It is safe to say that volumes have been written about the best way to stop smoking, and yet millions of people are still addicted to nicotine. Hundreds of thousands of people try to quit smoking each year with varying degrees of success, many experiencing failure after many valiant attempts. Are you desperate to quit smoking, but cannot seem to get a handle on the addiction? You are not alone, but instead of telling you how to quit, we will look at some reasons you fail. Nicotine Nicotine is a highly addictive drug and the cigarette is the most effective tool to administer said drug. Studies have shown nicotine to be more addictive than drugs such as cocaine and heroin. This fact alone speaks volumes about the problems of quitting. How does this drug work in your system? In addition to acting as a stimulant in mammals, nicotine also affects the brain. Simply put it activates a reward system, referred to scientifically as mesolimbic pathway. Half Life and Withdrawal Nicotine has a half-life of 1-2 hours, which means within that time the level of nicotine in your system drops by half. As you can imagine this means that if you do not smoke, again within a few hours your body will begin to experience withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms include, but are not limited to:
Irritability Intense craving for nicotine Insomnia Headaches Depression Impatience
If you have ever tried to quit smoking these withdrawal symptoms are not surprising to you, what may surprise you however is the fact that nicotine can be eradicated from your system in 72 hours. At the end of three days withdrawal symptoms decrease significantly. However, there is another issue many smokers face known as time perception distortion. The average craving for nicotine lasts a mere 3 minutes, but due to time perception distortion it can seem like hours! Just One As you begin the process of kicking the smoking habit, you are going to experience some difficult withdrawal symptoms. Even people who make it through the first few days will often be hit with a particularly strong craving. It is at this point too many people believe just one cigarette; dip or snuff will curb the craving without completely derailing their nicotine cessation attempts. Unfortunately, this is very seldom the case; one cigarette can result in a full-blown relapse. Quitting How can you improve your stop smoking odds? First, you need to become educated about nicotine and its effects on the body. The more you know about how it all works the better prepared you will be to face nicotine withdrawal. You will also need a strong support system, which may mean avoiding your smoking friends until you are strong enough to resist temptation. Conclusion There is an ongoing debate about the effectiveness of stop smoking aids, especially nicotine replacement therapy. Cold turkey and assisted quitting both have strong supporters. What it really boils down to is which method works best for you. One last thing to keep in mind, most people attempt to quit multiple times before they are finally successful so if at first you do not succeed please keep trying!
In all cases of smoking, the innocent victims are those living in the home of the smoker. Your pet’s health is negatively impacted by your habit, so you may want to look at your family and pets as motivating factors in your quest to stop smoking.
Therapy dogs have been around since the Second World War, and are an important part of modern therapy. Don’t confuse therapy dogs with dogs designed to help individuals, for example seeing eye dogs. Therapy dogs aren’t assistance or service dogs, they are there to help anyone who needs the comfort and pleasure of having an animal to touch, fuss and relate to.
The concept is simple. It has been shown time after time that people with disabilities, people with emotional issues, people who are aging and those in hospital and even hospices benefit greatly from interaction with animals. Therapy dogs are increasingly used on college campuses at exam time to help the mental and emotional well-being of students far from home and under pressure.
Therapy dogs have been used in education programs, for example, to help children learn to read, and have proved to be a way of reaching people with autism. They are also commonly used in speech therapy.
These dogs seem to strike a chord deep in people’s hearts. People who for whatever reason find it hard to relate to human beings can often relate to an animal.
The scientific evidence is compelling. People interacting with therapy dogs have demonstrated increased levels of oxytocin, a naturally occurring substance in the body associated with bonding, and serotonin, well known to increase the feeling of pleasure and happiness. Reduced stress levels have also been noted. So the benefits that therapy dogs bring are not only emotional and psychological, they are physical too.
Generally dogs used as therapy dogs are calm, intelligent breeds such as labs and retrievers. Therapy dogs have to able to be calm and happy when confronted with a whole range of people, and be able to patiently submit to the occasional burst of too much love! Many therapy dogs know simple and charming tricks which they will perform on command, encouraging those in need to interact with them.
One therapy working with children with severe disabilities is Skippy. Skippy is a rescue dog who was picked up off the street by a passer -by after being involved in a hit and run accident. She was clearly just a street mutt, but her rescuer took pity on her and took her to the vet, who had to amputate one of her front legs. Skippy made an excellent recover, and proved herself to be a loving pet. She never seems to notice that she is a leg short – it just makes it easier to give cuddles.
She can run, jump and play as well as any dog, and her owner takes her into a nearby school for disabled children, who totally relate to the three legged dog who lets them hug her, play with her and generally make a big pet of her for as long as they want. Skippy is an inspiration for these children who see in her a reflection of their own situation. Skippy’s abilities are emphasized, not her disabilities, so she isn’t only a therapy dog but also an example of how to overcome disability.
There are many charities around the world involved in this work, and a body of knowledge has resulted in training courses to ensure that therapy dogs are used to their maximum potential. Therapy dogs are yet more proof that a dog is a person’s best friend.
I can’t imagine not having a pet in my life. In particular, I can’t imagine not having a dog (although I am also very fond of my tame sheep, Mint Sauce). Pets bring us almost undiluted pleasure, and every study shows that having a pet animal is valuable for mental and physical health.
The simple fact of having a living creature which depends upon us, responds to us, and yet has an independent life of its own, is hugely comforting. The physical experience of stroking or grooming a dog or a cat is proved to be calming, to reduce blood pressure, and to promote feelings of wellbeing in both human and animal.
I have owned many rescue dogs, and the simple fact of saving another living creature from at best a lonely life in a pound, and at worst, death, just makes me feel good. And believe me, a rescue animal knows it’s been rescued, and will love you intensely and with its whole heart.
