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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!



5 Ways To Focus On Job Satisfaction

This article, which I’ve renamed 5 Ways To Focus On Job Satisfaction, really caught my attention as it’s something that I feel incredibly passionate about. Beverly D. Flaxington for Psychology Today explains how around two thirds of people in the US and Canada are dissatisfied with their jobs. Two thirds of people! We spend 5 days out of 7 every week at work – that’s a massive proportion of our lives. It’s really upsetting to think just how many people are not happy with their work and it proves that society as we know it, simply does not work. On a lighter note, there are ways in which you can improve your job satisfaction which Beverly Flaxington explains.

5 Ways To Focus On Job Satisfaction

Job Satisfaction(1)    Focus on what you do want, not what you don’t want. When we are dissatisfied in our jobs, we can easily put our finger on what’s bothering us: We hate the boss. The work is too hard. There isn’t enough time in the day to do everything. The culture is oppressive. The list could be one short, yet problematic thing, or it could be replete with things we can’t stand. Instead of focusing our brain on what we don’t like, or don’t want, turn it around. Take the time to focus on what you do want. What kind ofenvironment would you like to work in? What kind of boss would you like to have? Paint a picture – both mentally and in writing – of what you would enjoy. Get clear on where you’d like to head next. Turn your attention to where you want to go. Put up a picture, write on 3 X 5 cards you keep nearby or develop a mantra about a future state that would be healthy for you. Turn the focus on your desired outcome.

(2)    Make a list of things you enjoy about your job. Let’s face it – there has to be something that’s good. At a minimum, you are getting paid. Possibly you are learning something new. Or you like a co-worker, or the commute is easy. I once had a job I absolutely hated, but I was in a reverse commute where I was going against the major flow of traffic to and from work every day. For the entire time I traveled to and fro, I used it well. I listened to music I love. I bought audio tapes. I used the time to plan ideas for my next career. Find the things that you can feel positive about. Write them down. Every time you find yourself feeling dissatisfied or down, take out the list and read it. Orient your mind to what’s currently positive in the situation.

Continue reading full article on Psychology Today

If you do feel you need to stick with your job, for whatever reason, then I think these 5 ways to focus on job satisfaction are some great words of advice. When I felt like I was stuck in a rut at my last employment, I’d often look around me, and notice people in a worse situation than me, and it would make me realise just how lucky I was. I’d also count my lucky stars that I was working with such an awesome group of people who became friends. They essentially kept me there actually. I think it’s really important not to lose sight of where you want to go, and to focus on what you want. Don’t drift from week to week thinking that that’s life – because it’s absolutely not, it doesn’t have to be at all. Living for the weekends is not what life is about. Too many people fall into that trap. Each and every one of us has something of value that we can bring to the world in some way or another. It’s just up to us to figure out how to do that, and to grow a pair to make it happen. The internet has opened up so much scope for people to make money using their own skills and creativity. Seek, and you shall find.


Meditation for Focus, Determination, and Stress Relief

The more I read and write about meditation, the more I think it’s something everyone should do. Here, keynote speaker and executive coach, Victoria Labalme talks about the benefits of meditation for focus, determination, and stress relief. Living in the present  or being mindful should not be underrated. Do you find yourself dwelling on the past or worrying about the future? Meditation can help with that. Here’s what Victoria Labalme has to say:

Meditation for Focus, Determination, and Stress Relief

Meditation For FocusThe more I practiced meditation, in class and in my bedroom, the faster that sense of calm and relaxation took hold. I started experimenting with guided suggestion—focusing my mind on my creativity and motivation, my focus and passion. After a year of meditating several times every week I can honestly say that I’m healthier, happier, and more in control of my mind than I’ve ever been. I feel emotionally secure, clear, and comfortable in my own head. I think everyone can benefit from regular meditation. It’s time for you to commune with your inner self. It’s time for you to identify problems and focus on solutions, to live in the present instead of dwelling on the past or worrying about the future. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Read more here from Victoria Labalme’s website

I started meditation a few months ago and I’m already starting to notice improvements including a greater ability to focus. I do it for 10-15 mins before bed and when I wake up in the morning before breakfast. Some people do this for half and hour to 45 minutes twice a day.  If you’d like to try meditation for focus, determination and stress relief then I’d highly recommend this low cost course from Dr Harlen Kilstein called 10 Minutes To Bliss.


