Intelligence For Your Life

What’s the Latest Trend in YouTube Videos?

What’s the latest trend in YouTube videos? 

Watching other people clean! 

The videos show people in their own homes cleaning bathrooms, vacuuming, and doing dishes. They’re usually tagged with the phrase “Clean With Me” and they get millions of views! Viewers enjoy watching someone else grind through the same tedious chores we all have. 

There are also so-called “Complete Disaster” videos, where laundry, dirty dishes, grime and clutter have overwhelmed a house and the person cleaning restores order.

So why on earth would anyone watch someone else cleaning?

Because, psychologically, when things are clean, we feel a sense of relief. It taps into a subconscious urge psychologists call a “just right” feeling. It’s the sensation that occurs when we’ve put things in order. And we can get that same feeling from watching someone else clean a house – even if it’s not our own house.

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Should You be Nostalgic About the Past?

Have you noticed how trendy it is these days to be nostalgic about the past? For example:

  • The latest Recording Industry data shows that more than HALF of all physical music sold today is on vinyl……
  • Also, Polaroid filed for bankruptcy in 2001 – but now it’s thriving again.
  • And instead of upgrading to the latest smartphone, an estimated 1-in-5 consumers have expressed interest in switching back to a minimalist “dumb phone,” with no texting or apps……
  • People are even going back to old-school videogames that don’t require the internet to be played. 

According to a new Deloitte survey, a big reason people are buying vintage or “retro” products is for more privacy. Because most devices that connect to the internet can easily be tracked or hacked! And a growing number of people just want to enjoy their day – snapping photos, making calls, playing games and listening to music – without worrying about their security.

Another reason? Media studies professor Dr. Paul Levinson says there’s an increasing desire to “disengage” from the modern world for mental health reasons. Because a lot of us see the past as a simpler, less stressful, more innocent time. And people want to return to the comfort of the past – before the internet and social media completely took over our lives. 

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Why Should You Eat Fish Twice a Week

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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Why It’s Important to Declutter Our Home

Clutter doesn’t just make your home look like a mess – it messes with your mental health! That’s according to the journal Personality and Social Psychology. For the study, researchers from USC asked families to record videos while touring their own homes and discussing their belongings. Their stress hormone levels were also recorded. 

The conclusion? People who perceived their homes as cluttered had unhealthy levels of the stress hormone cortisol, and felt more stress as the day went on. 

The researchers say it boils down to the feeling of never-ending work and obligation, and our brains don’t like the weight of all that responsibility. But when we de-clutter, our brains actually do relax.  That’s because we feel more in-control of our lives. It gives us a sense of accomplishment. 

So now we know, clutter can seriously mess with our mental health.

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Best Countries to Live as a Digital Nomad

There’s never been a better time to be a “digital nomad!”

That’s the term for the growing number of remote workers who work AND travel at the same time. And a new Pew Research survey shows that more than half of today’s workers have expressed interest in becoming a digital nomad. The good news? A whopping 49 countries – and counting – now offer special visa programs, which make it incredibly easy to work overseas long-term……

For example: A new visa program offers people a way to live and work in Spain for up to a year, as long as you make at least $2 thousand dollars a month. And if you like the arrangement, you can renew your visa 4 times…… after which you’ll be eligible to become a permanent citizen! 

And there are similar programs currently being offered in countries like Iceland, Greece, Costa Rica, Brazil, Malaysia, and Thailand! Want to go further? You can find a complete list of countries offering Digital Nomad Visas at Nomad Girl dot CO……Or try Remote Year dot com.

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Why we should eat bread AFTER the meal

Go ahead and dig into the bread basket at the restaurant……For Dessert.

A study in the journal Diabetes has found that if you eat your focaccia, cheddar biscuit, or unlimited breadsticks AFTER your entrée, your blood sugar won’t take as big of a hit.

The journal researchers found that when study subjects did that, their blood sugar was 30% lower on average than if they ate bread before the meal.

That’s because when you have other food in your stomach, the carbs from the bread don’t turn into sugar as quickly – since your body is busy processing the other food you’ve eaten.

I’m trying this! Eating bread for dessert instead of before the meal.

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How to Make Better Financial Decisions

Think about where you make most of your important money decisions. Are you in an office building, several floors above the street……or are you at home, signing checks and paying bills on the GROUND floor?

According to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Psychology, how you answer that question plays a role in how much control you have over your money.

