Killing Me Minty

I think I may have found the reason my blood pressure is up even though I’ve gone vegan, and it is the some reason my teeth were so badly strained at my last dentist appointment: 

Mouthwash. 

I started using off brand Scope, the green mint alcohol mouthwash, earlier in 2016. I thought it would be good for my mouth and my breath.

I was still thinking in terms of “killing bacteria” being a good thing.

But in doing the research for my self-care resolution this year, I learned that our good bacteria are a vital part of our systems, and that killing them off en masse is like burning down your house to kill a spider.

By the way, I like spiders. They eat mosquitos, which I hate. I try not to kill spiders if I can avoid it.

Apparently, research has shown that these “healthy” mouthwashes can raise blood pressure and increase heart attack risk. I do NOT need that at my size!

They also apparently make your bad breath come back worse after their smell wears off, they increase yellowing of teeth, and they can increase the chance of gum disease.

It seems the best way to fight bad breath is to keep your mouth’s microbiota well balanced, not to burn down the house.

So, yeah. I won’t be using any more of that stuff.

Pressure, Stress, and Mindsets


Kelly McGonigal spent many years telling people that stress was dangerous,  but it turns out that research shows that stress is only dangerous to people who think it is bad, dangerous, or harmful. 

It turns out that people really can thrive on pressure. 

Dr. McGonigal made this video to help correct some of the old perceptions. 

Now,  why am I writing about this?  Because I’ve never been great at handling pressure and stress. I thought that was hard-wired, unchangeable,  but apparently changing your attitude toward stress can help change its effects on you. 

So what now?

Dr. McGonigal showed us one immediate,  easy to use stress intervention.  Whenever you feel stressed,  tell yourself “My body is preparing me to meet this challenge.  My heat is beating harder and my lungs are pumping faster to get more oxygen to my body and brain.

Tell yourself that until your believe it and you can eliminate the cardiovascular dangers of stress (mainly blood vessel constriction) and make yourself less flustered and more energized. 

Additionally, connecting with others,  especially caring for others, makes us more resilient to stress. Community and compassion can actually nullify the health damages of major life events. 

Also, “chasing meaning is better than trying to avoid discomfort.”

I’m going to try to our these into action. I’ll report back later and let you know how it goes.