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Friday, February 19, 2010

Stress and Chocolate

So, the data is in, and for those of us who already LOVE dark chocolate, it is a boon.  "The sweet stuff might lower our stress hormones."  Might?  Ok, I can attest, it does.  Those who actually eat a little bit (stressing the LITTLE in the bit part) of dark (again, note the DARK) chocolate every day for two weeks showed the most improvement in stress levels. 

Why am I spending the time and attention to this little detail in my sliver of cyber-society?  Sure, I love dark chocolate, but some folks don't.  The point then for me, was not just that this little treat can lower stress levels, but on a larger scale, anything that you do for yourself, indulge in just a little, can have the same affect.  However, the caution remains that a 'little' goes a long way.  Few of us berate ourselves for a tiny bit of pleasure.  It is when we over-indulge, over-do, over-spend, that we look back with remorse.  Those of us who never take the time to reward ourselves for simply making it through another day, are those who are most stressed and find that each day brings more of the same instead of the joy and fulfillment we so crave. 

Now and again give yourself a BIG indulge in a favourite treat.  Nothing horrible, or completely against your principles of course, but an hour massage is magical.  A movie with popcorn can do wonders.  A phone call to a favourite person and a chat with your feet up, a few hours of fishing or golf or whatever it is that makes you be grateful to be alive.  Just do it.  Now and again respect yourself enough to receive.  

Then, next time you are feeling overwhelmed, take a moment, just a little moment, to give yourself a tiny treat.  Dark chocolate is it for me, and scientifically proven to be good for me!

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