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Try This Efficient Formula to Lose Weight Safely

Everyone knows that being overweight or obese can be detrimental to your overall health. What you don’t hear enough of, however, is that losing weight too rapidly or engaging in certain types of diets can be dangerous, too. If you want to lose weight safely, read on as we share an efficient formula that is definitely worth trying.

 

Safety, Safely First

The decision to lose weight is generally accompanied by determination and enthusiasm. Usually, we get so annoyed that we can’t fit into our jeans, and then realize it’s time to take action. We make a choice to “diet” and off we go, idealistically, into a program with full gusto.

The problem with hastily moving forward on a weight-loss quest is that we can encounter several pitfalls if we’re unprepared. Our blood sugar, heart rates, and metabolism can become imbalanced if we lose too much, too soon. If we overdo it with exercise, there’s a likelihood injury could occur, actually creating a setback on our mission.

The key, henceforth, is to keep in mind three important elements when embarking on a safety-prioritized diet. They are:

 

  • Preparation
  • Consistency
  • Mindfulness

 

A Fantastic Formula

With preparation, consistency, and mindfulness, you can be successful at dropping pounds in a healthy fashion. Along with following and adhering to several dietary and lifestyle adjustments, you now have a formula, which can be both safe and efficient. The adjustments recommended to maximize your weight-loss goal are:

 

  • Improving sleep quality and quantity
  • Increase protein intake
  • Increase fiber intake and hydration
  • Increase good fats intake/ Reduce or avoid bad fats intake
  • Increase physical movement

 

SLEEP

Lack of sleep makes most people grouchy, brain-fogged, and prone to physical injury. Additionally, researchers report that those who sleep less than seven hours each night, not only have a more difficult time losing weight, but often wind up gaining weight over time.

Poor sleep quality also leads to poorer decision-making. You may “give up” on your diet if you get cranky enough. You need proper rest to maintain willpower and clear thinking. Behavior control can be compromised, and that’s not safe.

Stress is a killer (literally), and especially of weight-loss plans. Our bodies suffer and hold onto fat when they get in the “fight or flight mode.” Cortisol, the hormone produced and released during stressful moments, keeps us from losing unwanted extra pounds.

Get between 8 and 9 hours of sleep per night and your body will start processing nutrients in a beneficial way, helping you to efficiently drop weight. 1) Prepare your day so you can get to sleep on time. 2) Be consistent with your sleep times. 3) Be mindful and make your space conducive to restful sleep.

 

PROTEIN

High protein foods may be higher in calories, but we actually burn more calories from the process of digesting them. Protein helps boost our energy level and builds muscle. We also feel fuller faster and longer. These are extremely beneficial factors for efficient and safe weight-loss.

Some excellent examples of nutritious, protein-rich foods are:

 

  • organic lean poultry (chicken and turkey)
  • hard-boiled eggs
  • low-fat cheese (feta and goat)
  • fish (tuna and salmon)

 

1) Shop ahead to prepare for your meals. 2) Eat high-protein foods consistently, daily. 3) Be mindful that your proteins are organic, locally farmed, and/or void of any preservatives.

 

FIBER AND WATER

Fresh fruits and vegetables are incredible sources of natural fiber. Eating 20 to 30 grams of fiber daily will help with your weight-loss program as well as help lower your blood pressure. (High blood pressure is not safe.)

Proper fiber intake also helps balance blood sugar. This makes for more efficient fat-loss as well as reducing risk of developing type-2 diabetes.

Drinking half your body weight in ounces of water daily is one recommendation. Other experts suggest keeping a full bottle of water by your side all day and consistently sipping from it. Staying hydrated, all the time, should be your priority. And when increasing fiber to your diet, increasing your water consumption is a must.

1) Prepare by shopping at farmers’ markets or in the organic produce section of your grocery store. 2) Be consistent by making half your plate, each meal, full of vegetables—and drinking lots of water. 3) Be mindful of where your fiber and water is coming from. Avoid hidden, added sugar.

