Staying Balanced!

Mind-challenge

Staying Balanced!

refuel-brain

Refuel Your Brain With These 7 Easy Steps!

Our Brain; A Supercomputer.

We are where we are today because of the human brain. Our ancestors have always pushed the limits of our mind to get us to the point where we are at and the current human existence is doing the same for the future generation.

It is a supercomputer with infinite capacity and the ability to push its limits if driven to do so. Your brain takes care of the following:

  • Self-awareness
  • Reasoning and logic
  • Memory
  • Knowledge
  • Perception
  • Routine brain activities

Now, what you must understand is that although biologically speaking, the brain is an organ that is made up of grey and white matter with a cellular structure that is totally different from that of a muscle, it still bears a similarity to a muscle regarding one thing. You can take care of your brain’s health by exercising or providing mental stimuli; that will increase its power. You do not want your brain to get lackadaisical without the exercise because you need it to function just right for your own cause.

 

What is your cause? Well, it is everything. Your life is a cause; daily routine, work, family, relationships, aspirations, ambitions, etc. You need your brain to function properly in all aspects of life and if all these are taken care of then you are sorted! You need to have the brain power to cater to the needs of your mind and body. Let’s get down to business and take a walk through these 10 steps to refuel that brain of yours!

 

work-out

 

  1. A good work out for focus!

When you exercise, your body releases hormones called endorphins that impact your blood flow levels positively. This is the hormone that creates the feeling of euphoria in your head, and a happy mind means you have a powerful brain! Chalk out a fitness routine for yourself, you don’t necessarily have to join the gym or become a fitness junkie; just a regular fitness routine and you will feel fresh and focused.

 

Eat

 

  1. Eat well and stay hydrated.

You must have heard it before; water makes up 60% of our body. And that is exactly why we need to stay hydrated because that means that our body in its natural state will maintain a balanced metabolic function due to the fair distribution of energy to all the cells and organ systems of the body allowing the brain to work just right! So, drink up!

Food doesn’t fall far behind. Didn’t your mother tell you to eat walnuts because they look like your brain? Or finish that spinach like Popeye? Well, she had her reasons. These are brain foods and they will boost your cognitive function because they provide the right place with the right nutrient. Here are a few examples of brainpower enhancing foods:

 

  • Walnuts- high in Vitamin E and fatty acids.
  • Spinach- a good dose of nitrates, antioxidants, and cancer preventive minerals.
  • Bananas- rich in potassium because it is a vasodilator as it reduces the level of stress on blood vessels (and where do blood vessels go? To the brain, of course!), in turn facilitating oxygenation.
  • Dark Chocolate- cacao, the main element of dark chocolate contains antioxidants that keep the brain charged and fuel short-term cognition.
  • Celery- full of a compound called luteolin that prevents degeneration of the brain.
  • Turmeric- boosts memory and cognition because of the presence of curcumin, as well as prevents inflammation.

 

What we eat is what reflects on our being. These brain foods are easily available and not too difficult to incorporate in your daily cooking! Eating responsibly or particularly for the sake of your health is a life skill that needs to be acknowledged more and more by our millennial existence.

 

Mind-challenge

 

  1. Give your mind a challenge.

As mentioned earlier, your brain is similar to a muscle because if it is exercised enough and in the correct way, it will get stronger. Go back to the good old days when crossword puzzles, brainteasers, Sudoku, chess, etc. were the best ways to pass time. These activities keep the brain active as well as enhance its ability to learn more and work better!

However, don’t play them on the phone. It is always better to experience a thing in its natural way. You will surely enjoy it more this way.

 

Heart

 

  1. Follow your heart and pursue new interests.

It is quite common to get bored with your daily routine and monotonous life. There must be something that catches your fancy or you have always wished that you will take up or at least try once. Give that hobby a chance! There is an abundance of activities out there for you to try from something adventurous like trekking, water sports, and skydiving to maybe something more articulate like painting, exploring new places, music, dance, etc. These things keep your mind occupied and force it to think in new ways and make self-discoveries that are important for a content mind, which in turn means that your brain power game is pretty strong!

 

Sleep-it-off

 

  1. Sleep it off!

Your brain and body go into an auto fix it mode when you are sleeping. It is as simple as this; when you are tired you just cannot focus because your cognitive abilities slow down due to fatigue. You will notice that on days when you aren’t as physically employed as you are mental, you will still feel as tired because your brain is using up that energy. And the solution to that is sleep! You are going to have to sleep it off!

