Intelligence For Your Life

What is Social Prescription?

There’s a new treatment being prescribed for depression, anxiety – and even pain! It’s a “social prescription” – which can include anything from a cooking class, to a group hike, to a day at a museum, or a book club.

And there’s a growing amount of scientific evidence that shows social prescriptions can be just as effective as some medications at relieving pain and depressive symptoms. The difference is that social activities have NO side effects…… and they’re often better at helping people overcome their underlying anxiety or loneliness than a pill.

Dr. Michael Dixon is a pioneer of the social prescribing movement at the College of Medicine in the UK. And he says it doesn’t really matter which social activity your doctor “prescribes”…… The key is that it should involve something you’re truly interested in. Because that increases the odds you’ll actually follow-through with the activity on a regular basis – unlike, say, patients who often “forget” to attend a physical therapy session.

And one more thing….in studies involving everyone from kids to older cancer patients, almost everyone exposed to a “social prescription” – even once – reported significantly less stress, less pain, and improved well-being!

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How to Become a Better Version of Yourself

Here’s a really easy way to improve your performance in ANY area of your life: Just tell yourself, out loud: “You’ve got this.”

That’s according to a huge study, involving about 44-thousand people. It found that those who used positive self-talk – like, by telling themselves “You can beat your best time” or “You can handle anything that comes your way” – were the most likely to follow through, and actually do better.

For example: One experiment asked participants to play an online game. Some played after getting game instruction videos, while others played the game after watching videos that trained them to use positive self-talk as a motivational technique.

The result? Time after time, the people who watched the self-talk training videos saw the biggest increase in their game scores. That’s because positive self-talk is linked to lowering stress and boosting our “can do” attitude……

And when you combine positive self-talk with visualization, the sky’s the limit! Visualization is when you IMAGINE yourself getting better. And it works because visualizing something activates the same brain network that governs the actions we take in real life. 

And this study makes it clear that visualizing your goals – and telling yourself “You’ve got this” – are the most effective ways to put you in the mindset for achieving your goals.

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Tips to Have a Good Night’s Sleep

If you want to fall asleep, the experts say the solution is the same whether you’re 3 years old, or 73 years old!  

Let’s face it – most 3 year olds aren’t calm and serene. They’re over stimulated – but so are we as adults! So pediatric emergency medicine physician Dr. Hasan Merali, says we should all have the same routine.

  • Have a set bedtime. Dr. Merali says, data shows regular bedtimes teach your body and brain to expect sleep at a certain time, so your sleep-inducing hormones kick in.  
  • Also, take a hot bath or shower about 90 minutes before bed. According to a comprehensive study by the University of Texas, a hot bath or shower significantly shortens the time it takes to fall asleep. That’s because our body temperature needs to drop before sleep, and a hot shower dilates your blood vessels, speeding up that process. 
  • Then, apply lotion – just as you would to a baby. In studies, when infants received a bedtime massage with lotion, they experienced longer periods of sleep. And the same thing is true for adults. 

Finally, engage in a quiet activity. Reading a bedtime story to a toddler outs them right to sleep. And you can calm your own brain by reading. Dr. Merali says language-based bedtime routines are “associated with longer nighttime sleep duration.” Translation? Reading will help you sleep more soundly.

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How to Make ICU Stay Comfortable

It’s a pretty serious situation if you – or someone you love – has to be admitted to a hospital’s intensive care unit, or ICU.  So, this next tip is all about making a potential ICU stay as comfortable as possible: Bring some EARPLUGS……Because that will lower your risk of suffering some of the most common ICU disturbances.

That’s according to a study from the University of Antwerp, in Belgium. 

Researchers found that many patients admitted to hospital ICUs wind up suffering secondary conditions that are caused by the ICU……everything from mild confusion, to severe insomnia, to delirium. And it’s all down to the sensory overload created by all the bright lights and beeping machines. 