 

GOOD FATS/BAD FATS

Good fats are generally unsaturated (mono or poly) and can contain Omega 3- and/or 6- fatty acids. Some examples are: avocados, nuts, olive oil, coconut oil, hemp oil, almond butter, and seeds (flax, chia, pumpkin, etc.)

Bad fats are ones with saturated fats, especially polysaturated and hydrogenated oils. These are processed products that contain no nutritional value and actually are dangerous (ie. carcinogenic and toxic). Some examples include: vegetable oil, margarine, many chips, frozen dinners, deep-fried and fast foods, etc.

1) Prepare your diet by checking labels and having “good” foods around the house. 2) Be consistent about what foods you allow yourself; cheating never feels good afterwards. 3) Be mindful of how great you feel when you eat healthy foods.

 

EXERCISE

Physical activity is a necessary component to healthy, safe, and effective weight loss. Weight loss and weight management are about balance. Your body won’t be able to handle drastic physical change without rebelling. Your exercise induction must bear the three elements: preparation, consistency, and mindfulness.

There’s no need to start running marathons. Simply increasing physical movement on a daily, consistent basis will increase your metabolism and help your body adjust accordingly. Overdoing workouts can be very unsafe. You could be putting your heart at risk as well as your bones and muscles. Injury is bad and will only set you back physically and mentally.

1) Prepare by knowing your physical limits, but also pushing them slightly. 2) Be consistent; slow and steady wins the race! 3) When exercising, be mindful of all parts of your body—your breathing, heart rate, muscle strength, and flexibility.

 

There are thousands of “diets” and a plethora of materials about how to lose weight. The unfortunate thing is that many of those don’t take into account your safety. With this efficient formula, you can relax while allowing your body to free itself from its overload. Stay the course, and keep in mind that if you don’t have your health, what do you have?

We are on your team and cheering for your success. See other articles on GetThrive for more tips and information on how to keep you and your family the healthiest they can be!

 

Sources:

https://healthyeater.com/carb-protein-fat-rich-foods

https://www.womenshealthmag.com/weight-loss/sleep-weight-loss

https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/making-one-change-getting-fiber-can-help-weight-loss-201502177721

https://www.getthrive.com/weight-loss-quiz-know-whats-working-whats-not/

https://www.getthrive.com/effective-healthy-eating-tactics-2018/

 

 

 

Why You Should Learn to Say NO

Our lives are fast-paced, high-powered, and hot-wired. Blame it on technology, digital demands, or caffeine, but we are forced to put the pedal to the metal every day. But at what point do things get out of control? At what point is our mental health affected?

Read on to learn some ways on how to stay focused, realize when things are out of control, and when and how to just say NO.

The work-life balance is tough—there’s no denying this. And if we aren’t careful, things can spiral out of control very quickly. From managing a job, raising a family, running a business, finding time to exercise, prepare healthy meals, run errands, spending time with friends, family, and loved ones, it’s exhausting…

But life shouldn’t be that way…and it doesn’t have to be.

Sometimes finding the right work and life balance means learning how and when to say no.

Imagine this: You wake up in the morning before the crack of down, you tie your sneakers, plug in your headphones and hit the pavement, you shower, dress, and make your coffee for the day. And before 7am hits, there are four new projects on your plate, 20 new emails after it took you all morning to get through 10, 3 missed calls, and some how you have to find time to prepare that meeting before the afternoon.

You’re exhausted before lunchtime, and the day isn’t even over yet…

After months and months of this routine, not only is it physically and mentally exhausting, but it can also wreak havoc on your physical and mental health. Your sleep patterns can be interrupted, you tend to make poorer diet choices, you begin forgetting things, your quality, productivity, and performance levels suffer, and you just feel…sluggish. And the constant state of tension and stress is pushing you one step further to a mental break down…

If this sounds like you, then it’s time to start saying no.

