the central area of the retina called the macula, which had led to reading difficulties and visual changes the patients experienced in dark conditions.4 Six patients underwent genetic testing as part of an inquiry aimed at identifying the reason for the damage, but none was found other than long-term use of Elmiron.

The macula, located in the central area of the retina, is responsible for clear central vision. After a review of the patient’s medical history and diagnostic testing, Jain could find nothing explaining the pattern of abnormalities and so raised a warning that long-term use of Elmiron may have damaged his patient’s retinas.5

Subsequently, three ophthalmologists from Kaiser Permanente did a review of 4.3 million patients in northern California and found nearly 25% of those who had been taking Elmiron exhibited signs of eye damage. The researchers determined the damage caused by toxicity from the medication may have been masquerading as other conditions, such as pattern dystrophy or age-related macular degeneration.6

In the 4.3 million patients the team reviewed, they found 140 who had taken an average of 5,000 pills over 15 years. Of those, 91 agreed to an examination and 22 demonstrated clear signs of toxicity. The researchers found the rate of toxicity and damage increased as the dosage the patients took increased.7

Dr. Robin Vora is chair of ophthalmology at Kaiser Permanente and lead researcher of the study. He commented on the outcome of treatment for IC using Elmiron:8

“It’s unfortunate. You have a patient with a chronic condition like interstitial cystitis, for which there is no cure and no effective treatment. They get put on these medications because it’s thought to have few side effects and few risks, and no one thinks about it again. And year after year, the number of pills they’re taking goes up and up.”

Retinal Damage May Be Reduced if Medication Is Discontinued

If the damage is identified early, researchers are hopeful it may be mitigated when the medication is discontinued.9 Vora recommends those taking the medication who have no symptoms and show no signs of retinal toxicity should be screened annually.10

How the retinal damage is caused by Elmiron is unclear, but Jain’s team suggests a component of the drug may play a role. Researchers from the Cleveland Clinic suggest Elmiron is an antagonist of signaling pathways for fibroblast growth factor.

To date, no research has identified the mechanism triggering the damage. The FDA has not taken any action or issued an alert despite information that the drug is associated with retinal damage in those who are using it.

There is some concern that visual damage may be an unrecognized effect of IC since its presentation is not like any other identified maculopathy. Researchers report that in later stages, toxicity looks like late-stage atrophic age-related macular degeneration, which results in permanent vision loss.

Interstitial Cystitis: What Is It and How Is It Treated?

Your bladder is a hollow muscle designed to collect urine excreted from the kidneys before it signals your brain it’s time to empty.11 This communication happens through the pelvic nerves and creates an urge to urinate. Unfortunately, those suffering with IC get the signals mixed up and feel the urge to urinate more frequently.

The condition is also called painful bladder syndrome since it triggers recurring bouts of pain. Sufferers may experience the urge to urinate up to 60 times a day, including during the night. Only half of those with the disorder are able to work full time. Those suffering with IC may also experience migraine headaches, irritable bowel syndrome, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome and allergies.

The exact mechanism for the condition is unknown but biopsies have indicated abnormalities in the bladder wall. Lines of research into the trigger are focused on the inner layer of the bladder wall that may allow toxins to leak through or substances that block the normal growth of the cells lining the bladder.

Others have theorized a viral agent may trigger an infection or an autoimmune disorder may be responsible. Since the trigger is unknown, the diagnosis is made by excluding other similar conditions. Testing and treatment are usually done by a urologist or gynecologist to rule out infections, bladder stones, kidney disease, multiple sclerosis and sexually transmitted diseases, among other disorders.

Management of the condition often starts with conservative measures. The most common medication used has been Elmiron, the only drug approved specifically for the treatment of IC. It can take several months to feel an effect, and the effect may only be modest. Other drugs used include painkillers, tricyclic antidepressants to help relax the bladder and antihistamines to block mast cell release.