But this new study found that when patients started wearing earplugs in the ICU, to help block out the most distracting noises, their risk for experiencing secondary conditions was cut IN HALF! And researchers say that’s significant, considering something as simple as a good night’s sleep can boost your immune system, and promote faster healing from even the most serious health issues.

It’s why researchers recommend bringing a pair of earplugs the next time you need to be admitted to the hospital, for ANY reason.

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Can You Post Security Camera Footage Online?

Do you have a home security camera – like a Ring doorbell? 

Well, a recent OnePoll survey found that 1-in-4 homeowners with cameras regularly check their security footage to see what’s happening around their property. And as you’ve probably noticed, some of the funniest footage is then being posted online for anyone to watch. But considering the average North American is now captured on surveillance cameras at least 70 times PER DAY, you may be wondering if it’s legal to post that footage online?

Well, for the most part, the answer is “Yes.” According to the law non-profit New Media Rights, any surveillance footage captured in a public space – where there’s no expectation of privacy – is legal to post. But cameras pointed toward private spaces, like a neighbor’s fenced-in yard, are off limits…… and you could be charged with spying if you post anything collected from them!

You also have to be careful making public any conversations recorded on a security camera. There are a lot of “two-party consent laws” that make it illegal to record audio conversations without the consent of everyone involved. Plus, it’s almost always illegal to record a conversation if you’re not participating in it at all. 

So what about their intended purpose, to deter criminals? Well, a study by the University of North Carolina Department of Criminal Justice found that outdoor surveillance cameras DO make most burglars reconsider targeting a home.

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Why Superhero Movies are Great to Watch

These days, it seems like there’s a new superhero movie or TV show debuting every week. So why are they so hot right now? 

According to clinical psychologist, Dr. Robin Rosenberg, it’s because we’re living in difficult and uncertain times……With crime, financial struggles, and war.  And that leaves us wanting to be entertained and distracted.
We’re also searching for positive role models, and wishing for heroes to swoop in and stop the madness. It’s the reason our grandparents loved superhero comics in the 1930s during the Great Depression. 

Also, with superhero movies – it’s about good versus evil, and saving the little guy. 

We also see ourselves in superhero stories. Because most of us believe in fighting for justice. And superheroes often come from tragic beginnings……

That inspires us, and provides a model to help us cope with adversity, and find meaning in loss.

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Are You Looking for a Side Gig?

The gig economy is booming! So if you’re looking for a way to make a little extra money, now is the time to go for it!

Business columnist Julia Horowitz says, we’re Uber-ing and Airbnb-ing more than ever this year, defying predictions! 

And if you have something you own, there’s probably someone out there who will be happy to pay you to borrow it, whether it’s your house, your car, your boat, or even your swimming pool!

  • For example: Bookings on Airbnb have jumped 24%, compared to this time period – pre-covid – in 2019.  
  • Uber, the ride-hailing service, pretty much collapsed in 2020. But now, the number of consumers and drivers using Uber is at an all-time high! 
  • also Swimply, the Airbnb for swimming pools, has seen an 18-THOUSAND PERCENT increase in bookings over the last 3 years……
  • And if you want to borrow someone’s boat – Boatsetter is the app to use! And they’ve just raised $38 million in new funding. 

So what’s going on?? Well, inflation is affecting everyone, of course, and all the houses people bought over the last 2 years, all the boats, all the cars – need to be paid for. So many people are renting them out to pay the bills! As a result, side hustles have never been hotter!

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Why Spending Time in the Ocean Feels So Good

There’s a reason why it feels so good to spend time by the ocean. 

Psychologist Dr. Paulette Sherman says saltwater releases tons of negative ions. And, once we breathe those ions in, they enter our bloodstream, boosting oxygen levels in our cells and increasing the production of the calming, happiness-boosting neurotransmitter serotonin. In fact, studies show that people who regularly spend time near the ocean tend to be more energetic and less depressed than people who are rarely near the water.