Because we tend to make the SAFEST financial decisions when we’re on the ground floor……But the higher up we go, even just to the second floor of your house, the riskier your money moves get!

Psychologists say it’s because being higher up – whether you’re in a high-rise office building, or the 2nd floor of your home – gives your subconscious an elevated sense of power. So, if you need help sticking to a budget – or you just want to make better financial decisions – this new study makes it clear: Stay grounded, literally……and make your decisions on the ground floor.

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What is Green Noise and Its Benefits

Have you heard about  “green noise.” According to neurologist and behavioral sleep specialist, Dr. Christopher Winter, it’s technically defined as any frequency around 500 hertz – which is the center of the frequency spectrum. And, coincidentally, that’s where most nature sounds fall!

White noise typically sounds like an air conditioner, vacuum, fan, or even an airplane engine. But green noise is more of a soothing nature sound, from wind to water.

So why are people so obsessed with green noise lately? Because multiple studies have shown that nature sounds promote relaxation. And according to Dr. Winter, nature sounds are also proven to help people fall asleep…… including anything from the sound of ocean waves crashing on a beach, to the gentle sound of a waterfall. 

If you’d like to check it out for yourself, there are plenty of YouTube videos now offering hours of uninterrupted green noise.

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Why Lying on Your Side When Sleeping is Better

Sleeping in this position will not only help your back feel better – it can reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s disease:

Lie on your side, legs bent, with a pillow between your knees. Internist Dr. Holly Phillips says that position will alleviate strain on your back.

And new research shows it helps remove damaging proteins from the brain……the ones that accumulate and eventually contribute to the development of Alzheimer’s disease. That’s because lying on your side improves circulation to your head and neck and increases oxygen flow.

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How the Speed of Our Eating Determines Our Weight

How the speed of our eating determines our weight. According to the British Medical Journal, people who switched from wolfing down their food, to eating at a more relaxed pace, consistently lost weight. So how slow do you have to go? Aim for about 30 chews per mouthful. The average person chews their food only 15 times before swallowing. Or stretch your eating time from 11 minutes, which is the average time it takes to finish a meal, to at least 20 minutes. 

And here are a few other tricks for slowing down your eating from registered dietician Toby Smithson:

  • Choose “active” snacks. That means snacks that take work to eat……Like shelling peanuts. Having to crack nuts creates a delay……and seeing the shells is a visual reminder of how much you’ve eaten, making you more mindful. 
  • At meals, eat more vegetables. They’re harder to chew. But chewing more, until food is mushy in your mouth, allows the body to absorb more nutrients. So fill half your plate with vegetables.
  • Finally, give yourself a pausing point, by putting down your fork between each bite. And don’t pick it up again until you’ve chewed 30 times and swallowed.

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What to Do When You Keep Misplacing Things

Are you constantly misplacing things – like your keys or cellphone? Here’s how to find things faster: 

  • First: Memory expert Dr. Irene Kan suggests closing your eyes to block out your visual sense and thinking back to the last time you deviated from your typical routine. Because that’s when we’re more likely to misplace something. 
  • Another trick for finding lost items. Slowly and methodically look within an 18 inches of their usual location. Most lost items are in an 18-inch radius of where they should be. 
  • Also, we frequently look down for lost things, because we think they must have fallen. But numerous studies show we’re more likely to place things at eye level when we’re distracted.
  • Finally, repeat the name of whatever you’re looking for, like: “Keys, keys, keys.” Repeatedly saying what you’re missing boosts concentration, and increases the odds you’ll remember exactly where you left it!

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The One Habit That’s Killing our Mornings

In a recent Interview, Sleep expert Dr. Neil Stanley told me that  every time we hear an alarm go off while we’re sleeping, it triggers our body’s “fight or flight response,” which means the next thing that happens is that our body is flooded with cortisol – the stress hormone. 

Dr. Stanley says usually that’s not a big deal if you actually wake up and start your day–but he says if we hit “snooze,” and drift back to sleep, then what happens is that we guarantee ANOTHER jolt of cortisol in 9 minutes! And then after a while, when we keep doing this over and over again, there’s so much of that stress hormone that it ends up increasing our risk for depression! All of this from the snooze alarm? You bet.

