If You Have These 6 Characteristics, You Are a Mentally Strong Person

If You Have These 6 Characteristics, You Are a Mentally Strong Person

Claremont Colonic Newletter
Mental strength is vital to living a useful and fulfilling life, and some would argue that it is the difference between being an ordinary or extraordinary person. It is also important for resisting stress and depression. It is, in short, the thoughts and behavior that affect the overall quality of your life, and it involves being aware of your emotions, learning from pain, being able to train your brain to think in a helpful way, and managing the way your emotions influence how you think and act.
When you imagine a mentally strong person you probably imagine a mountain climber, or a passionate public speaker and prominent figure. And while these people certainly have elements of mental strength, all-around mentally strong people often go under the radar. They tend to have the following characteristics:

1. Not aspiring to be happy all the time

Seeing happiness as a necessary permanent state can lead to an unhealthy and unrealistic attitude towards negative emotions. Mentally strong people accept both positive and negative emotions — an attitude which is key to having a realistic view of a situation, and to building resilience. Australian social researcher Hugh Mackay argues that a “fear of sadness” is dangerous. “Wholeness is what we ought to be striving for and part of that is sadness, disappointment, frustration, failure; all of those things which make us who we are,” he said.

2. Being persistent

Psychologist Angela Lee, through a range of studies, found that perseverance or “grit” was the most important characteristic — more so than emotional intelligence, IQ, appearance or physical health — in the success of students, teachers and professionals. Grit, she explained, involves mental stamina and having a passion for long-term goals. Perseverance also requires consistency in achieving goals and not giving up easily when facing adversity.

3. Believing in yourself

Researchers have found that believing in yourself is vital for helping athletes overcome seemingly impossible obstacles, and the same applies to non-athletes.

4. Being able to bounce back from setbacks

Ten elite sports performers were asked to define mental toughness — a component of mental strength. One thing they all highlighted was the mental ability to use a set back rather than to be negatively affected by it. Likewise, mentally strong people are not necessarily free of things like anxiety or depression, but they know how to take advantage of such difficult emotions or states. They can, for example, channel their nervous energy into creativity and appreciate the heightened focus that comes with anxiety.

5. Having experience and being older

Mental strength isn’t something we are born with; it is acquired with constant practice, over very long periods of time. Researchers have found that mental strength increases with age. There is also a direct correlation in athletes between practice time and mental strength levels — and the same would apply to non-athletes.

6. Embracing change

As the saying goes, change is inevitable. Therefore, it is important to be flexible and able to adapt to new circumstances, as fearing change can be paralyzing.

How to increase your mental strength:

Increasing your mental strength involves a lot of hard work, often in the most difficult circumstances. Here are a few things that, if done consistently, will help:

  • Focus your mental energy wisely: Let go of things you have no control over (like the weather) and refocus on things you can control (preparing for a storm).
  • Be productive: Practice constantly changing negative thoughts to productive thoughts. This isn’t the same as being positive; it means focusing your energy away from what is wrong over to what you can do.
  • Handle discomfort: Accept your feelings without letting them control you, and be prepared to step out of your comfort zone.
  • Reflect: At the end of each day or week examine what you’ve learned about how you think, handle emotions and behave, and consider what you’d like to do better the next day.

Contributor: Tamara Pearson – TheAlternativeDaily.com

Pooping Only Every 3 or More Days Linked with Cognitive Decline, Research Finds

Pooping Only Every 3 or More Days Linked with Cognitive Decline, Research Finds

Claremont Colonic Newsletter
In the first research to look at constipation’s impact on the aging brain, scientists have found some concerning links.
Being chronically constipated, defined by the authors as having a bowel movement only every three or more days, has been linked with a 73% higher risk of subjective cognitive decline, according to research presented Wednesday at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in Amsterdam.

“Our study provided first-of-its-kind evidence that examined a wide spectrum of bowel movement frequency,” said Dr. Chaoran Ma, the research’s first author and assistant professor in the department of nutrition at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, via email. “We were surprised at how strong the associations were, especially for those with very infrequent bowel movements.”

About 16% of the worldwide adult population experiences constipation, but it’s even more common among older adults due to age-related factors such as lack of exercise and dietary fiber, and the use of medicines that can cause constipation as a side effect.