But if you’re landlocked, don’t worry. Go float in a pool. Researchers at the University of Delaware found that relaxing in water blocks out extraneous noise, and gives our senses a break from over-stimulation. That creates a meditative calm. Even watching water flow electronically works. Dr. Sherman says brain scans show that watching waves crash, or a waterfall splash, whether electronically or in real life, is calming and reduces the production of stress hormones. 

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Why Chewing Gum is a Super Life Hack

I know school teachers won’t be happy with this but….

We are not hearing that Chewing-gum is the latest super-life-hack. That’s according to the American Institute of Stress. They say most of us tend to clench our jaws when we’re stressed, but the act of chewing can obliterate that tension.

Chewing gum can also make you more alert……The chewing action releases the hormone serotonin, which helps you feel more awake. 

Chewing gum can even improve test scores! In studies from St. Lawrence University, students who chewed gum while taking a test felt significantly more alert and even received higher scores. The researchers explain it’s because the chewing motion gets blood flowing to the head.

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The Importance of Giving Chores to Your Kids

Parents and grandparents : Psychologists are strongly recommending that we give our children some chores!

That’s the message from family psychologist Dr. Richard Weissbourd. He says decades of studies have shown that simple household chores have big benefits for kids. 

But these days, a lot of parents don’t make their kids do ANY chores. In fact, according to a new survey, only about 1-in-4 parents say they require their kids to help around the house.

But here’s the problem with that: Research from the University of Minnesota found that giving kids chores, starting at an early age, helps them build a lasting sense of responsibility and self-reliance. That explains why kids who started doing chores in preschool were more likely to achieve academic AND career success earlier in life.

Also, according to a Harvard survey of more than 10-thousand middle and high-school students, those who did chores were more empathetic and caring. That’s because they learned how to care for others, by doing chores that benefitted the whole family – and not just themselves. 

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Latest Financial Trend You Shouldn’t Miss

I want to tell you about the latest financial trend. These days, the WAY people are spending their money is becoming more intentional, and is more of a  reflection of their priorities and values…… 

So, the trend now is on things that improve our lives, relationships and mental health in some way. 

For example:

  • A new Charles Schwab survey shows 40% of adults plan to spend more money on travel. People want to take vacations that offer new experiences and memories that’ll last a lifetime.  
  • 1-in-3 people also want to focus on socializing……And want to spend on meals with friends and family to support that priority. 
  • And one in 5 people want to throw more dinner parties.
  • As financial coach Ana Ribeiro puts it, “what we are seeing now are more and more examples of “intentional” spending that aligns with a person’s values, and are intended to increase personal development.

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Do This Very Important Thing Before Selling Your Car

If you’re thinking of selling your car, or trading it in, cybersecurity specialists are recommending “wiping it clean” before you hand over the keys…… As in: Erase all the data on your vehicle’s info-tainment system! 

That’s according to Justin Schorr, president of DJS Associates, a company that analyzes vehicle data! He says, these days, you have to think of your car as a smartphone on wheels. Because if you’ve ever paired your smart phone with the info-tainment system, it likely has copies of all your text messages, emails, contacts, and even your photos!

Schorr says all of that personal data can easily be accessed by others who drive your car……and there have been recent cases of hackers buying old vehicle infotainment systems on eBay, and finding troves of personal information still stored on them!

That’s why Schorr says, before you even think about selling or trading-in your vehicle, read the owner’s manual and perform what’s called a “factory reset” – which should erase most of that data. Then, just to be safe, ask your car dealer to do a separate data wipe, to erase anything you may have missed.

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How to Use Your Hand Gestures Wisely

Use your hand gestures wisely! Because the right ones can make you more like-able and the wrong ones can make you look out of control! That’s according to psychologist Dr. Carol Gorman. So, let’s start with the gestures we should NOT use: 

  • First: Finger pointing and wagging. It’s used by scolding parents, and politicians or executives to emphasize a point, or show dominance. But experts say finger pointing suggests you’re losing control of the situation.
  • Also, avoid self-pacifying gestures. People who are nervous or stressed tend to rub their hands, tug at their clothing, and play with their hair or jewelry. But that can make you look unprepared or insecure.
  • And beware of OVER-gesturing – especially if your hands are above your shoulders – it can make you look frantic, less powerful and out of control.

