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Get Healthy To Further Your Career

Stress Relief?This article really caught my attention as I can completely relate to the content. If you live and work the city lifestyle, the chances are that regular alcohol consumption is regarded as the norm. You get to the end of the week (which was apparently Thursday at my last company), and to unwind, you hit the pub for a few ice cold jars – or whatever your tipple may be. That very thought right now has got me excited at 4.30pm on a Friday afternoon. The trouble is, that this often continues over the weekend and what goes up, must come down. [Read more…]

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How To Overcome Negative Thinking

How To Overcome Negative Thoughts

We’ve all been there and got lost in negative thoughts. It’s natural, particularly when we’re tired, stressed, anxious, depressed and essentially, not in a peak state of mind and psychology. Sometimes negative thoughts can be addictive! We can create pity parties for ourselves and dig ourselves into a deep hole if we’re not careful when we think the world is going to end. Here’s how to overcome negative thinking in five relatively easy steps. [Read more…]

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7 Steps To Renew Your Mind, Body and Spirit

Mind body and spiritIn Friday’s post, you’ll have seen that I quoted that depression is expected to be the second largest illness in the next 10 years. Why is this the case? A survey published in Forbes Magazine a year or so ago revealed that two thirds of a selected group of workers from the US and Canada were dissatisfied with their working lives. Fear not, there is good news! You don’t have to be one of these statistics. It all comes back to looking after ourselves – our minds, our bodies and our spirits. Very few people take time out to truly look after themselves anymore. Without getting too scientific, here are my top 7 steps to renew your mind, body and spirit: [Read more…]

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Is Stress Destroying Your Brain?

Stress ReliefApologies for the direct and high impact title, but is stress destroying your brain? If you’re struggling to focus, it may just be down to stress. Most of us know that stress is harmful to our bodies. Stress plays a vital part in our survival mechanism as human beings, but for sustained periods of time, it has been proven unequivocally that stress is harmful to our bodies. It leads to illness and disease and in extreme cases – well let’s not go there. Did you know that stress actually causes your brain to shrink? [Read more…]

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Exercise Can Reverse The Effects Of Alcohol?

Time to revive this blog and what better way to start than to discover that exercise can reverse the effects of alcohol! An abundance of research has proven that exercise generates blood flow and therefore oxygen to the brain, which helps with neurogenesis (the creation of new brain cells or neurons) and slows brain shrinkage. However, new research at the University of Colorado has shown that cardiovascular exercise can decrease white-matter damaged by alcohol. Check out this article for more info:

Exercise to reverse the effects of alcohol Working out can help former heavy drinkers limit the damage alcohol has done to their brain.

New research has found that aerobic exercise may alleviate some of the white-matter damage caused by heavy drinking.

Previous studies have shown aerobic exercise can slow cognitive decline and decrease negative neural changes associated with normal ageing and several diseases. 

The new study investigated if aerobic exercise may also prevent or repair alcohol-related neurological damage, finding that it may in fact protect white matter from alcohol-related damage.

Continue reading here

We all enjoy the occasional tipple now and again but no one really knows about the negative effect it’s having on us. At least now with the knowledge that exercise can reverse the effects of alcohol, we can at least attempt to alleviate the damage we do to ourselves. Aerobic exercise is also the number one method for emotional renewal, according to Tony Schwartz who wrote The Power Of Full Engagement and therefore the best stress reliever on the planet. Since stress causes brain shrinkage, this is yet another reason to make exercise a priority in your daily routine. Did you find this article useful? Please share!

 

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4 Natural Ways To Manage Stress

Focusing on one task for a significant period of time can be challenging at the best of times, let alone if you’re stressed. Here are 4 natural ways to manage stress written by Erlanger Turner (PhD) for Psychology Today. In the Western World we’re living in a fast paced and competitive world, in an economic climate that can be regarded as unfavourable to say the least. It’s no wonder that cases of stress are on the rise. Stress is harmful to our mental health and our physical health as a whole. It leads to illness and disease as well as unhappiness, which is why it’s so important to learn how to manage it, before it manages you. These tips are great, and will take only a few minutes of your time to digest.

