How tired are you? Are you reading this post while you swig caffeine after a sleepless night with your smartphone inches away from your head, glowing in the night and alerting you to every post and comment made on social media?
Did you wake up to a to-do list overloaded with expectations and a family with more going on than the Kardashians?
It's no wonder we are so exhausted. We live in a time where we have more expectations and more to do than any previous generation. Most of the things that were designed to make our lives more efficient and our quality of life superior to that of the past are causing us to deteriorate mentally, physically, and socially. So much for the modern era of being able to do and have it all.
We are about to spend the next 30 days looking at burnout: what causes it, how to prevent it, and how to rejuvenate if we have pushed ourselves past prevention. Each day you will receive a new opportunity to better understand what burnout is, as well as the effects it...
When TV newscaster Diane Sawyer was asked the secret to her success, she said, "I think the one lesson I've learned is there is no substitute for paying attention."
Did you know improving your focus can be done with different types of simple exercises? It’s true. Something as simple as getting exercise on a daily basis or chewing gum can improve your brain function, which leads to better focus. Most of the time, focus exercises take less than ten minutes to do.
Check out these to get you started:
• Mutter to yourself. It might seem like you’re crazy but talking to yourself either out loud or not, helps you pay attention, calms you emotionally and tells you to act.
• (Check out the 8 ways to make your brain smarter)
• Trade your caffeine for cardio. Caffeine gives you a boost, which makes it easier to concentrate. But you might find it harder to focus when you’re not buzzed. A better way to keep your mind stimulated is with physical exercise. Exercise...
You’d be surprised by how many people lose track of where their time goes. They might think they are focused on a single task, but are they really? One way to find out is to keep track of how you spend your time for a week. You might find out you’ve been wasting time on little things like checking Facebook once an hour.
Here are my strategies for improving your focus and increasing your productivity:
1. Track your time. Analyse the results after a week. Tweak and get rid of time wasters.
2. Plan your week. At the end of your week, find a quiet spot to plan out your week’s tasks. Write down key projects and the tasks associated with them. Don’t forget to add in family activities that you participate in as well.
3. Prioritise your list. Break down your tasks from most important to least important. Use a calendar to mark out blocks of uninterrupted time (anywhere from 15 to 60 minutes) to work on each one.
4. Eliminate what isn’t essential. Outsource what...
If you’re like many people, you spend most days multitasking. You’re probably so used to multitasking that you don’t even realise when you’re doing it. After all, it’s a skill many employers look for in their employees.
Many people believe multitasking saves them time. It’s actually better to focus though. Focusing lets you concentrate on one task or thought at a time, helping you create a better result for each task.
If truth be known, many people like to multitask because they become bored working on one task at a time.
So why is multitasking bad?
1. You have to switch from task to task. This takes time for your mind to change into the right mindset for the new task and remember where you left off.
2. Multitasking leads to attention and memory loss. According to a study by Harvard Professor Clifford Nass, in findings published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, people who use online social media and other forms of...
Why is being focused so important in today’s world? What results happen when you are focused? Does being focused make you less stress? Happier? If it’s so important, why don’t people focus more?
Being focused on one thing for a certain period of time allows you to do a better quality of work, more work gets done quicker, and your creative ideas flow easier. Being focused on one task at a time is less stressful on your mind. And being less stressed allows you be happier.
It’s difficult for people to remain focused on one task for a variety of reasons. For one, we live in a world where we are constantly bombarded with TV, radio, cell phones, Internet social media, as well as a much larger population that lives closer together than ever before.
It’s difficult to get completely away from all these distractions. One way is to go to a room where you can shut your door and turn off your phone and email notifications.
• When you focus on a single task,...
So often when we talk about living a healthy lifestyle, all the focus is on the lower parts of our body, primarily our heart health and getting into better physical shape. Very little is ever mentioned about keeping our brains healthy until we’re talking about the latest statistics about Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.
Let’s start thinking about our body as a whole, including our brain. Very often when we adopt healthy habits to lose weight or to fight off Type 2 diabetes, our brains will benefit as well; but in order to make these changes stick, we need to fully understand the results our bad habits have on our brain health.
1. Reduce your stress level. Any kind of stress releases the hormone cortisol, which over time can kill brain cells and cause the brain to physically shrink in size. Cortisol affects the prefrontal cortex, which is the area responsible for memory and learning. To reduce your stress level, start with daily aerobic exercise, meditation, or...
Our brains are the miracle powerhouses of our bodies. This extremely complex organ controls all our bodily functions so, for obvious reasons, we should do everything in our power to keep our brains functioning healthfully.
One simple way to keep your brain healthy is to get enough sleep. In today’s busy world, too often we stay up late to finish work, finish housework, or to finally relax with our spouse. But then the vicious cycle starts again too early in the morning when we awaken to get ready for work, to feed the kids, or to get a jump-start on that work deadline that’s hovering over our head.
Scientific Proof Your Brain Needs More Sleep
Without sleep your brain can’t function properly. Your reflexes are slower, you’ll have difficulty focusing on tasks, and you’ll have difficulty learning new things. Sleep is also extremely important to your brain’s neurons and their ability to communicate with each other.
The National Institute of...
Health experts often bring out the phrase, “Use it or lose it,” when speaking about our body’s muscles. If you don’t use your muscles regularly, they will atrophy and you will lose strength, especially as you age. To combat atrophy and muscle loss, you need to engage in strength training exercises. Did you know the same is true for our brains?
As we age, our cognitive reserves start to fade and we find ourselves searching for lost words or taking longer to perform mental tasks. With the preponderance of news about Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, retaining those cognitive reserves becomes even more important than in years past.
Here are some ideas for giving your brain a workout so you can remain sharp as you age:
1. Learn new things. Experts believe that when the brain is passive and unengaged, it will atrophy. The brain wants to learn new things and the best way to keep your brain healthy – just like with your other muscles – is to make...
Unless you live under a rock, you’ve seen myriad news reports over the years about how to live a healthy lifestyle and why healthy living is so important. Those news reports and articles often mention losing weight as the ultimate goal – probably because of our obesity epidemic and the prevalence of Type 2 diabetes – but we sometimes forget the unseen benefits of exercise on our bodies.
1. Improves your HDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Cholesterol is a natural compound found inside our body’s cell membranes but increased levels will increase your risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Triglycerides are the fats that accumulate in your blood stream when you indulge in an unhealthy eating regimen. Improving both of these levels keeps your blood flowing easily, which reduces your risk of stroke, which is good news for your brain.
2. Improves your heart and lung health. If you get winded walking down your driveway it’s a sign that your lungs...
Did you know that cognitive decline can begin as early as your late 20s and early 30s? A University of Virginia study published in 2009 discovered “top performances in some of the tests were accomplished at the age of 22. A notable decline in certain measures of abstract reasoning, brain speed and in puzzle-solving became apparent at 27.”
Considering figures from the Office for National Statistics, for 2015-17, show in the U.K. women's life expectancy from birth remains 82.9 years and for men it is 79.2, that’s a lot of years to live with decreased brain function. But there’s good news here: We can improve our brain’s function based on our life choices. We can actually control how smart we become!
Nutrition is the very basic foundation of all health, including brain health, so making wise choices in what foods to eat not only helps your body stay healthy and trim but also helps improve your brain function. Do you suffer from brain fog and have a hard...