So, this is why sleep experts pretty much all agree that you and I need to set our  alarm for the exact time we want to wake up, and then always get up at that time. 
And yes, I know it’s easy to say. But it’s harder to pull off every morning. Just so you know, I get up at 5am each morning, even on the weekends. But I also have to set my watch’s vibrating-alarm, plus an alarm clock that I put all the way across the room to get me out of the bed.  I used to get up at 8 but I always felt like I was playing catchup for the rest of the day. 

One of the things that really helps me get going in the morning is preparing everything that I need to start the day. So I lay out my clothes right beside the bed. I put my sneakers at the bedroom door. I even prepare the coffee machine the night before so I just have to flip the switch. My goal is to eliminate any barriers to my 5 o’clock morning.

One more thing?  I try very hard not to scroll through the news headlines on my phone until I’ve read 10 pages in one of the self help books that’s on my phone. I just randomly pick one. This morning it was from the book Winning by fitness trainer Tim Grover. I wish you God Speed in your battle against the SNOOZE! 

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The 3 Secrets to Instantly Connect with People

How can you create an instant connection with anyone you meet? I love these research-backed suggestions:

First: Instead of thinking “What will I talk about?” Think “How can I get the other person talking?” Because, according to research from Harvard neuroscientist Diana Tamir, when someone gets the chance to talk about themselves it triggers the same pleasurable sensation in the brain as food or money. So how can you accomplish that?

Ask for someone’s advice: According to FBI behavior expert Robin Dreeke, seeking advice is the number one way to build a bond with people because most of us WANT to feel appreciated and respected. And when someone validates us by asking for our opinion or advice, we automatically like them more.

So what’s the biggest turn-off if you’re trying to connect with someone? Correcting or contradicting them. According to neuropsychologists, when people hear things that contradict their beliefs, the logical part of their brain shuts down and their brain prepares to fight.

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I’m using this proven memory booster

I’ve started using what doctors are calling a proven way to help SLOW age-related memory decline — even among folks who’ve been diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment! 

Ready? Doing crossword puzzles every day. I had heard this before but this new study comes from Columbia and Duke Universities. They recruited adults with mild cognitive impairment, with an average age of 71. Study participants were given cognitive tests and MRIs, followed by a year and a half of weekly sessions in which they did either crossword puzzles or played computer videogames.  A year and a half.  Extensive study!

Here are the results: 

Those who did crossword puzzles had lower levels of memory loss, and less age-related shrinkage of the brain, which can also affect memory. 

The researchers believe it’s because both crossword puzzles and videogames trigger activity in the brain areas linked to strategy, decision-making, learning, motivation and memory.

But crosswords ALSO boost activity in the brain areas that process language, which makes it easier to store and retrieve memories. 
Bottom line: Solving more crossword puzzles TODAY may be the key to maintaining your brain health later in life!

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How to Calm Down Quickly and Increase Energy

When you need to calm down or de-stress, you always hear people say “take a deep breath.” But a deep EXHALE may be more important than a deep INHALE.

 Physical therapist Dr. Emily Kiberd says most people think, when it comes to deep breathing, it’s crucial to focus on taking more oxygen IN……But scientists have discovered that stress-relieving, energy-boosting oxygen doesn’t get transferred into the bloodstream until we breathe OUT. 

So, here’s a quick way to calm down and increase your energy: Inhale through your nose for a count of four……Hold it for another 4 seconds……Then exhale for 8 seconds. So remember – in through your nose for 4, hold for 4, exhale for 8. That will not only calm your nervous system,but also give you energy at the same time.

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Health Benefits of Intermittent Fasting Besides Weight Loss

We keep finding new health benefits being linked to intermittent fasting – besides weight loss. And the latest is that fasting is being hailed as an effective way to dramatically lower our risk for Alzheimer’s disease!

This comes from a new study in the journal Cell Reports, which involved mice that were put on a fasting diet routine for over a year. And since mice have brain systems similar to humans, the results were important. Researchers found that after a year, the fasting mice had lower levels of two key proteins linked to Alzheimer’s disease.

The researchers say, normally, these two proteins build up in the brains of dementia patients, and damage neurons and disrupt brain function.   

But when mice fasted, there was less dangerous protein build up! Because fasting temporarily trains our cells to be more efficient, metabolically. 

That’s why, at a minimum, health experts recommend following the “10-14 method”…… where you eat all your meals within a 10-hour window, and fast the other 14. 

 But, and  I’ve said this before…my routine is to finish eating by 7pm each evening and then I try not to eat again until 1pm the next day.  That’s 18 hours of fasting.  Basically a 6 hour window for eating.  It’s easiest to remember that you’re eating from 1pm to 7pm. And, listen,  if I can do this, I know you can too. Amen? 