Trigger Foods and the IC Diet

In addition to medication, management may also include dietary modification, stress reduction and therapy.12 The IC Network13 recommends identifying the foods that trigger your symptoms and irritate your bladder, as dietary modification is a crucial first step in taking charge of your condition and helping protect your bladder. 

It may take up to six months to develop a personalized list of foods you know will trigger your symptoms. However, the IC Network offers a starting list of three types of foods that are:

  • Well-tolerated by most
  • Generally safe but could irritate some bladders
  • Should be avoided as they trigger discomfort in many

Some of the most bothersome foods include any type of caffeinated drink, alcohol, citrus, spicy foods and artificial sweeteners. Those that are the least bothersome appear to be most fruit and vegetables, water, milk, meat and eggs.

Interstitial Cystitis Drug-Free Management Options

The Interstitial Cystitis Association14 recommends those who suffer to be proactive and plan ahead. The sooner a flare-up is treated, the faster it can be resolved. They recommend self-help techniques to reduce irritation in the bladder such as learning self-hypnosis, stress reduction techniques and relaxation techniques.

Some flare-ups are triggered by wearing restrictive clothing such as pantyhose, tight jeans or slimming garments. Some people experience relief with simple strategies at home including:

  • Reducing the concentration of urine by drinking more water
  • Using a hot pack or cold pack in the perineum area, experimenting to see which works best
  • Taking a warm sitz bath with or without Epsom salt
  • Relaxing your pelvic muscles by placing your knees to your chest or lying on your back with your legs spread
  • If you’re not on a salt-restricted diet, having a glass of water mixed with 1 teaspoon of baking soda to help reduce the burning sensation

If you believe you may have a urinary tract infection, seek medical attention quickly as an infection can trigger a flare-up and may be challenging to resolve if it isn’t addressed right away. One animal study found melatonin improved symptoms and reduced histological damage in the bladder.15 Another preliminary study with 17 women and 5 men found oral supplementation with quercetin provided significant Improvement.16

In addition to the health conditions listed above, those with IC may also experience pelvic floor dysfunction. Exercises with a physical therapist focus on core strengthening and relaxation, and can help relieve pain since pain tends to tighten pelvic muscles and increases discomfort during urination.17

Reducing stress and muscle tension often helps alleviate pain and discomfort, including in those with IC. Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) are rather effective and may be used in private or public without the fear of side effects. In two of my past articles I’ve written about EFT and the techniques you may use to reduce your discomfort:

Many Sunscreens May Require a Prescription

When it comes to the use of sunscreens, the pendulum has swung dangerously backward. People have been made to so fear the sun that we are now seeing vitamin D deficiencies, a serious problem because your cells need the active form of the vitamin to access to the genetic blueprints stored inside cells.

The authors of recent research published in the International Journal of Environmental Research suggest that low sun exposure may be correlated with the development of “specific cancers, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, autism, Alzheimer’s disease and age-related macular degeneration.”1

But, just as significantly, we now know of the tremendous toll sunscreens are taking on the ocean’s coral, which hosts 25% of marine life and serves as the oceans’ crucial biodiversity-protecting “tropical rainforests.”2 Common ingredients in sunscreens damage coral DNA, decrease their defenses against bleaching and threaten their reproduction.3

Now a Florida state senator has proposed legislation to require a prescription for any sunscreen containing oxybenzone and octinoxate, the most coral-destructive chemicals.

Already, the U.S. Virgin Islands,4 Key West, Florida and Hawaii,5 which are reef rich areas, have banned the sale and distribution of sunscreens containing the two chemicals. The Virgin Islands ban goes into effect in 2020; the others in 2021.

