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10 Ways To Focus in 2014

What Is Your Mission? Need I say it, 2014 is fast approaching. Do you ever feel that the older you get the faster time passes by? I’m certainly feeling like that! This is one reason I believe it’s so important to remain focused towards our new goals, one at a time until we succeed. As we prepare for the New Year, we’ll be thinking about new goals, what we want to achieve, how we’ll achieve them and more importantly, why we want to achieve them. That last point is probably the number one reason why most people fail with their New Year’s resolutions – they focus on the process/obstacles rather than their reason for their desired outcome and how they’ll feel on accomplishing said goal. [Read more…]

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Longterm Thinking Vs Short-Term Thinking

WinnerHave you ever considered how longterm thinking vs short-term thinking can affect the decisions you make? Take the obesity epidemic as an example. We live in a culture of instant gratification. We all know that by taking care of our bodies by exercising daily and eating nutritious food that we’ll be healthier; we’ll have more physical and mental energy, have healthier minds, improved self-confidence and self-esteem, increased chances of attracting and keeping our ideal partner, enhance our sex lives etc. The list of the benefits of keeping in shape is endless. [Read more…]

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Throwing Away Negative Thoughts

It’s fairly common knowledge that negative thoughts bring you down and prevent you from achieving whatever it is that you’re trying to achieve. Give yourself a focus boost by throwing away negative thoughts. In a study recently conducted at Ohio State University, it was found that when people wrote down their negative thoughts on a piece of paper, and then threw away that piece of paper, they mentally discarded those thoughts as well.

Throwing Away Negative Thoughts

Throw Away Negative Thoughts“However you tag your thoughts — as trash or as worthy of protection — seems to make a difference in how you use those thoughts,” said Richard Petty, Ph.D., co-author of the study and professor of psychology at Ohio State University.

“At some level, it can sound silly. But we found that it really works — by physically throwing away or protecting your thoughts, you influence how you end up using those thoughts. Merely imagining engaging in these actions has no effect.”

Click here to view the whole article on Psych Central

Interestingly, throwing away negative thoughts wasn’t quite so effective when they did not physically throw them away. When another sample group was instructed to imagine dragging their thoughts to a recycle bin or by transferring their thoughts to a disk.  It’s remarkable what happens in our heads when we carry out actions like this. Similarly when asked to put their negative thoughts on a piece of paper in their purse, those individuals tended to bring negative thoughts into their decision-making process. So whatever it is that you’re trying to achieve, write down all your negative thoughts that may hinder your progress, and discard them in a fashion that clearly tells your brain that you have discarded them – maybe tear them up, or set fire to them!

 

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Ways To Focus On Healthy Eating

The psychology of why people struggle with weight loss and healthy eating often goes pretty deep, but these 5 ways to focus on healthy eating may just be what you’re looking for. They are written by Sandra Harrison for FitnessRepublic.com and she outlines a few techniques that you may well have never come across. For instance, some people advise to completely remove ‘fatty foods’ from your diet, and she says this isn’t necessary – you can simply treat yourself with small portions.

Ways To Focus On Healthy Eating

Ways To Focus On Healthy EatingHow to Stay Focused On Healthy Eating # 1

Don’t Eliminate ‘Fatty Foods’

No it isn’t taboo to eat small, controlled portions of the fatty foods that you love oh-so-much. Completely eliminating the fattening, sugary foods that you enjoy could eventually lead to bouts of binge eating, or a complete abandonment of the diet. Be kind to yourself, a little piece of chocolate won’t hurt your progress.

How to Stay Focused On Healthy Eating # 2:

Experiment

Experiment with healthy snack options and keep a stock of these at home. As soon as you feel the urge to nibble, head to the healthy snack corner and nibble away! Finding out which healthy snacks click with your palate will allow you to sidestep your favorite junk food without feeling the temptation to have just a bit.

How to Stay Focused On Healthy Eating # 3

Get a Partner

Finding a partner to share the highs and lows of adopting a healthy eating lifestyle will make sticking to the regime seem a whole lot manageable. Take a family member or friend on board to keep yourself motivated, and to make it easier to achieve your desired target.