How Stress Affects Your Health

Stress would appear to be the subject matter of the week – apologies for another one on this topic but I feel it’s so important to emphasise how important it is to reduce or eradicate the bad type of stress from your life. Here, Dr Peter Lind explains how stress affects your health For The Washington Times Communities. He starts by explaining how small doses of stress can be good for us, and get us out of trouble. However, when it’s sustained for long periods of time, it becomes detrimental to our health.

How Stress Affects Your Health

Manage Stress Before It Manages YouStage I. Alarm Reaction. This is caused by stimulation of the sympathetic nervous system and the  adrenal gland. This first stage is immediate and short-lived. The adrenal gland releases hormones such as cortisol (hydrocortisone, the infamous “stress hormone”) and adrenaline that rush throughout the body. Tremendous amounts of glucose and oxygen are sent to the muscles and organs. You become immediately more alert, your heart pumps furiously, and fat and protein are released from your liver. Breathing rate increases, sweat increases, and digestion decreases. You are ready to flee or to fight!

These immediate effects of stress are normal, useful, and not harmful when when the stress is managed and short-lived. This is the challenge in life.

Your body’s responses in this alarm reaction are designed to increase circulation rapidly, make energy available to the brain and muscles, and decrease all nonessential activities so that you can concentrate on dealing with whatever caused the stress. But if the stress is too great and this reaction is too extreme or persists too long, it can cause catastrophic damage, severe illness, and death. We see this all the time and wonder what happened. “He was so healthy.” Apparently not.

Continue reading on Washington Times

Please share Dr Peter Lind’s article on how stress affects your health. It’s no wonder that people have strokes early or develop cancers / brain tumours and other illnesses. Many people endure very stressful jobs for their entire lives, and never address the fact that they’re stressed, as they become used to it. Manage it before it manages you! Simple tips like quitting your job (ok, not quite so easy), exercising, healthy eating, getting in touch with nature, listening to happy music, watching comedy, spending time with friends, more time with friends, and in happy environments are all very natural and effective ways to reduce stress. As you know, exercise is my favourite but this is daunting for some. Start off slow if you’re not used to it, then pick up the pace and get the blood flowing around your brain, release those endorphins into your brain and feel that happy high! You’ll never regret doing exercise. Ever.




Stress Causes Your Brain To Shrink

If that’s not a catchy title then I don’t know what is. Since creating this site, I’ve read numerous articles and reports about how stress is detrimental to your health, and written many posts that link stress to poor brain performance. The idea that stress causes your brain to shrink, is quite a scary thought, given the ridiculously fast-paced and competitive world we live in today.  Researchers at Yale University wanted to test how stress can cause brain synapses in humans and their findings are described below.

Stress Causes Your Brain To Shrink

Beat Stress Before It Beats YouMajor depression or chronic stress can cause the loss of brain volume, a condition that contributes to both emotional and cognitive impairment. Now a team of researchers led by Yale scientists has discovered one reason why this occurs — a single genetic switch that triggers loss of brain connections in humans and depression in animal models.

The findings, reported in the Aug. 12 issue of the journal Nature Medicine, show that the genetic switch known as a transcription factor represses the expression of several genes that are necessary for the formation of synaptic connections between brain cells, which in turn could contribute to loss of brain mass in the prefrontal cortex.

Continue reading on EurekAlert.com

Now you know that stress causes your brain to shrink, what are you going to do to manage your stress levels? Stress is so incredibly dangerous to your health but the majority of people are not aware of this, or indeed how to deal with it if they do feel stressed. High levels of stress lead to illness, disease and brain disorders. It’s quite frankly, something that we need to do without. In small doses, it’s fine, and can be highly effective when we need to get something done.

One of the most effect ways to reduce stress is to exercise, get outdoors and in touch with nature and to eat healthily. When you exercise, endorphins are released into the brain which give you a natural high. Your worries disappear and you are able to think more clearly and creatively. Exercise is also proven to expand your hippocampus – the part of your brain responsible for memory and recall. If it’s your job that makes you stressed, then make changes! My longest employment was 16 months where I developed Insomnia – which is also detrimental to your health. Thankfully, I was made redundant and I’ve only been happier since. Get creative, take time off, exercise loads, meditate, do yoga and ideas will start to flow. Read self-help books, attend seminars, revisit your true, core strengths and work towards them. Think outside the box! Ignore society, stop watching the news and do what makes you happy. You only live once.




Ways To Focus On Beating Stress

Stress has its evil ways of affecting how we think, focus and concentrate, let alone its detrimental effects it has on our bodies. Here are 8 ways to focus on beating stress written by Dawn Klingensmith for Omaha.com. You’ll have seen some of these before but there are definitely some original suggestions like loosing your loafers, hugging a loved one and chewing gum!