A Bill to Require a Prescription for Some Sunscreens

The Florida bill, introduced by Sen. Linda Stewart, prohibits the “sale, offer for sale, or distribution of certain sunscreen products to a consumer who does not have a prescription for such product.”6 The “certain sunscreen products” are those that contain oxybenzone and octinoxate. The message in the bill is clear — that you must have a good health reason to use environmentally harmful sunscreen. Here are some of the well-documented risks from the two chemicals, cited in the bill:

“… oxybenzone and octinoxate cause mortality in developing coral; increase coral bleaching that indicates extreme stress, even at temperatures below 87.8 degrees Fahrenheit; cause genetic damage to coral and other marine organisms; degrade the coral’s resiliency and ability to adjust to climate change factors; and inhibit recruitment of new corals …

… oxybenzone and octinoxate appear to increase the probability of endocrine disruption, and scientific studies show that both chemicals can induce feminization in adult male fish and increase reproductive diseases in marine invertebrate species, such as sea urchins; vertebrate species, such as wrasses, eels, and parrotfish; and mammals, and …

… also induce deformities in the embryonic development of fish, sea urchins, coral, and shrimp and induce neurological behavioral changes in fish which threaten the continuity of fish populations.”

Pushback From the American Academy of Dermatology

Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the U.S. and the American Academy of Dermatology has opposed sunscreen legislation for this reason. This is their statement after the 2018 Hawaii law was passed:7

“The American Academy of Dermatology Association is concerned that the public’s risk of developing skin cancer could increase due to potential new restrictions in Hawaii that impact access to sunscreens with ingredients necessary for broad-spectrum protection, as well as the potential stigma around sunscreen use that could develop as a result of these restrictions …

Claims that sunscreen ingredients currently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration are toxic to the environment or a hazard to human health have not been proven.”

Yet, a May 2019 study in the Journal of the American Medical Association revealed that oxybenzone has been found in human breast milk, amniotic fluid, blood and urine, and that the drug is readily absorbed through the human skin.8

The health implications of oxybenzone levels created in the human body through absorption are not yet known, but the fact that the chemicals permeate the skin is concerning.

In response to critics Stewart says, “I’m not doing this so everyone gets skin cancer. There are so many other sunscreens out there that are reef-safe.” She adds, “The reason for this bill is just to make sure that it discourages the use of those two chemicals.”9

Sunscreens Are a Scourge on Coral Reefs

The effect of sunscreens on the world’s coral is becoming devastating: Up to 6,000 tons of it are said to wash into coral reefs each year.10 In addition to the accumulation from sunscreen wearers at the beach, swimming or boating, oxybenzone and octinoxate also reach waterways through sewage treatment plants, which do not filter out such pollutants.11 (They also have a difficult time filtering out pharmaceutical drugs.)

Coral bleaching, which oxybenzone and octinoxate cause, starves coral from nutrients, increases the risk of infection and causes serious structural abnormalities. Here is how scientists, some of whom are from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, describe the sunscreen scourge in a 2016 report on coral in Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology:12

“We examined the effects of oxybenzone on the larval form (planula) of the coral Stylophora pistillata, as well as its toxicity in vitro to coral cells from this and six other coral species.

Oxybenzone is a photo-toxicant; adverse effects are exacerbated in the light. Whether in darkness or light, oxybenzone transformed planulae from a motile state to a deformed, sessile condition …

Oxybenzone is a genotoxicant to corals, exhibiting a positive relationship between DNA-AP lesions and increasing oxybenzone concentrations. Oxybenzone is a skeletal endocrine disruptor; it induced ossification of the planula, encasing the entire planula in its own skeleton.”

Other Marine Life Are Harmed by Sunscreens

Coral are not the only organisms threatened by sunscreen chemicals. The ingredients might harm fish, sea urchins and shrimp. Plus, a different sunscreen, octocrylene, which is similar to oxybenzone and octinoxate,13 affects brain and liver development in zebrafish, says Consumer Reports.14

Research at the University of Delaware indicates that oxybenzone could be jeopardizing the horseshoe crab population.15 Danielle Dixson, an assistant professor at the University of Delaware College of Earth, Ocean and the Environment, and her team placed clutches of horseshoe crab eggs in seawater solution that included sunscreen with a control group placed in sunscreen-free water.