 

 goodbye-to-stress

 

  1. Say goodbye to stress.

Who doesn’t experience stress? And who doesn’t want to say goodbye to this awful sensation? Nobody told us that with life, comes pressure and anxiety. Yet these are the kind of things we have to deal with to keep it going for ourselves. Stress levels cause the hormone cortisol to rise in our system that causes short-term memory loss. You will notice agitation creeping in when you start forgetting basic things to remember and this will creep into your professional as well as personal life. So, as easy as it is to say or think “don’t stress!” it really needs work. Find a method to take care of these problems, consult somebody professional or just talk it out with somebody you are close to. Sort the stress out!

 

listen -music

 

  1. Read, Write, Listen to Music- Choose happiness!

Do more of what makes you happy. Read if that is what you need to stimulate your imagination or knowledge. Listen to music if that is what gets you in a good mood or helps you cope with difficult situations. Write your heart out if that is the way you like to express yourself. And above all, choose happiness. Learn to give yourself time and make a choice of being merry today. One thought, if believed with conviction, will go miles and miles.

Treat your brain well.

Although the idea that the brain is a muscle is a misconception, there is no harm in treating it like one. Exercise it, feed it well, make it do the work, challenge it, help it grow, and when you get the results, you will understand the importance of brainpower. To face the competition and struggles in the ambitious world of today, you are going to need a strong mind, and an even stronger willpower.

Sleeping-solutions

10 Solutions to Troubleshoot That Sleeping Problem

Why is sleep important?

 

My grandmother always said that sleep is a part of your diet. You need wholesome, clean, and fresh food just the way you need a good night’s sound sleep. The quality of sleep is going to affect your mental and physical growth because your body goes into a fix-it mode once you are asleep and it will:

  • Heal damaged cells.
  • Work on enhancing your immune system.
  • Recover all the lost energy and mend the fatigue of the day.
  • Reboot your cardiovascular system.

When you are well rested, you will notice that not only are you physically more active but also your brain works in a concise and effective manner. So why can’t it be like this every day? Well, because this is what life is and we all have our ups and downs and let’s face it, the hectic routine of this millennial lifestyle is getting to us! The work life, the social life, family pressure, personal dilemmas, and what not!

What we can do is work on it, find a solution and troubleshoot it! Here are 10 ideas to get that sound sleep you’ve been craving for since god only knows when!

 

  1. Develop a sleep schedule.

That’s right! The first step is that you need to keep your circadian rhythm in check. What’s that you ask? It’s your body clock and it is as simple as that. It is on a set loop according to the sunset and sunrise. Your elders were right, early to bed and early rise does make you healthy, wealthy, and wise.

 

Avoid long naps and try to sleep on time and wake up on time. It is a popular belief is that if you want to inculcate a habit, do it for 20 days, and it will be embedded in your system. Once you sleep and wake up on time for 20 days, you may not even need an alarm clock anymore. Yes, there are people who wake up without the conundrum of alarms and snooze buttons. It is possible. It is up to you to give it a try! You will wake up feeling fresh and you are going to be on top of your game.

 

  1. Cut the addictions (especially right before bedtime)

Addictions such as alcohol, cigarettes, caffeine and even sugar are going to affect your sleep.

 

First of all, caffeine has many benefits; just one cup is going to make you more focused and aligned to handle your day and perform well. However, caffeine stays in your system for up to 6-8 hours and to calm your nerves before bed, you should try avoiding it at least 5 hours before bedtime. If your cravings kick in, you could opt for a decaffeinated drink to take care of those.

A common mistake we make is to think that we sleep better after a couple of drinks or a nightcap. This is a false notion. Alcohol messes with your sleep hormone called melatonin. Therefore, even though you may fall asleep quickly, your sleep will remain disturbed, you may snore or experience irregular breathing, etc. It is best to avoid alcohol on normal working days.

Smoking keeps you awake because of the nicotine in the cigarettes! This encourages conditions such as sleep apnea. Let’s be honest, smoking really does you no good whatsoever! Just leave it because it’s bad for absolutely all aspects of life and you’ll be fine.

Sugar rush? Sound familiar? Yes, it’s true, sugar makes you hyper and we all know it. So, it’s best to avoid sugar before bed and if you are really craving something sweet, try dark chocolate, it is low in sugar and good for your health in general.