So which gestures are positive? 

Ones that show composure. Arms held waist-high help you, and the people you’re speaking to, feel centered and composed. In fact, Dr. Gorman coaches executives to keep their arms at their waist, accompanied by a stance about shoulder-width wide. It helps keep them grounded, energized and focused.

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Things You Need to be More Alert When Driving

Before you hit the road, fill your travel mug with coffee and turn on the radio! Because those two things make people better drivers!

That’s according to a new study by the behavioral science consultancy, CX Lab.

Their experiment found a link between listening to music, drinking strong coffee and better driving skills.

For the study, the researchers measured hundreds of drivers’ reaction times under various conditions in a driving simulator. And study subjects had to click a button when they saw a road hazard. The results:

  • Caffeine had the biggest positive impact, with drivers stopping an average of 26 yards sooner than un-caffeinated drivers after spotting a road hazard and while traveling at highway speeds.
  • But listening to noisy children while driving made driving reaction times worse. 
  • And overall, women were found to have faster reaction times than men while driving.

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The Best Day to Take an Off from Work

If you’re going to take a mental health day off work – which day should it be? 

Here’s the answer from Dr. Lisa Orbé-Austin, a licensed psychologist who focuses on helping professionals manage their careers. 

She says don’t take off a day mid-week – unless you have no other choice. Because it’ll be harder to disengage from your job when work is looming the next day. It won’t feel restorative because you’re coming down from the last day of work and also preparing mentally for the next day. 

It’s better to tack a mental health day onto the beginning or the end of the week, so it becomes an extension of your weekend, and you can fully disengage.

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Why Swimming Regularly Can Make Your Life Longer

Want to add an extra 10 years to your life? Go swimming! 

According to Northwestern University, the more you swim, eat right and avoid tobacco, the longer you’ll live. Their studies looked at more than 355-thousand people and found that swimming can add as many as 10 years to your life. 

The studies found that, among healthy people, those who swam regularly had an 80% lower risk of heart disease. And another study, done by the University of South Carolina, found that over the course of a 13-year study swimmers had the lowest rate of death. 

So why would that be? The researchers speculate that it’s because swimming works the entire body – not just the lower half, like running. Plus, because water makes us buoyant, it’s something almost everybody can do……

Even people who have bad knees, arthritis or are overweight. And you don’t need to spend your life in the pool. An hour a day was all it took to get the longevity benefits. And it doesn’t matter what stroke you do – they’re all equally good. In fact, jogging in water – or water aerobics – will also provide the same life-lengthening benefits.  

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What Is Ambient Stress And What Can We Do About It?

Why are we all still so stressed?

Life is pretty much back to normal……But a new survey by the American Psychological Association finds 75% of people are still experiencing daily stress-related symptoms – including headaches, sleep issues, fatigue, and feeling overwhelmed.

Well, experts are blaming it on so-called “ambient stress” – which is stress that’s running in the background, below our level of consciousness. That’s according to clinical psychologist, Dr. Laurie Ferguson. It’s like the ambient noise in a coffee shop. You don’t even notice the machines buzzing, or the hum of conversation – but it’s there. And that’s what ambient stress is……It’s just always there, eating away at us. The journal Environment and Behavior describes ambient stress as chronic and negative, but we function like everything’s fine, when it’s really not. And, over time, it takes a toll. 

Now in 2020, we were acutely aware of our stress. So we started baking, doing zoom calls with friends, and walking around the neighborhood. But now that we’re constantly in a state of low-grade stress – it’s become part of us, so we’ve stopped trying to manage it.

So what can we do? Start managing it again! Dr. Ferguson says it helps to give your brain new stimuli. Even small changes, like eating something new for lunch, can introduce healthy novelty. And exercise is also key. It’s proven to override stress – even ambient stress.

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The Importance of Peanuts for Weight Loss

I have 2 questions for you……

Are you trying to lose weight? And, do you like peanuts?