Nuts To Reduce StressLaugh

Watch talking-dog or dancing-baby videos on YouTube, or whatever strikes you as laugh-out-loud funny. Stress constricts the arteries by as much as 35 percent; laughter opens them again for increased blood flow, said Dr. Kathleen Hall, founder and CEO of the Stress Institute in Atlanta.

Lose your loafers

“Rubbing your bare feet on the floor stimulates over 200,000 nerve endings, one of the densest concentrations on the body,” Hall said. “Our nerve-dense soles are our tactile contact with the physical world, and without direct contact we lose equilibrium and become disoriented.”

Go nuts with your diet

Nuts, seeds, dairy products, legumes, soy products, tuna and turkey all contain tryptophan, an amino acid that helps the body produce the brain chemical serotonin, which plays an important role in healthy sleep and mood, said Dr. David Sack, president and CEO of Elements Behavioral Health in Long Beach, Calif.

Go outside

Several studies have indicated that “people who are in frequent contact with nature and the outdoors experience fewer stress-related symptoms than those who routinely stay inside,” said Brant Secunda, director of Dance of the Deer Foundation of Shamanistic Studies in Soquel, Calif.

“The fresh air, sunlight, scents, green views and having contact with the earth beneath your feet all have stress-reducing benefits,” he said.

Continue reading…

I was surprised not to see exercise emphasised in these ways to focus on beating stress. Exercise has got to be the best way to experience an endorphin release, not to mention the countless other benefits. Listening to music that you love is also an excellent way of beating stress – and it takes you to a happy place. What’s your favourite way of beating stress?


Ways To Focus By Decluttering Your Life

How cluttered is your life? These ways to focus by decluttering your life from Psychology Today, are highly relevant in today’s ridiculously hectic world. We’re surrounded by distractions in every direction, with so many choices for everything we do, be it TV shows, films, video games, reality TV, shops, supermarkets, technology, gadgets, email, messages, internet, social media (how many platforms are there now?) No wonder so many people struggle to focus! Take time to read this whole article – it’s thought-provoking and so very true.

Look at your life:

  • Schedule: Too many activities and appointments ;
  • Garage/storage: Too many boxes filled with stuff that you will never use again;
  • Closets: Too many clothes, equipment, tchotchkes, and just plain junk that will never see the light of day;
  • Purse or wallet: Too many credit cards, membership cards, and receipts;
  • Toys: Too many for children and adults;
  • Refrigerator: Too much food.

Stuff, of the cultural, technological, spatial, temporal, psychological, and social varieties, do so much more harm than good in our lives. It makes us stressed, claustrophobic, overloaded, overwhelmed, anxious, depressed, and lonely.

So here’s what you can do to tackle this growing concern:

Ways To Focus By Decluttering Your LifeHere’s what you should do. De-clutter your life!:

  • Popular culture: Watch, play, and listen less, don’t buy stuff you don’t need, don’t believe anything it tells you, don’t care too much about it;
  • Technology: Opt out, delete, uninstall, don’t update, don’t click, don’t save, don’t friend, follow, or like, disconnect, unplug;
  • Your world: Throw out, empty, clear, sell, donate, give away, reuse, recycle, reduce;
  • Time: Un-schedule, don’t plan, don’t over-commit, say no, do nothing, slow down, take off your watch, be spontaneous;
  • Your social life: Be selective, choose quality over quantity, spend time alone.
  • Your mind: Clarify, prioritize, simplify, tune in, zone out, read,meditate;
  • Your body: Eat nutritiously and in small portions, exercise frequently, go outside, relax often, nap regularly, go to sleep early.

Ah, your life uncluttered. Enjoy! Read whole article here

I couldn’t agree more with these ways to focus by decluttering your life. If you’re close to someone who never throws things out, give them a gentle nudge. Clutter affects your subconscious mind too, sending mixed messages to it that there are things to do which aren’t complete, and this makes it more difficult to focus using your conscious mind, think clearly and make good decisions.


5 Ways To Focus On Being Mindful

Are you one to dwell on the past or worry about the future? Mindfulness brings you back to the present and is an excellent way to put everything into perspective and reduce stress. If you’re ever struggling to focus, being more mindful may just help. Here are 5 ways to focus on being mindful brought to you by Margarita Tartakovsky for Psych Central. She reviews a book called One Minute Mindfulness: 50 Simple Ways to Find Peace, Clarity, and New Possibilities in a Stressed-Out World by psychotherapist, Donald Altman.