The eggs exposed to sunscreen never hatched. Crab larvae that did hatch but were put in a seawater-sunscreen solution were also impaired. Compared to crabs in normal seawater, they became sluggish and barely moved, reported the researchers.

In addition to their own survival status, horseshoe crabs’ eggs and larvae provide important food for migratory birds, and the crabs often spawn close to the shore where the risk of sunscreen exposure is worst.

The birds, which arrive in May from South and Central America on their way to the arctic to breed, draws thousands of spectators to Delaware every year so even tourism can be threatened. Horseshoe crabs are also eaten be sea turtles and sharks, which could then uptake sunscreen affecting the crabs.16

Prescription Requirement for Sunscreen Would Raise Awareness

If legislation requiring a prescription for sunscreens with oxybenzone and octinoxate passed, it would continue raising awareness about the dangers of such chemicals to the environment and tourism in reef-rich areas. Pacific Asian countries are also taking action. As reported by the International Coral Reef Initiative:17

“Sunscreen Pollution is a symptom of unsustainable tourism. Many places in the world that are popular with tourism are seeing rapid destruction of their wildlife and environment. Maya Beach in Thailand and Boracay Bay in the Philippines have been closed to tourism in order to protect and restore their vital coral reef resources.

To address this threat of Sunscreen Pollution, the State of Hawaii passed into law a ban on sunscreens containing oxybenzone and octinoxate. The Dutch municipality of Bonaire has similar legislation pending. The Republic of Palau has enacted an innovative and bold measure banning a number of chemicals that pose a threat to its natural resources.

By preserving the continuity of their pristine wilderness by managing for sustainable tourism, Palau is setting the standard for protecting one of the world’s greatest natural treasures.”

Some retailers, like REI, have said they will stop carrying sunscreen products with oxybenzone18 and World Reef Day has been declared, strongly supported by Hawaiian Airlines, which says it will “bring awareness on how coral reefs are hurt by human activity and highlight change is possible through simple, everyday choices and spreading the message.”19

Safe Sun Exposure Tips

In my view, sunscreen is rarely needed and greatly overused, provided you’re avoiding sunburn through sensible sun exposure guidelines. I recommend spending time in the sun daily if possible because it offers substantial health benefits. Here are some sensible sunning tips:

  • Give your body a chance to produce vitamin D before you apply sunscreen. Expose large amounts of your skin (at least 40% of your body) to sunlight for short periods of time daily.
  • Stay in the sun just long enough for your skin to turn the very lightest shade of pink. Shield your face from the sun as your facial skin is thin and more prone to sun damage, such as premature wrinkling.
  • When you’ll be in the sun for longer periods, cover up with clothing and a hat or seek shade, whether natural or created by an umbrella. Clothing is your safest option to prevent burning and skin damage though a safe sunscreen, my suggestions listed below, can be applied after you’ve optimized your skin’s daily vitamin D production.
  • Consider the use of an “internal sunscreen” like astaxanthin to gain additional sun protection. In 2018 research in the journal Nutrients reported that “astaxanthin seems protective against UV-induced skin deterioration and helps maintain healthy skin in healthy people.”20 Astaxanthin can also be applied topically, which is why it’s now being incorporated into a number of topical sunscreen products.
  • Consuming a healthy diet full of natural antioxidants is another highly useful strategy to help avoid sun damage. Vegetables provide your body with an abundance of powerful antioxidants that will help you fight the free radicals caused by sun damage that can lead to burns and cancer.

Yes, There Are Safe Sunscreens

If you do choose to use a sunscreen, there are only two safe choices — zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. Neither should be nanosized and they must protect against both UVA and UVB rays.