4 Natural Ways To Manage Stress

  1. Manage Stress Before It Manages YouUnderstand how you stress.  Stress is experienced and managed differently by each individual. Some things that may be stressful for some may serve as a trigger for others to become productive. It is important for you to know what types of situations make you feel different than you do most of the time. For example, stress may be related to your children, family, health, financial decisions, work, relationships or something else.
  2. Find healthy ways to manage stress. The ways in which you cope with stress are unique to your personality. Consider healthy, stress-reducing activities that work best for you such as exercising or talking things out with friends or family, listening to music, writing, or spending time with a friend or relative. Keep in mind that unhealthy behaviors develop over time and can be difficult to change. Don’t take on too much at once. Focus on changing only one behavior at a time

Click here to view the whole article on Psychology Today

Unsurprisingly, exercise was featured several times among these 4 natural ways to manage stress. Exercise is the number one activity for emotional renewal according to Tony Schwartz who wrote The Power Of Full Engagement. On a personal level, I cannot think of a better way to alleviate and manage stress. I didn’t start really properly exercising until I was doing my finals at uni in 2003. I’d occasionally play tennis or go for a cycle, but nothing too regular. I got incredibly stressed when revising for these exams and this is when I started running. It was like a miracle cure. I’d reach stalemate when sat at my desk, tear my hair out (those were the days), and after a run I’d feel remarkably refreshed. Exercise is the no. 1 stress reliever for me. It also induces creativity, problem solving, improves your intelligence, makes you happier, slows aging of the brain, slows aging of your organs, fends off disease – to name just a few of the plethora of benefits!

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Exercise For Brain Health & Protection

It will come as no surprise to many that there is more conclusive research to promote exercise for brain health and protection. Our bodies were designed to move. Our vital organs require exercise to function properly and that includes our brain. I recently read that not exercising is actually a depressant  – which makes complete sense given the amazing benefits it brings to our minds. This is an article from Denise Mann for WebMD. It’s never too late to start exercising!

Exercise For Brain Health & Protection

Exercise for brain health and protectionNew research shows that older people who reported exercising for 30 minutes at least three times a week had a nearly 40% lower risk of dementia compared to people who were less active.

The study included 639 people who had an average age of 74. All participants were living independently and without disability. Of these people, 90 developed dementia during the three years of follow-up.

Dementia is an umbrella term for multiple types of mental disability, the most common being Alzheimer’s. In this study, most of the dementia cases were cases of vascular dementia. Vascular dementia is related to inadequate blood flow in thebrain.

About two-thirds of the people in the study said they exercised for 30 minutes a day three times a week. They were less likely to develop problems with thinking skills or dementia than their counterparts who did not get regular physical activity.

Continue reading on WebMD.com

Although this exercise for brain health & protection article is featuring people seventy plus, it’s well worth absorbing by people of all ages. People don’t prioritise exercise enough these days, yet it’s essential to live a healthy life. I’ve never regretted exercising, ever. It gives you a natural high too – who needs drugs!

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Ways To Focus And Manage Your Time

When you’re feeling the weight of the world on your shoulders, it’s useful to learn a few ways to focus and manage your time. It’s easy to get overwhelmed and feel that you don’t have enough hours in the day – which may well be the case. However, as an entrepreneur, you need to make sure you’re concentrating on the right type of tasks, not the ones that can be outsourced or for which you can pay someone else to do to. Jen Groover has written this short, but sweet, article for Entrepreneur to explain how she manages her time more effectively.

Ways To Focus And Manage Your Time

Time Management for EntrepreneursFocus on one thing at a time and get that task done before moving to the next. I think that is a great way to feel small accomplishments throughout your day, instead of working here and there on a variety of things and never feeling a sense of accomplishment.

You could also minimize the amount of menial tasks you do every day by hiring an intern or assistant. The extra help could allow you to focus on more important tasks.

I also recommend finding out if there are people with whom you can partner who have a certain level of expertise to do the things that you’re not necessarily the best at or don’t particularly enjoy. And in partnering with them, it enables you to focus on what you’re good at.