Read full article on Fitness Republic here

Of these ways to focus on healthy living I thought that the advice to get a partner hit the nail on the head. If you have an accountability partner, you can reward or punish each other, to keep you both motivated. You could even apply fines for when you drift off track. From personal experience, I think the biggest point about eating unhealthily is that it affects your energy levels and your state of mind. When you eat snacks that are high in sugar from sweets and chocolate, they release sugar so quickly that your brain peaks, and then crashes, leaving you feeling less energized than before – which can cause you to crave for more, then it happens all over again. It’s a slippery slope. I therefore wouldn’t agree with the first point above. It takes 21 days to form a habit, so if you can remove the typically unhealthy snacks from your diet completely, after 21 days the cravings should go. For me, I’m not tempted to eat cakes etc unless it’s a very special occasion – and I have a very sweet tooth. I think of cakes as hours on a treadmill or half a marathon. But that’s just me..

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3 Ways To Focus On Your Weight Loss Goals

If you’re one to struggle with weight loss, then these 3 ways to focus on your weight loss goals are definitely worth a read. I’ve excerpted the paragraph that caught my attention straight away, and that is digging deep to find out why you are wanting to lose the weight. This can be applied to anything, not just weight loss. Without understanding why you want to do something, you’ll struggle to focus and motivate yourself. This advice is written by Kelli Cooper for Medical Daily.com

3 Ways To Focus On Your Weight Loss Goals

Ways To Focus On Your Weight Loss GoalsGet Clear on Your ”Why”

Behind every decision we make, large and small, lays some perceived benefit. By doing said thing, we will feel better or get something we want. That is obvious, but we often fail to really gain deep clarity on why we want the things we want. I think of this deep clarity as the reasons behind the reasons. The more you examine why you want something, the more you will be motivated to get it. You will realize how important it is to you and you will make a commitment to getting it. Without a strong ”why”, we are unfocused; we lack motivation; we self-sabotage. Think of your reasons for weight loss and get detailed with the reasons behind those reasons.

If you want to have a nicer body, why? If you want to be able to do more things with your kids, why? If you want to be healthier, why? If you want to get off those medications, why? If you want to feel more confident, why?

Click here to view the whole article on MedicalDaily.com

If you read all of the 3 ways to focus on your weight loss goals, you’ll have seen that managing stress plays a big part in it, as well as practicing forgiveness and thinking long-term. Once again stress rears its ugly head as it is detrimental to losing weight. What isn’t mentioned here though, is that stress causes your body to release the (stress) hormone, cortisol, which is believed to lead to the production of fat cells – exactly what you don’t want! Manage stress before it manages you!

 

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10 Ways To Focus On Your Weight Loss Goals

This post is for those who may be struggling to lose weight – as you may have guessed from the title. I’ve changed the title of this article from  ‘The 10 Biggest Weight Loss Mistakes You Can Make’ to 10 Ways To Focus On Your Weight Loss Goals – for two reasons; 1) It fits the subject area of this site better, 2) I’ve given the title a more positive spin. This is an excellent article from Psychology Today written by Sherry Pagoto, Ph.D. She explores 10 reasons why essentially a lot of people fail with their weight loss goals. I’ve excerpted 3 of my favourite points. Read each of them and put your positive spin on them as you feel fit to help you reach your weight loss goals – if indeed you have any!

Ways To Focus On Your Weight Loss Goals1. NO EXERCISE – You can begin to lose weight through dieting (reducing your calories) alone, but the majority of people will not keep the weight off this way. People who dislike exercise are often the ones who attempt a diet only weight loss program. You will find that your weight will plateau early on because you can only reduce your calories so much. Dieting also lowers your metabolism, which makes every next pound harder to lose than the last. Exercise increases metabolism which will make continued weight loss and maintenance easier.

3. WEIGHT LOSS TAKES THE BACKSEAT – I would love to play piano and speak Italian, however I admit that I have not put in what I know is the hard work necessary because I have prioritized other things above these wants. The end result is that I cannot do either. It takes more than wanting something to making it happen, it takes prioritizing. I often see people who are unsuccessful with weight loss constantly putting other life activities as higher priority than weight loss. Healthy behaviors take a backseat to almost anything else that comes up. “I was going to exercise, but I decided to help the neighbor with her garage sale instead.” People who are successful seem to have a “come hell or high water” attitude when it comes to healthy lifestyle—they do it daily no matter what.

7. STRESS – People who are encased in an extremely stressful life that doesn’t allow much or any time for self-care are routinely unsuccessful at weight loss. For many people, losing weight is more about restructuring their life to allow them time to engage in healthy habits than it is about learning what to eat. If you are so overcommitted that you truly cannot find the time to exercise on most days of the week, you may be under too much stress. We only get one life. Make time to take care of yourself.