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Why Dating on a Budget is Not a Deal Breaker

In dating news …the Wall Street Journal reports that “the first date dinner-date is dead!” Because the price of dinner and drinks has spiked 17%!

And that’s reflected in people’s profiles on dating apps, too!

Mentions of picnics, drive-ins, mini-golf, street food, and camping have all increased on dating apps. And 25% of singles on Tinder said they’re drinking less on dates because it’s so expensive. Also,  more people on first dates are splitting the bill!

But dating on a budget isn’t a deal breaker. In fact, according to a survey by the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, women believe a man who cares about saving money is thoughtful, stable and responsible. All attractive qualities, of course,  in a potential romantic partner! 

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What is Cold Water Therapy and Why is it Helpful?

USC neuroscientists are now claiming that cold water therapy  can improve our mental health.

Cold water therapy refers to any process where you expose your body to chilled water – ideally at or below 58 degrees Fahrenheit, or 14 degrees Celsius. 

That can include everything from taking an ice-cold bath…… to swimming in the ocean during winter. I try to do this as often as I can stand it and it really does clear out the cobwebs in my brain. 

A lot of athletes and health experts swear by cold water therapy……And multiple studies show that exposure to cold temperatures lowers inflammation, relieves pain, speeds up the metabolism, and improves our immune system!

But there’s something ELSE cold water therapy can do……According to the USC neuroscientists, it can improve our mental health! 

The studies show cold water therapy improves mood, helps alleviate depression, and promotes better focus. Plus the research reveals that getting through a challenge like cold water exposure teaches you how to stay calm in the face of adversity and overcome internal resistance. People who try it say they  feel more confident in the face of ANY challenge.

Ready to give cold water therapy a try yourself? To start, most experts recommend ending your regular showers with a blast of cold water, for as long as you can stand it. 

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Why Dogs are the Best Sleeping Companions

If you’re a woman who wants to get better sleep – cuddle up to your dog at night, instead of your significant other! A study in the Journal of the International Society of Anthrozoology found that women who snuggle in bed with their dog get a better night’s sleep….better than if there’s another human by their side, or a cat!

The researchers found that women were disturbed less in their sleep by dogs than humans, and had stronger feelings of comfort and security.

So what about the women in the study who slept with cats? The cats were equally as disruptive as human partners, and cats were associated with weaker feelings of comfort and security than both human and dog bed-partners. 

The study also found that dog owners went to bed and woke up earlier than cat owners – and kept a more consistent sleep schedule. And we know from previous research that going to bed and waking up at the same time every day is a huge factor when it comes to overall good health and good moods. 

So, the research is clear! Dogs make the best sleeping companions!

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Why We Need a Silent Time Every Day

We need to make time for a little SILENCE every day! Because we now know it’s an excellent way to GROW your brain and help it thrive!

That’s according to psychiatry professor Dr. Mathias Basner from the University of Pennsylvania. He says, our world is louder today than it’s ever been. Today’s sirens are six times louder than they were a century ago – and they have to be because our cities are louder, too. And noise pollution doubles every three decades. 

But when we’re exposed to excessive noise, it triggers our body’s stress response. Our brain thinks we’re under attack. 

And even with “safe,” persistent sounds – say, from steady traffic – our brains stay activated for hours. And all that noise wears down our energy, and triggers the release of hormones proven to raise our risk for heart disease, stroke, and depression! Even a single night of noise exposure while we sleep can make our blood vessels stiffer! 

And that’s why we need a dose of silence every day!

One recent study put mice in a soundless chamber for 2 hours a day. And they actually GREW more brain cells…… especially in brain areas linked to memory and problem-solving! Essentially, silence gives our brain more capacity to think and grow.

That’s why Dr. Basner recommends having a few minutes of total SILENCE every day – where the only sound you hear is your own breathing. 

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Eliminate Back Pain With This Simple Task

If back pain is bothering you, go take a walk! 

According to the journal Clinical Rehabilitation, a 20-minute walk a few times a week can be as effective at eliminating back pain as some forms of in-office physical therapy.

That’s because a lot of times, back pain is caused by muscle tightness. And walking not only stretches back muscles but also strengthens back and abdominal muscles that support the spine.

That means they’re less likely to seize up. So, for backaches, your prescription is a 20-minute walk, three times a week

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