Currently, SPF protects only against UVB rays, although the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has proposed new rules that would require any SPF at or above 15 to protect against both.21 UVB are the rays within the ultraviolet spectrum that allow your skin to produce vitamin D.

A lotion or cream with zinc oxide is your safest choice because it is stable in sunlight and provides the best protection from UVA rays. Your next best is choice is titanium dioxide. Keep in mind that in order for sunscreen to be effective, you must apply large amounts over all exposed areas of your skin.

This means the product should not trigger skin allergies and must provide good protection against UVA and UVB radiation. Zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are not absorbed into your skin as the dangerous oxybenzone and octinoxate are. It is no coincidence that the sunscreens that are safest for you are also safest for coral, marine life and the environment.

Why You Should Never Buy CBD Oil From Amazon

Have you gotten into the habit of buying your nutritional supplements through Amazon, along with your other day-to-day necessities? If so, you may want to reconsider.

The e-commerce giant — which controls an estimated 40% of all U.S. e-commerce1 and handles more consumer searches than Google2 — has been found to sell counterfeit supplements on more than one occasion. In July 2019, Wired reported3 that Amazon had pulled fake Align probiotics by third-party sellers off its site and issued full refunds to customers.

Now, the Organic & Natural Health Association warns that Amazon may be defrauding customers twice by preventing genuine high-quality cannabidiol (CBD) products from being sold on its site, while simultaneously promoting and selling products that claim to contain CBD but don’t.

How Amazon Misleads Consumers on CBD

As reported by the Organic & Natural Health Association4 on October 15, 2019, Amazon’s policy prohibits the sale of CBD products, yet when you search for “CBD” in its search engine, thousands of products match that search term.

The reason for this is because Amazon allows vendors to tag their products with whatever search words they want — including terms that are prohibited per its own policy, apparently. You can even find results matching the search term “crack pipes,”5 even though illicit drugs and drug paraphernalia are strictly prohibited under Amazon’s rules.

Amazon also allows vendors to purchase advertising space for CBD products, again despite the fact that they don’t actually allow CBD products to be sold. To investigate this paradox, the Organic & Natural Health Association hired a third-party laboratory to test Amazon’s best-seller, New Age Premium Hemp Oil 1000 MG, for the presence of cannabinoids.  

In what appears to be a clear violation of Amazon’s policy, the product was found to contain approximately 1% CBD6 (7.7 milligrams of CBD per 30 drops). It does not list CBD on the label, however. In a statement, Karen Howard, CEO and executive director of Organic & Natural Health, said:7

“It’s really important for consumers to know that because Amazon doesn’t allow the sale of products with CBD, there are no reputable companies selling CBD on their site …

Amazon states it has banned the sale of CBD supplements on its site, but allows advertising and tagging of CBD instead, inviting an influx of products to consumers that the FDA has been warning about …

Essentially, the public is being defrauded twice. First, Amazon’s best-seller, New Age Premium Hemp Oil contains CBD even though its label does not list CBD. Second, those searching for CBD products are being misled into buying products containing zero CBD.

We will continue our analysis of these products on Amazon’s site. Without any requirement for GMPs, consumers are running the risk of consuming products adulterated with processed oils, and we also know synthetic cannabinoid is in the market …

This deception Amazon is spoon-feeding consumers on CBD is highly irresponsible to millions of Americans in search of legitimate CBD supplements to help specific health ailments including stress, sleep and pain.”

Amazon Shirks Responsibility for Counterfeits

In instances where Amazon has warned consumers about counterfeit sales and refunded their money, the company has “taken far more action than it’s obligated to under the law,” Wired points out.8 The reason for this is because they’re considered a third-party marketplace and not an actual vendor; they’re simply an intermediary — or so they claim.9

Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act10 shields companies like Amazon, eBay and Etsy from most liability for what’s being sold on their sites, even if products are found to be dangerous. Amazon manages to take a nearly 20% cut of most sales, while escaping all liabilities of defrauding customers and even while breaking their own policies.