Chronic constipation has been linked with inflammation and mental disorders such as anxiety and depression, but there have been many unanswered questions about the relationship between digestive health and long-term cognitive function, according to a news release.

Cognitive function refers to a person’s mental capacity for learning, thinking, reasoning, problem-solving, decision-making, remembering and paying attention.

To find clues to these queries, the authors assessed more than 112,000 adults who had participated in the Nurses’ Health Study, Nurses’ Health Study II and Health Professionals Follow-Up Study. The first two studies investigated risk factors for major chronic diseases among women in North America, while the latter study is looking into the same topics but for men. The authors of the latest research collected data on participants’ bowel movement frequency from 2012 to 2013, participants’ self-assessments of cognitive function between 2014 and 2017, and details on some participants’ objectively measured cognitive function between 2014 and 2018.

Compared with people who pooped once a day, constipated participants had significantly worse cognition equivalent to three years more of chronological cognitive aging, the authors found. Increased risk was also found among those who pooped more than twice daily, though these higher odds were small.

“The more we learn about the gut-brain access, the more we understand that it’s just so important to ensure that (preventing or addressing cognitive decline) is a system approach,” said Maria C. Carrillo, chief science officer of the Alzheimer’s Association, who wasn’t involved in the research. “The brain is not completely isolated from what’s happening in your blood flow.”

Bowel movements and the brain

This research wasn’t “designed to test the causal relationship between bowel movements, the gut microbiome and cognitive health, so we cannot firmly draw conclusions regarding the precise causal sequence underlying this association,” Ma said.

But bowel movement frequency and subjective cognitive function were also linked with the participants’ gut microbiomes, the authors found. Among those with infrequent bowel movements and worse cognitive function, there was a depletion in good bacteria that produce butyrates, fatty acids which support the gut barrier that prevents bacteria and other microbes from entering your bloodstream, according to the Cleveland Clinic.

Butyrates also significantly aid in digestive health by providing the main energy source for colon cells. Those can be found in high-fiber foods, fiber supplements, prebiotics and full-fat dairy products — eaten in moderation — such as butter, cheese, milk or ghee. Ghee is clarified butter, made by isolating pure butterfat from the milk solids and water in butter.

Those who pooped twice or more per day and had worse cognitive function had a higher amount of species that promote inflammation and are related to dysbiosis, an imbalance in gut microbes associated with disease.

Other research presented at the same conference Wednesday had similar findings. In one abstract of 140 middle-aged adults, having lower levels of neuroprotective gut bacteria Butyricicoccus and Ruminococcus was associated with elevated levels of Alzheimer’s disease biomarkers.

In another, of more than 1,000 adults, those with poor cognition had abnormally high amounts of the bacteria Alistipes and Pseudobutyrivibrio compared with other participants. Alistipes bacteria have previously been linked with anxiety, chronic fatigue syndrome, depression and hypertension.

“It makes sense that individuals that are having those movements so much less frequently are going to have less of the good bacteria and more of the bad bacteria that’s caused by inflammatory conditions,” Carrillo said.

“Further studies are needed to identify the microbes involved, and their function,” Ma said concerning her research.

Regarding neurological and digestive health, “good food not only feeds our brain, but it also promotes healthy bowel movements,” Carrillo said.

Eating enough fiber from vegetables, fruits, whole grains and nuts can prevent constipation. Total fiber intake should be at least 25 grams per day, according to the US Food and Drug Administration. And being hydrated enough softens stool so you can pass it without straining.

Exercising at least a few times per week and managing stress can also help.

Contributor: Kristen Rogers, CNN

Elle Sez Series: Know Your Body – The Exocrine System

Elle Sez Series: Know Your Body - The Exocrine System

Claremont Colonic Center Newsletter
Your exocrine system includes a series of glands all over your body. These glands secrete substances that help your organs function, including sweat, breast milk, mucus and oil. Your exocrine system is different from your endocrine system, in that it secretes these substances through ducts. Conditions that affect your exocrine system include cancer, inflammation and hair loss.

What is the exocrine system?

Your exocrine system consists of glands all over your body that carry out many functions. It’s part of your autonomic nervous system, which controls involuntary actions supporting your well-being.

Glands are tiny organs that secrete substances that trigger certain biologic processes. For example, your salivary glands produce saliva to keep your mouth moist.