 

  1. Eat well, eat early.

The best thing about food is that it does not just fill our stomachs, but it also helps in the functioning of different aspects of our body. We can eat particular foods to give an advantage to different systems; i.e. fruit because of fiber for digestions, milk based because of calcium for bones, etc. Similarly, there are foods that are better for you to eat in the evening if you want a good night’s sleep, for example, almonds, walnuts, chamomile tea, kiwi, oatmeal, cottage cheese, etc.

 

Hint: a low carb diet does wonders for your sleep!

 

Ideally, dinner should be over before 8 pm. This gives your body the time to digest the nutrients properly. Another important thing to note here is that drinking fluids before sleeping is a big no! You do not want to keep making trips to the loo or lay down with the awful feeling of holding it in!

 

  1. Follow a work out routine.

You may not be a fitness junkie and that’s all right because that is not how fitness works. Nobody is telling you to get abs or get ripped. The idea is to get some exercise for the overall wellbeing of your body. If you are fit and healthy, you probably won’t face much problem when it comes to getting a good dose of sleep. That, and you will get tired and you will want to go to bed!

Doctors say it would be better not to work out right before bedtime, but at least 4 hours prior to that so that your hormones are at rest and your body can concentrate on the sleeping part.

 

  1. Give nature a chance!

When nothing works, go back to mother nature. Natural remedies all have a scientific reason and the best thing is that there are no side effects. Here are some you could try:

  • Ginkgo biloba- this herb will calm your anxiety and clear your thoughts.
  • Ashwagandha root- according to Ayurveda, if powdered root of ashwagandha is taken in a glass of warm milk before bed, it clears the body of stressful toxins.
  • Valerian root- this is a natural nerve sedative and antispasmodic (reliever of muscle stress).
  • Lavender oil- just a few drops on your temples and wrists will calm your nerves and put you to sleep. This is also helpful to people who experience nausea while traveling through mountainous areas.

Apart from these wonderful antidotes, there is another practice that you may find interesting. Good old yoga. Yoga has the solution to most health problems, if not all. So get yourself a yoga instructor and get to it!

 

  1. Do your hormones need a boost?

Melatonin is a natural sleep-inducing hormone in your body. Melatonin levels are usually high at night, especially after 9 pm. However, if you are having trouble sleeping, a dose of melatonin will help you through this deficiency. Usually, people take 2 mg of melatonin before sleeping but it is always better to consult a doctor or pharmacist before taking any kind of medication, whether light or strong.

 

  1. Make the bedroom your space.

The environment you sleep in is going to make a lot of difference to the quality of your sleep. You may have seen babies who sleep better when they are holding onto their particular blankies (blankets) or toys, or something which smells of and belongs to a parent, this is because this provides them with comfort. The same way, you will need your room to provide you with a feeling that says you are home and you are safe:

  • Decorate it the way you like it.
  • Choose comfortable furniture, pillows, sheets, and mattresses that suit you.
  • Take charge of the light, pick lights that soothe you, add curtains to block the light if you have trouble sleeping in bright spaces (disturbance from street lamps, passing cars, etc.)
  • Photographs that make you feel connected to your family (if that’s what you need).
  • Be in charge of the temperature, this can really help a lot. Figure out what your body likes best.
  • If you have small children or you’re a pet parent, avoid sleeping with them! I know it’s difficult! But it is best for them and for you.

Try these out! Not only will you sleep well, but also get the opportunity to create your own space for overall comfort.

 

  1. Treat yourself to a warm bath or shower.

A warm bath after a long hard day is truly a treat! Just make sure the water is not too hot and not too cold, just lukewarm enough for the fatigue to wear off and body temperature to fall and this signals the brain that it is time to slow down and go to sleep. It refreshes you psychologically and mental peace is the key to a sound slumber.

 

  1. Try therapy!

Life is a thick and lumpy soup for many, and getting through it is not only difficult but also tiring. Sometimes we really need to share what is going on with somebody, but people are so busy with their own soups that they don’t have the time to deal with yours. Or maybe, you don’t want anybody to know of your problems. Therapy is nothing to be ashamed of. Your health matters more than what people will think, and to be honest, if people judge you for something like this, let go of them, you don’t need that kind of negativity in your life. Once you have gotten things off your chest, you will feel lighter, and sleep troubles will be a distant memory!