EBay, for example, was found not guilty in a case where a vendor was selling recalled items,11 which is against eBay’s terms of service. As noted by QZ.com:12

“This undermines the very existence of U.S. tort laws. Potential liability is considered a kind of protection that incentivizes individuals and companies to act responsibly and produce safe products — or pay.”

Indeed, retail vendors are responsible for everything they sell, and can be held liable for dangerous or counterfeit products. However, when a dangerous product is bought via Amazon, it can be near-impossible to track down the Amazon vendor responsible for a defective or counterfeit product.

Some of them are overseas. Most simply vanish and cannot be located. But the main problem with Amazon’s categorization as a third-party marketplace is that it’s not a mere marketplace platform anymore. As noted by Wired:13

“Amazon is both a retailer and a third-party marketplace. It buys some products directly from manufacturers and sells them at a markup, and it allows independent merchants to offer their goods directly to consumers, the latter of which accounts for 58 percent of gross merchandise sales on the platform.

But the line between those two parts of its business are not always clear. Amazon exerts a significant amount of control over sellers, including dictating how their goods appear in search results. It also often warehouses and ships their products for them.

And unlike on eBay, Etsy, or other online marketplaces, a single Amazon product listing can feature goods from dozens of independent sellers, making it difficult for consumers to understand from whom they’re purchasing a product.

‘Amazon has obviously kept pushing the needle further and further toward taking responsibility for marketplace goods,’ says [Eric] Goldman [professor at Santa Clara University School of Law who has written extensively about intermediary liability].

The US 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals ruled14,15 earlier this month that these kinds of differences do, in fact, make Amazon liable for harmful products sold by third-party sellers in some circumstances.”

According to the Pennsylvania court of appeals ruling:16 

“Amazon fails to account for the fact that under the Agreement, third-party vendors can communicate with the customers only through Amazon. This enables third-party vendors to conceal themselves from the customer, leaving customers injured by defective products with no direct recourse to the third-party vendor.

There are numerous cases in which neither Amazon nor the party injured by a defective product, sold by Amazon.com, were able to locate the product’s third-party vendor or manufacturer.”

Bad Actors Run Amok on Amazon

A related article17 in The Verge points out that “Recent investigations find that bad actors are running amok” on Amazon, and that the platform “may be too big to police.”

The investigation in question was performed by three Wall Street Journal18 reporters, who discovered “4,152 items for sale on Amazon that have been declared unsafe or banned by federal regulators, or have deceptive labels.”19

This included 52 listings for supplements previously identified by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Justice Department as containing illegally imported prescription drugs, 116 products falsely listed as “FDA Approved” when in fact they’re not, and 80 listings for infant sleeping wedges that Amazon claims to have banned after FDA suffocation warnings were issued.

Adding insult to injury, dozens of these potentially dangerous items were also tagged “Amazon’s Choice.” As noted by The Verge, this label is based on customer ratings, price and average shipping time, but most consumers tend to interpret it as a seal of approval.

Senators Call for Thorough Investigation

In response to The Journal’s investigation, three Democratic senators — Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., Ed Markey, D-Mass. and Bob Menendez, D-N.J. — have written a letter to Amazon calling for a thorough investigation.20 In their letter,21 dated August 29, 2019, the three senators write:

“In addition to defective helmets, the WSJ investigation identified myriad problematic items for sale on the platform, including … unregistered pesticides; toxic paint strippers; pain relievers lacking appropriate FDA warning labels …

electronics deceptively labeled as third-party certified; and thousands of children’s products lacking federally mandated choking hazard labels, as well as toys containing lead at levels that violate federal limits.

Even when Amazon has banned products, its monitoring appears to be inadequate … they still remain widely and easily accessible on the platform … Unquestionably, Amazon is falling short of its commitment to keeping safe those consumers who use its massive platform.