Continue reading whole article on Entrepreneur

When reading these ways to focus and manage your time I was happy to see her suggestion to minimise the amount of time you spend on menial tasks. It’s a common theme when I speak with entrepreneur friends that they spend far too much of their time on admin, rather than on the parts of the business that need most focus, like marketing and sales for instance – the income generating tasks. It’s easy to get left behind if you don’t focus on the tasks that are most important. Spending time on admin all day doesn’t leave you with much time to innovate!

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How To Deal With Stress

We know that stress inhibits our ability to focus, but are you aware of how detrimental it is to your body and health as a whole? Stress is very harmful and leads to illness, disease and in extreme cases, death. This is why it’s so important to get a hold on it before it gets a hold on you. Here’s how to deal with stress written by Heidi Stevens for Chicago Tribune Health.

How To Deal With Stress

Before we look into how to beat stress, here’s what J. David Forbes, director of Nashville Integrated Medicine says about stress:

“Stress drives all kinds of biochemical changes in our bodies,” Forbes says. “It instantaneously increases our heart rate and blood pressure, makes our guts not function well and creates damage to our blood vessels and organs.”

This sounds scary doesn’t it? The good news is, that even in today’s fast paced world where we are surrounded by a myriad of stress-inducing situations, you can manage it. Here’s how to deal with stress, or at least one main method:

Break a sweat

Exercise, widely touted as a healthy outlet after stress hits, also protects the body from flying unnecessarily into crisis mode at the first sign of trouble.

“Exercise is a good stressor,” Singer says. “It gives your neurons a tiny little assault and they thicken in response, so they can better withstand a bigger assault.”

So hitting the treadmill will make life’s unexpected traffic jams less taxing on your brain and organs.

It also trains your brain to relax, says Seaward.

“When athletes engage in exercise they have a parasympathetic rebound,” he says. “When they stop, their bodies say, ‘It’s time for relaxation’ and they kick in a chemical called acetylcholine, also known as a relaxation hormone. If you look at our culture, we’re not exercising regularly. We’re training ourselves for stress, but we’re not training ourselves for relaxation.” Continue reading full article

Once again we see just how important exercise is in our lives. Not only is exercise the no.1 stress buster, but it’s fuel for our bodies, and is as important as food and water. It makes you feel amazing too!

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How Exercise Makes Us Happier

We’ve all heard that exercise releases endorphins in the brain, but do we really know what that means? This article by Joe Wildrich on Buffer, which I actually found on Lifehacker, explains how exercise makes us happier. He then explains that it’s not about becoming a marathon runner, but engaging in just 20 minutes a day, before you start your day. Countless studies have shown that this is the most effective time in terms of fueling your brain which will help you focus and be more productive for the day to come.

How Exercise Makes Us Happier

Exercise For FocusIf you start exercising, your brain recognizes this as a moment of stress. As your heart pressure increases, the brain thinks you are either fighting the enemy or fleeing from it. To protect yourself and your brain from stress, you release a protein called BDNF (Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor). This BDNF has a protective and also reparative element to your memory neurons and acts as a reset switch. That’s why we often feel so at ease and like things are clear after exercising.

At the same time, endorphins, another chemical to fight stress, are released in your brain. Your endorphins main purpose are this, writes researcher MK McGovern:

“These endorphins tend to minimize the discomfort of exercise, block the feeling of pain, and are even associated with a feeling of euphoria.”

Continue reading on Buffer

Hopefully that has clarified how exercise makes us happier – it certainly did for me. It was great advice to make exercise a habit, and as Joel suggested, to actually put your gym clothes over your alarm clock, so it’s easier to actually do the exercise first thing in the morning, rather than put it off until the evening, or tomorrow, or the next day. It takes 21 days to form a habit, so stick it out for those 21 days and it’ll become a natural part of your life and feel amazing for it. 20 minutes every day, it’s really not that hard to fit in! I actually believe that our brains are half asleep when we don’t exercise regularly. If you think about how great you feel after exercise, how clear your mind becomes and how you feel you can tackle anything, I wonder how people can function at all without it.

 

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