If the answers are yes and yes – I have good news! Researchers from Texas Tech University and the University of South Australia found that eating lightly salted peanuts twice a day before meals leads to weight loss and lower blood pressure.

For the study, the adults ate roughly 35 lightly salted, dry-roasted peanuts twice a day, half an hour before meals. After six-months, the researchers found that study subjects had significant weight loss, improved blood sugar levels, and lower blood pressure.

Kristina Petersen is a professor in Texas Tech’s Department of Nutritional Sciences – and worked on the study. She says, a lot of people avoid nuts and nut butters when they’re trying to lose weight, because they have a lot of fat and calories. But peanuts contain HEALTHY unsaturated fats, which can actually help with weight loss. They also have a good amount of fiber and protein. 

Plus, peanuts have a high satiety value – meaning they fill you up! So you don’t eat as much overall. 

So, if you’re on the weight loss train – keep some lightly salted dry-roasted peanuts on hand for a snack. Because now we know – they’re proven to help you lose weight.

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Do You Have a Strong Grip?

Let’s say there’s a jar of pickles or pasta sauce……Do people hand the jar to YOU to open? That means you have good grip strength – and beyond that, you’re probably in good health overall and you’ll probably live longer than most!

Because, according to the British Medical Journal, a strong grip is a sign that more blood is being pumped around the body. But weaker hand muscles can indicate heart problems, lung issues, and a lower life expectancy, even among younger adults.

A separate study found people with stronger hand strength are better at problem-solving, memory tests and reasoning, and have faster reaction times. Again, because they have better circulation – so the brain is being fed with more oxygenated blood and that helps it process things faster.

So, what’s the best do-it-yourself grip strength test? A digital dynamometer. It looks like a staple gun, but you squeeze two bars together as hard as you can. They’re available online for about 30 dollars……and they not only measure your hand strength, they can be used to improve it.

If you don’t want to buy one, grab a small, rubber ball, and every other day, squeeze it as hard as possible for 5 seconds, then relax. And repeat that 10 to 15 times with each hand.

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How Long Should a Hug Last?

How long should a hug last? Psychologists at the University of London looked into it and they say a hug that’s intended to make someone feel better should last at least six seconds. That provides a more positive, long-lasting impact on the person receiving the hug compared to shorter ones. 

Hugs shorter than 5 seconds don’t give the same emotional benefit……and hugs over 10 seconds can feel awkward. 

So what are the benefits of a 6 second hug?

Basically, hugs are a great buffer against stress. And a hug needs to last six seconds for the happy chemicals, oxytocin and serotonin, to start flowing. Those are the chemicals that boost mood and promote bonding.

And studies show a direct link between how many hugs a person gives and receives per day, and their levels of positive emotions and less conflict. 

So, seek out and give 6-second hugs. It’ll start a chain reaction of feel-good brain chemicals for you and the person you’re hugging……and you’ll both have less stress and less conflict in your lives.

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Why You Should Exercise on Your Own

If you’re walking for exercise, you may want to ditch your romantic partner and go solo! Because the research is now telling us that couples who walk together for exercise often don’t get the health boost they’re hoping for!

That’s according to Purdue University. They found that both partners slow down compared to when they’re walking alone, especially if they hold hands.

What the researchers were hoping to find was that the slower partner would speed up and walk faster, to match the pace of their partner. But that’s not what happened. 

They looked at hundreds of romantic couples, ranging in age from 25 to 80-years-old. And to their surprise, a large number of couples – even if they’d been together for years – held hands while they walked. And the researchers say “it’s hard to maintain speed with linkage.” 

It turned out people walked fastest when they walked alone and slowest when holding hands with a significant other……and those who walked with a partner but didn’t hold hands were somewhere in between.

So, bottom lining this…if you want an EMOTIONAL boost, walk with a partner. But if you want EXERCISE, you’re better off going for a brisk walk on your own.