One Minute Mindfulness: 50 Simple Ways to Find Peace, Clarity, and New Possibilities in a Stressed-Out WorldBring a dose of creativity to your workday.

Work no doubt takes up a large portion of our days. And no doubt the tasks can quickly become tedious. Fortunately, being mindful “can help you tap into a deeper sense of purpose and turn on the lamp of creativity,” Altman writes. He suggests striving to do one small creative thing at work or saying an affirmation, such as “The treasure of creativity is available to me at all times,” or “I let go of expectation and let creativity come to me.”

 Find pleasantness at work.

Altman notes that this is one of the most profound practices. “Pleasantness is an anchor that helps us center by locating the peace that is ever-present, even when it is hidden.” You can find pleasantness in a song, a sound, a scent or a blade of grass, he says. All you have to do is scan your surroundings. Altman also suggests bringing a pleasant object to work – such as a photo of a loved one – or having something portable with you at all times.

Continue reading the whole article here

I’m not sure these 5 ways to focus on being mindful are for everyone but the idea of mindfulness, I think, is important. We’re living in a fast-paced and competitive world, being bombarded with depressing news stories every day. I’ve pretty much stopped watching the news as it’s mostly negative and depressing – who needs that every day? I don’t. Mindfulness apparently helps to live in the present, remove all distractions, fears and anxieties. Click here to read more about mindfulness.



How Music Can Help You Focus

Attempting to focus with the TV in the TV in the background is never a great idea but this article from SheKnows.com explains how music can help you focus and also reduce stress. If you’re a guy, don’t be put off that this article comes from a women’s website – the advice is applicable to everyone! According to Brenda Buescher, listening to music without lyrics is most effective when you’re trying to focus – understandably so, I can’t imagine you’d achieve much with the Prodigy playing in the background.

Focus With MusicMusic helps you tune out stress

Freaking out? Music can soothe your frayed nerves, according to the American Music Therapy Association. Researchers at Yale University School of Medicine found that surgical patients were less stressed if they listened to 30 minutes of their favorite music while they waited for their procedures. Critically ill patients in the intensive care unit at Massachusetts General Hospital felt less anxiety after they listened to an hour of Mozart’s piano sonatas. Harmonious tunes with notes that progress from low to high tend to be most relaxing, but the best music for reducing anxiety is the music that you like best.

Get into the groove at work

Low-key tunes might even make you a better professional. The journal Work recently published a study showing that young workers concentrated better when they listened to music without lyrics. Instrumental background music could help focus your attention on your next project at the office. Beware of music that you feel strongly about, though. If you really like (or really don’t like) a piece of music, it can distract you from the task you’re working on.

Continue reading full article here

If you liked this article about how music can help you focus, then do share with the share buttons below. I wholeheartedly agree that music can totally lift your mood, reduce stress and help you to exercise harder and for longer. It takes you to a happy place. I can’t think of a better motivational song for running to than Eye Of the Tiger by Survivor but this wouldn’t be quite as effective when sitting at your desk attempting to solve complex problems.


3 Yoga Poses That Boost Energy And Mood

I thought this was quite fitting, leading on from a post earlier today about giving yourself an energy boost. Here are 3 yoga poses that boost energy and mood which you can do in the comfort of your own home. I’ve yet to try yoga but I keep on hearing only positive feedback about it. These tips are brought to you by Jill Lawson who has been a fitness professional for 20 years and has focused on yoga instructor for over 10 years.

Mountain PoseMountain Pose

This yoga pose can be practiced anywhere, and at anytime of day.

Stand tall, raise your arms up overhead, and take several powerful deep breaths. The fresh oxygen that will be coursing through your veins will refresh your brain. Standing in this pose energizes your core, your arms, and your legs, so take advantage of it whenever you can.

Dynamic Standing Twist

Inspired by the Five Tibetan Rites, the book of youthful exercises, this standing twist will raise the chi energy through your spine.

Stand comfortably with feet hip width apart. Bring both arms level with your shoulders. First, swing your arms to the right, and slap your left hand against your right shoulder, and slap your right hand against the small of your back. Switch sides. Allow your head, torso and legs to follow the movement of the twist, gently raising each foot to accommodate the range of motion of your upper body.

The twisting motion will give you a fresh outlook on life, and refresh your perspective from stale, all the way up to superb.

Continue reading full article on Diets In Review.com

I think these 3 yoga poses that boost energy and mood are so straight forward that it makes total sense to include these into your daily routine, several times a day.  Why not start right now? See how if they make you feel energised? If you’d like to learn more about the benefits of yoga, take a look at this page.