What is the difference between the endocrine and exocrine systems?

  • Your endocrine system: Endocrine glands secrete hormones and release them directly into your bloodstream. Your bloodstream then delivers hormones to target tissues.
  • Your exocrine system: Exocrine glands secrete substances into ducts, which carry the substances onto the surface of target tissues.

What areas of the body do the exocrine glands support?

Exocrine glands control specific functions in your:

  • Breasts.
  • Mouth, specifically, saliva production.
  • Pancreas.
  • Skin and hair.
  • Small intestine (duodenum).


What is the function of the exocrine system?

Exocrine system glands take on a variety of functions.

  • Mammary glands produce milk.
  • Mucinous glands produce mucus to line and protect delicate tissue.
  • Sebaceous glands produce an oily substance on the surface of your hair and skin.
  • Serous glands produce watery substances, such as sweat and saliva.

What are the functions of the exocrine system glands?

Exocrine system glands serve many essential functions based on their location:
  • Breasts

Mammary glands, which are modified serous glands, support breastfeeding (chestfeeding). They produce milk that nourishes babies and boosts their immune systems.


  • Serous glands produce saliva in many areas of your mouth. Saliva lubricates and protects your mouth and throat. It also initiates the digestive process by breaking down carbohydrates.
  • Mucinous glands are also present in your mouth and play a role in lubricating the substances you swallow.


Your pancreas functions as both an exocrine and endocrine gland.

  • As an exocrine gland, it releases substances that neutralize stomach acid. It also secretes digestive enzymes that break down proteins, fats and carbohydrates.
  • As an endocrine gland, your pancreas secretes hormones, insulin and glucagon, that regulate blood sugar levels.

Skin and hair

  • Serous glands help you sweat. There are two types of sweat glands. Eccrine sweat glands are in nearly every area of your skin’s surface. Apocrine sweat glands secrete a fatty substance that slows evaporation so sweat keeps you cooler longer.
  • Sebaceous glands secrete oil that produces moisture to protect your skin and hair.

Small intestine

  • Mucosal glands, known as Brunner’s glands, release a substance that protects your small intestine from stomach acid. It also activates enzymes that break down sugars in food and absorbs nutrients.


What is the anatomy of the exocrine system?

The anatomy of exocrine system glands includes:

  • Acinus: Tiny sacs containing cells of exocrine system secretions that the duct hasn’t yet released. An acinus may house many different types of cells depending on the type of secretion the duct is responsible for.
  • Duct: Passageway that transports cell secretions to the inner surfaces of organs throughout your body.

Conditions and Disorders

What conditions and disorders affect the exocrine system?

Exocrine system diseases and disorders include:

Mammary gland conditions

  • Breast cancer.
  • Breast pain (mastalgia).
  • Ductal carcinoma in-situ.
  • Fibroadenomas of the breast.
  • Mammary duct ectasia.
  • Mastitis.

Pancreas gland conditions

  • Pancreatic cancer, including ductal adenocarcinoma.
  • Pancreatitis.

Salivary gland conditions

  • Salivary gland cancer.
  • Sjögren’s syndrome.

Skin gland conditions

  • Hormonal acne.
  • Hyperhidrosis.
  • Body odor (bromhidrosis).
  • Hair loss (alopecia).
  • Ear wax buildup and blockage.

Small intestine conditions

  • Rare, noncancerous tumors, including Brunner’s gland hamartoma and Brunner’s gland adenoma.


How do I care for my exocrine system?

Taking good care of yourself is one of the best ways to keep your exocrine system healthy.

You can do this by:

  • Staying physically active. Eating a diet that’s high in protein, fruits and vegetables, but low in saturated fats and processed foods.
  • Drinking plenty of water.
  • Limiting alcohol consumption.
  • Quitting smoking if you use tobacco.
  • Seeing your healthcare provider for regular check-ups.
  • Staying current with screenings, including mammograms for breast cancer.

A note from Cleveland Clinic

Your exocrine system includes glands all over your body. They secrete oil, mucus, saliva and milk that aid in organ function. Various conditions can affect your exocrine system, including tumors, inflammation and blockages. Taking good care of yourself can lower the risk of experiencing these issues.