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Do What Makes You Happy and Just Go For It

How often has this thought crossed your mind: “What do I have to lose?” As in, tomorrow’s not guaranteed, so what do I have to lose if I finally try to start my own business…… plan a dream vacation…… or ask the boss for a raise?

If that sounds familiar, you’re part of what’s being called the “YOLO Economy”…… YOLO stands for “you only live once!” Researchers say the YOLO economy is a big reason why a Microsoft survey found that nearly HALF of all workers are considering quitting their jobs! And a record 1-in-4 people are looking to relocate to another city, state or country. 

Christina Wallace is a senior lecturer at Harvard Business School……and she says, a lot of people have reflected on their lives in the past 2 years. And many of them came to the conclusion that, if they’re not doing what makes them happy now, what are they waiting for? Why not GO FOR IT – in case they don’t get another chance!

The result? Experts are saying this is a year when people are taking big chances and pursuing “radical change!” After all, you only live once! And that’s the YOLO economy……

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Why You Should Try to Travel Solo

Have you felt the itch to travel? You’re definitely not alone. 

And it’s why people aren’t waiting for friends and family to join them on a trip – they’re going solo! 

In fact, the travel site reports that, in normal years, about 1-in-8 bookings were by solo travelers…… But this year, the rate has DOUBLED to 1 in 4! 

And Google searches for “solo travel” have also doubled!

The reason? According to the world’s largest travel marketing agency, MMGY, after enduring two years of travel restrictions, a lot of people are feeling antsy to travel somewhere – anywhere

Solo vacations also offer one of the best opportunities to travel “with intent.” Meaning, you can explore a personal goal – whether it’s self-improvement, crossing more destinations off your bucket list, or simply taking time to de-stress! People also tend to report more satisfaction with their travel experiences when they’re NOT trying to keep other people happy. 

And that’s the latest travel trend: Solo vacations!

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Top Foods for the Brain to Prevent Dementia

How many times have you heard that fish are brain food?

Well, we’re saying it again – and we have more proof. This time, it comes from the Fatty Acid Research Institute. 

Their research found that people with high blood levels of the Omega-3 fatty acid, called DHA, were nearly 50% less likely to develop dementia of any kind, including Alzheimer’s. 

   And other research shows a link between the fatty acid DHA and improved cognitive performance and increased brain volume.

The reason? Because DHA limits the production and accumulation of a brain toxin linked to Alzheimer’s. 

The fish that contain the most Omega-3 DHAs are: Mackerel, salmon, herring, sardines, and oysters. And you should aim to get two servings a week.

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Believe that You Can and You Will Succeed

You’ve heard the old adage: You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.

Meaning, the older we get, the tougher it is to learn new skills — whether it’s learning to ski, or learning a foreign language, for example. But it turns out it’s not a person’s AGE that makes the difference. It’s whether or not a person BELIEVES they can succeed! 

That’s according to a new study from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology.

The researchers found that our so-called “growth mindset” naturally declines with age — meaning the passion, grit, and belief in our ability to get better – or “grow” – at anything new. 

The good news is, we also tend to get more stubborn as we get older. And normally, that stubbornness can keep us stuck in a rut, unwilling to try anything new. But the university researchers found we can also use that stubbornness to convince ourselves that anything is possible!

The researchers say that’s what can push you to believe you really CAN succeed at anything you put your mind to. And that makes you much less likely to give up when the going gets tough.

Bottom line…TODAY…You and I are committing to each other that we will be stubborn about our growth mindset!!!   

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How to Train Ourselves to Eat Healthy Food

If you’re trying to eat better, and cut out fast food and unhealthy snacks, this will make it easier……

We can train ourselves to crave healthy foods. That’s according to nutrition scientist Dr. Susan Roberts from Tufts University. She says the brain can be rewired to prefer things like fruits and vegetables. 

Here’s how to do it: You simply have to choose good-for-you foods when you’re absolutely starving. Because true hunger will help form neurological connections that’ll make you associate the taste of healthy foods with the pleasure of satiating your hunger.