 

 

  1. Rule out sleep disorders.

As much as the world will tell you that it’s in your head and you just need to count sheep and you will fall asleep; if you are having a constant sleeping problem despite having tried all the different ways and means, you absolutely must go and see a doctor to rule out sleep apnea, insomnia, sleep movement disorders, circadian rhythm disorders, etc.  These are not conditions to be taken lightly as they could lead to a multitude of problems. And who wants problems?

Happy Sleeping!

Don’t worry and just try to figure out what is best for you, understand your body, give your mind some rest, do whatever it takes to achieve good sleep. Because only when you are rested will you function properly and conquer the dreams and goals you have envisioned for yourself.

Benefits Emotional Intelligence Training

The Benefits of Balancing your EQ and IQ with Emotional Intelligence Training

The Basics

Emotional intelligence revolves around the idea of understanding and being in control of your emotions during different situations. Your EQ (Emotional Quotient) and IQ (Intelligence Quotient) need to function together for you to be a complete individual.

I am sure you must be wondering, why do we need to adapt to this new idea of achieving a balanced EQ and IQ level? Well, the second decade of the new millennium is almost over and tricks of all trades have changed! There are new ways, theories, and motives. In order to achieve these, you have got to adapt. People have become more conscientious and you have got to get with the times. Understanding this need alone is going to solve a lot of your problems. IQ does not stand for much without EQ because for a positive and sustainable outcome, it is very important to be able to implement your IQ in the most comprehensive way possible, for others to perceive it and generate work and results from the way you want them to. Emotional Intelligence Training basically teaches you how to get work done in a progressive, constructive, yet maintainable manner.

The Foundation of Emotional Intelligence Training

The foundation of Emotional Intelligence training lies in your Personal and Social competence; a set of skills that you need to wrap your head around in order to partake in Emotional Intelligence training:

  1. Personal Competence:
  • Self-awareness- this is the most important skill of all because to get up and do something about a problem, you need to be aware of it in the first place and only then can you actually work out how to go about things.
  • Self-regulation- understanding your own moods and patterns as to how they function and what kind of emotion is triggered by what sort of stimuli is necessary. With this kind of understanding, you can work towards managing these feelings for the betterment of any situation.

 

  1. Social Competence:
  • Empathy- perceiving the other person’s feelings and understanding them according to their individual circumstances is of utmost importance in Emotional Intelligence Training. The ability to anticipate the other person’s emotional standing enables us to be in touch with our own feelings and develop an understanding of why we feel the way we do and whether it affects the people we interact with.

 

  • Social Skills- although the term may sound very broad and may have its own intricacies, it is the key to settling into any environment. Your aptitude for communication in an open and affable manner is going to make things easier at your space of work, at home, and of course, socially! Once you get the social skills ball rolling, you will find it easier to deal with people in all environments and use this to achieve your goals.

These skill sets are the footing for principles such as:

 

  • Empathy; understanding the feelings of another enables you to understand your own mindset.

 

  • Trust; building trust not just with others but with yourself is equally important for your work ethic and personal morals.

 

  • Communication; People will take you more seriously if you can put your vision across in a way for everybody to understand.

 

  • Approachability; being an amicable presence will not just create a workable environment for your colleagues, but also help you to learn new things.

 

  • Tolerance to change and Flexibility; not all change is good, but it is up to you to judge if something is good enough for the circumstances then there is no harm in implementing new ideas.

 

  • Punctuality; being on time is the most basic life skill you can have because it creates a lasting impression.

 

  • Anger and stress management; keeping your anger under control is the best way to go about things because it is always a better idea to solve the problem rather than to dwell on it and achieve nothing.

 

  • Assertiveness and accountability; although the aforementioned skills are of paramount significance, don’t forget that to achieve, you have got to take responsibility and be assertive so that people don’t take you for a ride.

 

All in all, these skills and attributes are a necessity for the personal development process. Social and Emotional Learning is not a new age technique, they are basics that high EQ leaders follow to aim, achieve and conquer the personal, social, and professional front of life.

How to Manage Mental Health

What is mental health and what does it mean?

Well, it is what you think and feel, and how that affects your life. Does that sound too simple to you? Well, minus the vocab and fancy words, that is really what it is. There are certain intricate features to this notion, however. For example, your mental health is going to impact your actions and daily routine; it is most certainly going to determine the level of your positivity or in some cases, negativity. To understand and take care of the state of our mind, we must also understand at least a bit of how it reached that point.