If you feel that you need a lift in your life, adopt a rescue pet. Suddenly, you will be elevated to the status of minor deity. Your every move, expression and mood, will be studied with utter devotion. Whatever you do will be the best thing ever known to animal-kind. And if you’re having trouble getting the exercise you need, the sight of Rover sitting hopefully by the front door with his lead in his mouth will get even the most stubborn couch potato up and out into the fresh air.
A little kitten that someone has abandoned on a rubbish heap will grow into a sleek mouser, that will purr like an engine and keep your feet warm in the winter. A frightened stray cat which lives out of trashcans will become beautiful queen of the house, simply by giving her love, warmth, good food and attention.
When you adopt a pet, don’t look just at the appealing puppies and kittens. Look at the older animals, who so desperately need a home and to be loved. One of the most wonderful dogs I have ever had waited three years in a no-kill pound for me to come along and fall in love with her. Now she is my best guard dog, a total love bug, and I wouldn’t swap her for the champion of Crufts plus a million dollars.
I even have rescue chickens. These are so called “spent hens” who are no longer viable as egg layers at the factory farm. They are usually sold for just a dollar or two, and even if you have just a little patch of grass and can make a small shelter out of a wooden box, you can give a home to a creature that has never ever seen the outdoors. Watching them get happy and plump, and gradually understanding that there is a wonderful world that they can enjoy, is an intense pleasure, and they will even reward you with an egg every day or two, in return for a handful of corn.
The other day, I found myself in the local pet store, having a conversation out loud with myself about which color my rescue hound dog, Elvis, would like best for his new collar. (Purple.) A woman of my own age smiled at me. “Oh, I suppose this is a sign of becoming a dotty old lady,” I laughed. “No,” she said, “it’s a sign of complete sanity and happiness.”
When looking at birds, such as thrushes, there may be some things you know to be true. This is the fact that they insects and seeds and that they can soar through the skies. These birds are also among the 65% of all bird species that migrate. While some go short distances and stop to relax, others will make their long trek over places like the ocean without missing a beat.
But how can these animals go so far and not take a short nap? The truth of the matter is that these species do rest and many of them become sleeping birds in flight on their journey. This isn’t the late night dreaming that you may be used to doing in your home bed though.
Many of these birds, including thrushes, will actually rest half their brain at one time, to offset their lack of sleep. With their eye closed, the can rest half the brain at one time. This can then be switched further in the journey through a process called unilateral eye closure. Depending on the eye that is closed, the brain hemisphere on that side is asleep, while the other side remains active and alert.
So what are some of these unique sleeping birds in flight, besides thrushes? The list includes:
- Barn Swallow
As a rule migratory birds that travel considerable distances will be included in this list of birds. But how do these birds master the art of sleeping and flying at the same time. The answer isn’t in the evolution process by any means.
Instead, these birds were created with this ability. The mind is such a complex creation, that the theoretical evolutionary process wouldn’t be able to create such a sophisticated system where these species could simply open and close their eyes and rest a portion of their brain. These species were destined to travel long distances and their bodies were created to handle the journey.
This is all by the design of a grander scale, something that goes beyond our understanding and science. This is the creation of all things alive, through the mystery of God’s work. Through his will, he gives those who are in need, the tool to survive and thrive. The thrushes and birds travel the long distances to avoid the harsh winter chill and they are able to do so, thanks to the blessing that has been bestowed upon them.
Pet ownership can be a deeply emotionally fulfilling experience. People can develop unique bonds with their animals, get an improved sense of purpose and responsibility, and learn new things in the process. Cats and dogs are by far the most popular pets in America, although there are many other options available for prospective owners interested in more exotic animals. Some exotic animals will make better pets than others, and it is important to do ample research on the costs and benefits of owning more unusual pets.
Many people keep fish, birds, and various types of reptiles and amphibians as pets. They tend to require far less attention and care than dogs and cats. Then again, some people who may want to bond more with their pets may prefer dogs and cats over non-mammals. There is a tradeoff with pets between the level of responsibility involved in caring for them, and the amount of interaction that is possible. Reptiles, amphibians, fish, and birds are not housebroken and must stay in cages and tanks. With some species, there is a danger of them escaping from their tanks, and special care must be taken in order to keep them in the right place. Newts and other amphibians could escape from their tanks, only to dry up as they wander around the house towards another water source. Animals like hermit crabs are very adept at getting out of their tanks.
Non-mammals tend to have short life spans, with a few exceptions, such as boa constrictors. Their living situation limits what they can do, and they tend to be very docile pets that require owners to regularly keep their tanks clean and feed them. Of these, birds are the most active. Intelligent exotic birds like parrots require direct mental stimulation, making them far more interactive than similar pets. Having such interesting pets around the house can still liven any living area, whether the pets are active or not.
Raising dogs requires taking them for regular walks, getting regular veterinary checkups, getting them shots, potentially taking them to obedience school, and giving them ample companionship. Dogs are also very affectionate, full of personality, and can be a source of companionship themselves. They are reasonably long-lived, with life spans of a decade or more. Cats are similar and live even longer, although they tend to be easier to keep indoors and require less exercise. Cats tend to be more reserved than dogs, but many of them can still be affectionate. They are probably a good choice for people who prefer indoor activities while dogs can be great for active people who love outdoors activities. It is important to be careful when purchasing dogs and cats or adopting them from shelters. Dogs and cats can be aggressive if not properly socialized. Pet stores tend to purchase dogs and cats that were raised in unethical and unsanitary situations, so adopting from a shelter is usually better. Giving pets a good start in life is always important.