So reach for a healthy snack 10 to 15 times on an empty stomach when you’re really hungry and that’ll solidify a new habit. Dr. Roberts says she’s had patients who have changed their cravings in as little as 2 weeks.

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The Benefits of Growing Up in the Countryside

Where did you grow up, the country or the city? Because that can have a real impact on your ability to navigate in unknown places. And long-term, it has an effect on your brain health! That’s according to a new study from University College London. And the advantage goes to people who grew up out in the country, in rural areas. 

The scientists found that people who grew up in the countryside, with winding roads and lots of land, are better at navigating than people raised in cities where streets are neatly laid out in grids. That’s because in cities, most streets are clearly marked and there are signs to tell you where you’re going. Out in the country, things aren’t as organized. 

Plus, there are greater distances between landmarks, so people have to memorize their routes. 

And long-term, having the ability to find your way around, preserves brain health. Because one of the first parts of the brain to be impacted by Alzheimer’s is a sense of direction. And getting lost is one of the earliest signs of the disease. 

So the university researchers say if you want to improve your navigation skills, turn off your GPS! Because when we use GPS, we don’t use the part of the brain involved in spatial navigation. We also don’t use the hippocampus, which controls memory and orientation. 

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Do You Want to Make Some Changes and Shake Up Your Life?

Do you want to make some changes, and shake up your life? Like, losing weight, finding a new job, or jumping back into the dating pool. 

The best time to do it is when there’s a new beginning……Whether it’s the first day of the week, the first of the month, or your first day back at work after a vacation. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School call it the “fresh start effect.” Because big, repeating moments – like birthdays, holidays, and back-to-school – are landmarks in our lives. They make us step back and look at the big picture, and re-adjust our goals accordingly. 

But any time you realize you’re losing focus on your goals, all you have to do is set your sights on the next “new beginning,” whether it’s a Monday, or the first of the month……And start fresh all over again.

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How to Increase Your Pace in Walking

If you walk for exercise, try this trick to increase your pace: Walk and chew gum at the same time.

According to the Society for Neuroscience, it’ll help you walk faster! That’s because we tend to chew gum more quickly than we walk. We chew about 75 times per minute but walk only 60 steps per minute. But our brains aren’t great at processing two speeds at once. So you’ll subconsciously start to walk faster – at the pace of your chewing.

In a study at Old Dominion University, both young and older participants had the same results…… They walked faster to keep pace with their chewing rate. So if you want to walk more quickly, pop a piece of gum!

Now there’s even more data connecting walking speed to a longer life. 7 years longer.  here’s The latest from the Journal of the American Medical Association: 

For their experiment, researchers followed nearly 5 thousand adults between ages 40 and 85 for 10 years. They had their study participants wear activity trackers to gauge their levels of aerobic exercise. And the Participants also answered questions about their exercise habits. 

After crunching the numbers, the researchers found that study participants who raised their heart rates with daily, brisk walking, specifically, taking a 10-minute power walk once a day….  boosted their life expectancy by 7-10%, on average. And taking a brisk half-hour walk boosted life expectancy by a full 17%. 

The science is clear: Spending just 30 minutes a day raising your heart rate could lengthen your life by up to 7 extra years! 

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Why Nightmares About Work are Actually Good for Us

If you have nightmares about work, you’re not alone. According to a survey by Monster dot com, 55% of us have work-related nightmares.

Dr. Robert Stickgold is the director of the Center for Sleep and Cognition at Harvard Medical School and he says work nightmares typically happen to people with stressful jobs. For example, surgeons dream of making deadly mistakes……office workers lose all their electronic files……and actors dream about being onstage and drawing a complete blank. But the most common work nightmares are: Fighting with the boss……Being late for an important meeting……and getting fired.

But surprisingly, Dr. Stickgold says work nightmares can be GOOD for us, mentally.

They’re our brain’s way of role-playing a situation or trying to process an unresolved problem. And Stickgold says work nightmares are also our brain’s way of making sure we’re prepared for any of our worst-case scenarios.

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