Your psychological well-being is going to depend on:

  • Self-awareness;

What you think and feel about yourself.

  • Quality of relationships:

Your interaction with family, friends, and colleagues.

  • Social interaction:

Whether or not you feel comfortable with the people surrounding you in your life.

  • Management of feelings:

Do you have what it takes to manage an array of emotions?

  • Problem tackling abilities:

Can you deal with problems on your own?

These constructive attributes are what determine your participation in this thing called life with an active and productive approach.

As an individual with an insight into themselves and what is going to make them function in an optimum way, you  will have the following characteristics:

  • A sense of satisfaction in what you do.
  • Vision to aim and succeed.
  • Passion and enthusiasm for life and new things.
  • The aptitude to handle stress and pressure.
  • Flexibility to learn and try new things.
  • The ability to maintain an adequate balance between work and personal space.
  • The ability to maintain positive relationships.
  • Self-belief and trust in your own capabilities.

It is important to note that good mental health is not going to a constant. There will be ups and downs, disappointments, and defeats because these elements are a part and parcel of life that shapes an individual to be resilient. It is a well-known idea that people who are resilient when it comes to handling sensitivities are generally able to do so because of their positive outlook despite hurdles.

Take charge and boost your mental health!

The ongoing problem in any society is that that sharing our mental health problems is a taboo. It really cannot be because health is health at the end of the day, be it physical or mental. They are both going to affect the functioning of any human. We keep telling ourselves that it is absolutely fine and this is just a phase. Either that or we feel humiliated for harboring such negative thoughts. Well, even if it is a phase, your mental state is in jumbles and there is no harm in trying to find peace. Nobody is going to judge you, and if they are, so be it! It really should not matter, because you come first! Here are some tips you could follow to start that process of self-indulgence in order to get rid of that depression, anxiety or any other illness gnawing away at your mental peace:

  • Maintain social connection:

Do not let go of your friends, family or even acquaintances. Make an effort to stay up to date about them and keep them updated about you. That way you will always have somebody to listen to your feelings as and when you are comfortable enough to share them.

  • Maintain yourself and stay active:

No matter how down in the dumps you feel, get up, go for it and don’t give up. You need to keep that body and mind going even if you don’t want to because mental peace will come back around at some point. There must be no room for lethargy.

  • Find your meaning and purpose:

This is the most important element of aiming for and maintaining good mental health. Once your ambition and wants in life are determined, they give you a purpose to live and get back up whenever you feel that you have fallen. At times, when you are at your most vulnerable state, your vision for the meaning of life may get blurred. Just don’t let go. Fight for your aspirations even though it may seem as the most difficult thing right now.

  • Quality Sleep:

Yes, that’s right; Early to bed, early to rise, makes you healthy, wealthy, and wise! This piece of wisdom is a gem. You need sleep for your brain to repair your body, mind, and soul. It is as simple as that; you must sleep for at least 7 hours in the night; and while you do that your body repairs your skin cells and organs so that you wake up replenished.

  • Superfoods for the brain:

How many times have we heard our mothers and teachers tell us, you are what you eat! And we are because if we eat clean, fresh, and healthy food, we will feel exactly that; whereas, if we eat greasy, old, and artificially enhanced food, our mood will reflect just that. Increase the intake of these brain foods:

-Whole grains for energy.

-Nuts and seeds for Vitamin E which aids in brain cognition.

-Pomegranate juice for the antioxidants.

-Freshly brewed tea which promotes healthy blood flow to the brain.

-Turmeric for stimulation of neurogenesis (growing of brain cells)

-Avocados for Vitamin K and Potassium.

-Green leafy vegetables, i.e. spinach because they impede the aging of the brain.

-Blueberries usually protect the brain from stress.

It is easier said than done, that is for sure. However, trying out just some of these ideas may encourage you to try the rest of them out because once you see that you are on the way to get back up, you will want to keep going. Having said that, professional help is always available and there is absolutely nothing to be ashamed of. Yes, you can manage everything on your own. However, if you ever need help, don’t think too much, just ask a near and dear one that you need to confide and if you can’t do that, go see a therapist. They really are quite friendly, I assure you!

Our Colors and What They Mean

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