Contributor: ClevelandClinic.org

How to Build Healthy Habits

How to Build Healthy Habits

Claremont Colonic Newsletter

It’s not about willpower. Good habits happen when we set ourselves up for success. Our new challenge will show you how.

We’re all creatures of habit. We tend to wake up at the same time each day, brush our teeth, have morning coffee and commute to work, following the same patterns every day.

So why is it so hard to form new healthy habits?

Behavioral scientists who study habit formation say that many of us try to create healthy habits the wrong way. We make bold resolutions to start exercising or lose weight, for example, without taking the steps needed to set ourselves up for success.

Here are some tips, backed by research, for forming new healthy habits.

Stack your habits. The best way to form a new habit is to tie it to an existing habit, experts say. Look for patterns in your day and think about how you can use existing habits to create new, positive ones.

For many of us, our morning routine is our strongest routine, so that’s a great place to stack on a new habit. A morning cup of coffee, for example, can create a great opportunity to start a new one-minute meditation practice. Or, while you are brushing your teeth, you might choose to do squats or stand on one foot to practice balance.

Many of us fall into end-of-the-day patterns as well. Do you tend to flop on the couch after work and turn on the TV? That might be a good time to do a single daily yoga pose.

Start small. B.J. Fogg, a Stanford University researcher and author of the book “Tiny Habits,” notes that big behavior changes require a high level of motivation that often can’t be sustained. He suggests starting with tiny habits to make the new habit as easy as possible in the beginning. Taking a daily short walk, for example, could be the beginning of an exercise habit. Or, putting an apple in your bag every day could lead to better eating habits.

In his own life, Dr. Fogg wanted to start a daily push-up habit. He started with just two push-ups a day and, to make the habit stick, tied his push-ups to a daily habit: going to the bathroom. He began by, after a bathroom trip, dropping and doing two push-ups. Now he has a habit of 40 to 80 push-ups a day.

Do it every day. British researchers studied how people form habits in the real world, asking participants to choose a simple habit they wanted to form, like drinking water at lunch or taking a walk before dinner. The study, published in the European Journal of Social Psychology, showed that the amount of time it took for the task to become automatic — a habit — ranged from 18 to 254 days. The median time was 66 days!

The lesson is that habits take a long time to create, but they form faster when we do them more often, so start with something reasonable that is really easy to do. You are more likely to stick with an exercise habit if you do some small exercise — jumping jacks, a yoga pose, a brisk walk — every day, rather than trying to get to the gym three days a week. Once the daily exercise becomes a habit, you can explore new, more intense forms of exercise.

Make it easy. Habit researchers know we are more likely to form new habits when we clear away the obstacles that stand in our way. Packing your gym bag and leaving it by the door is one example of this. Wendy Wood, a research psychologist at the University of Southern California, says she began sleeping in her running clothes to make it easier to roll out of bed in the morning, slip on her running shoes and run. Choosing an exercise that doesn’t require you to leave the house — like situps or jumping jacks — is another way to form an easy exercise habit.

Dr. Wood, author of the book, “Good Habits, Bad Habits: The Science of Making Positive Changes That Stick,” calls the forces that get in the way of good habits “friction.” In one study, researchers changed the timing of elevator doors so that workers had to wait nearly half a minute for the doors to close. (Normally the doors closed after 10 seconds.) It was just enough of a delay that it convinced many people that taking the stairs was easier than waiting for the elevator. “It shows how sensitive we are to small friction in our environment,” said Dr. Wood. “Just slowing down the elevator got people to take the stairs, and they stuck with it even after the elevator went back to normal timing.”

Dr. Wood notes that marketers are already experts in reducing friction, inducing us to spend more, for example, or order more food. That’s why Amazon has a “one-click” button and fast-food companies make it easy to supersize. “We’re just very influenced by how things are organized around us in ways that marketers understand and are exploiting, but people don’t exploit and understand in their own lives,” she said.

Reward yourself. Rewards are an important part of habit formation. When we brush our teeth, the reward is immediate — a minty fresh mouth. But some rewards — like weight loss or the physical changes from exercise — take longer to show up. That’s why it helps to build in some immediate rewards to help you form the habit. Listening to audiobooks while running, for example, or watching a favorite cooking show on the treadmill can help reinforce an exercise habit. Or plan an exercise date so the reward is time with a friend.

Contributor: Tara Parker-Pope, NYTimes.com