We call on you to immediately remove … all the problematic products examined in the recent WSJ report; explain how you are going about this process; conduct a sweeping internal investigation of your enforcement and consumer safety policies; and institute changes that will continue to keep unsafe products off your platform.”

Hijacked Reviews — Another Tactic That Can Mislead You

The Verge also points out another significant problem on Amazon’s platform that results in customers being deceived: hijacked reviews.22 In some cases, the reviews you see under a product do not actually refer to the product currently for sale but for some previously listed product.

This migration of reviews appears to be the result of Amazon allowing sellers to edit listings. The take-home message in this case is that if a product has an excellent rating, you’d do well to read through the reviews to make sure they’re actually referring to the specific product you’re considering buying. Also look to make sure the positive reviews are tagged “Verified Purchase,” to avoid being misled by fake reviews.

Don’t Buy CBD From Amazon

The growing recognition of CBD’s medicinal benefits has led to an explosion of CBD products hitting the market. According to Project CBD, at least 50 conditions23 are believed to be improved by CBD, including pain, seizures, muscle spasms, nausea associated with chemotherapy, digestive disorders, degenerative neurological disorders, mood disorders and high blood pressure.

Cannabis has been legalized in several states, either for medical or recreational use or both, and hemp was included as a legal crop in the 2018 Farm Bill,24 leading to a rapidly growing market of hemp-derived CBD products. That CBD has noteworthy health benefits seems indisputable, but quality is paramount.

The fact that Amazon is prohibiting vendors from selling high-quality CBD products on its platform while advertising and shuttling consumers toward fake ones is a double disgrace. It seems Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is willing to sell just about anything to fund his dream of going into outer space.25

The take-home message here is this: Knowing that Amazon will not permit high-quality CBD products to be sold means you simply should not buy anything CBD-related from them. I also recommend caution when buying other nutritional supplements.

Also keep in mind that since CBD oil became a focus of popular holistic medicine almost overnight, effective quality control has not caught up yet and some products do not meet the claims made on the label.26 Until such a system is in place, it’s important you purchase your CBD products from a trusted source.

The need for more stringent quality control has already been demonstrated in studies27 showing 26.19% of 84 CBD products tested contained less CBD than advertised, and 42.85% of them contained more. Only 30.95% were accurately labeled.

The Case for Organic CBD

Heavy metal testing is particularly important for hemp-based CBD products, as the plant is known to extract heavy metals from the soil. In fact, it’s frequently used for bioremediation purposes,28 which is great if the hemp is used for rope, fuel and other nonmedical uses.

When made into medicine, however, this soil-cleansing feature could pose significant problems, as it must be grown in clean soil. As a general rule, I recommend seeking out certified organic CBD products to ensure the least amount of contamination with pesticides and other harmful agricultural contaminants.

To learn more about the benefits of CBD, see “The Endocannabinoid System and the Important Role It Plays in Human Health.” Information about the still-confusing legal status of CBD can be found in “CBD Market Explodes, Despite Perplexing Legal Status.”

Google and Wikipedia are a tag-team monopoly disinfo factory trying to re-write all events to fit Democrat narratives

(Natural News) Former Google employees-turned whistleblowers have repeatedly provided evidence and documentation of the tech-and-media giant’s ongoing efforts to shunt and censor information and news reports that are favorable to President Donald Trump and Republicans. The objective of Google, which is run by Left-wing sycophants and brainwashed Marxists, is to change elections in favor of…

Scientists Find Chronic Brain Inflammation in Children With Autism

A recent small study out of Tufts University Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts has concluded that, “inflammation may be the main driver behind autism.”?1

As reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the researchers compared the brains of 16 deceased male, Caucasian children between the ages of three and 14.

Eight of the children had autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and eight did not. The study determined that the children with ASD all had increased levels of Interleukin-18 (IL-18), a protein known to trigger a severe inflammatory response.

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