Click here to view the whole article on Psychology Today

If you read all 10 ways to focus on your weight loss goals, you’ll have also seen that skipping meals and fad diets are featured. I wholeheartedly agree with these points (having done extensive research for an ebook I actually wrote in the men’s fitness niche). Eating 3 large meals a day is not conducive to maintaining a quick metabolism. It’s much better to eat 6 smaller meals closer together so your body doesn’t enter starvation mode and start to store fat.  Steer clear of fad diets – the creators should be shot! (Unless as the author says, it’s down to disease that you have to lose weight fast.)

 

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How Exercise Increases Attention And Focus

Would you like proof of how exercise increases attention and focus? Here, Meg Faris, for Eye Witness News explains all. There are a number of articles about exercise and focusing on this site, but this one is different.  It’s different, because it’s a different study.

Last week we told you about new brain studies showing that exercise actually increases new brain tissue more than thinking or doing brain puzzles and cognitive exercises. Well now exercise is also shown to also increase your attention and help you process information faster. The neuroelectrical brain activity on scans, shows that brain activity after 20 minutes sitting, is low.

The brain scans from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, suggest fewer resources devoted to focus after 20 minutes of rest. But brain scans after 20 minutes of hoofing it, show much more brain activity. Research has found that just 20 minutes of working out can help your mood for the next 12 hours, and it helps your body become less affected by stress.

While you’re exercising, you’re not only helping your brain and mood, but your body as well by burning off fat. Well now a new European study suggests you can burn more fat during the exact same work out. How? Eat something low glycemic for a snack pre-workout. Nuts and apples would fit into that category because they trigger low levels of the hormone insulin. But eat it with a high glycemic or sugary, high fructose food, such as candy, cookies or a soft drink, and you lose the positive fat-burning effect.

Read the full article here

Not only does this show how exercise increases attention and focus, but it also shows that your brain slows down after twenty minutes of rest.  It actually slows down.  No wonder people go into zones where they are completely unproductive when they’re sat in front of a computer for 8 hours a day.

 

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How To Stay Focused On Your Exercise Regime

Have you ever started a new exercise or workout routine, and lost focus with it within a matter of months or even weeks? It’s all too easy to do and just about everyone I know has done it. Here are 3 of Alicia Sparks’ of Psych Central 9 methods of how to stay focused with your exercise regime.

Remember the physical health benefits.

We’re focusing a lot on the mental health benefits of exercise here at Your Body, Your Mind, but don’t forget that mental health and physical health can go hand-in-hand, and even if your brain is trying to talk you out of that daily run, your heart might be begging you for it.

Use the time to think

For some people, working out is the only time they get to themselves to think about – well, anything they want to think about. You absolutely should be focused and mindful during any workout; failing to do so can lead to a poor performance – not to mention injury. However, certain exercises like walking, running, and swimming, allow for a little mental wiggle room. I’ve had some of my best epiphanies on the treadmill.

Use the time to AVOID thinking

Some routines demand you clear your mind and focus on the present (such as yoga) while others are so demanding you really don’t have room to think about much else (such as aerobics). Consider these kinds of workouts if you’re looking for a temporary escape, or want to give your mind a break from worrying.

Keep these tips of how to stay focused on your exercise regime to hand so you can refer to them if you ever find yourself slipping off the exercise wagon. Remember for the most part, that exercise is absolute gold when it comes to focusing and fuelling your brain in general, let alone your body’s natural requirement for it.

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Sleep and focus!

Are you aware how important sleep is in maintaining an organised and healthy mind, among many other benefits? I called this post Sleep And Focus because without sufficient sleep, you will struggle to focus. Living in this 21st century is hectic and I think people often forget how imperative it is that we get a good night’s sleep. Felicity Duncan explains all.

Learning and memory

When you sleep, your brain does something called “memory consolidation”, which is basically similar to what a librarian does – it involves sorting through information, grouping it by subject, and filing it neatly away where it can easily be found later. Although the mechanics of how sleep helps learning and memory are not yet clear, what is clear is that people who are sleep-deprived can have a lot of trouble in these areas. A good night’s sleep makes you smarter.

Mood

As I can personally testify, sleep deprivation leads to testiness, gloominess, and general misanthropy. Studies show that people who didn’t get enough sleep the previous night are more irritable, impatient, moody, and unable to concentrate than their well-rested peers. Sleep deprivation can take a toll on personal relationships.

Not only do sleep and focus go well together, but your body as a whole requires a certain number of hours of sleep every night in order for various vital organs (like your heart and brain) and bodily processes to function correctly, such as your metabolism. Getting enough sleep will also be good for your immune system and fending off disease. It will also keep you safe so make sure you don’t deprive yourself of one of your body’s most basic needs!

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