But if you are like me, then you might find that saying no is hard. You want to help with projects, you want to help clients, you want to help your coworkers and you just want to be successful. But learning when to say no is also crucial to success. Taking on more than what you are physically and mentally capable of doesn’t mean failure, and it doesn’t mean you can’t hack it; it simply means that you are making intelligent choices that are important for productivity, work load, and simply managing others’ expectations.

If you still have trouble saying no, then another way that often helps is being realistic with time frames. For example, if your manager or a team member asks for your help on a project or a friend or family member asks you to plan a sleepover for the kids on an already jammed packed day, then tell them that you are swamped and that you would need at least two weeks to work on their project or plan a different night for a slumber party.

This isn’t entirely saying no, but politely saying, “not right now, how about a different day?” You are being honest, upfront, and managing others’ expectations effectively and even proposing a solution that works for all involved.

Remember, if you focus too much on making everyone else happy, then you are only setting yourself up for failure.

Finally, learning how and when to say no is something that successful people learn how to do. Break away from the mind frame that “no” equals “failure”, and get into the habit of recognizing your own limits, staying focused, and only taking on projects that you can finish in a realistic time frame that works for you.

 

My Superfood is Superer than Your Superfood

10 Superfoods That Improve Your Brain. 22 Superfoods That Make You Prettier. 35 Superfoods That Will Win You Gold in the Olympics. Do these titles sound remotely familiar? If I were a vegetable, fruit, seed, or a grain, I certainly would want to know how to get on one of those lists! Well, it appears there’s more to the competition than just optimum health.

That’s Super!

The Oxford Dictionary defines a superfood as “a nutrient-rich food considered to be especially beneficial for health and well-being.” From a marketing standpoint, a superfood is “associated” with decreasing cancer-risks, packed with antioxidants, and is beneficial to cardiovascular performance. It all sounds great. And we must have it, even if costs too much.

Another fun, marketing angle for superfoods is that they all seem to have a mysterious back-story, something exotic, usually. For example, Maca, a root vegetable, is grown in the Andes mountains of Peru at an altitude above 11,000 thousand feet. Legend has it that Incan warriors used to consume maca before battle to increase endurance. Doesn’t maca sound way more exciting to add to your smoothie than a turnip? Why, yes it does!

The Bottom-Line

The best part of the superfood craze is that it’s changing the way Americans view a healthy diet. We’re becoming more educated about nutrition and implementing dietary improvements. It appears, however, that nutritionists, produce growers, and even writers have the final word on which superfoods eventually make their list.

Regardless of opinion, the fact remains that some foods are higher in nutritional value than others, containing a wealth of vitamins, antioxidants, and other health-promoting properties. Nonetheless, there are some superfoods that always make the cut, and then there are other, less popular ones also worth being recognized.

Popular Superfoods:

  • Acai
  • Avocado
  • Blueberries
  • Brazil nuts
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Cocoa
  • Chia Seeds
  • Edamame
  • Flaxseed
  • Green Tea/Matcha
  • Kiwi
  • Legumes
  • Lentils
  • Mushrooms
  • Olives
  • Pumpkin
  • Quinoa
  • Salmon
  • Sardines
  • Seaweed
  • Spinach
  • Sprouts
  • Strawberries
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Walnuts
  • Watercress
  • Wheat Germ
  • Zucchini

Lesser-Known Superfoods:

Arame – It’s a sea plant collected on the coast of Japan. It smells funky, but it’s packed with calcium, iodine, iron, and magnesium.

Black Pudding – Americans are just now becoming familiar with black pudding, a longtime favorite amongst the English and Irish as a fried breakfast food. Black pudding is made with oatmeal and pig’s blood. Although it’s high in fat, it’s chock full of protein.

Natto – The Japanese use natto in many of their meals as it promotes heart health. It’s high in pyrazine and helps destroy arterial plaque. Natto is fermented soybean, and most sources claim it tastes disgusting, no matter how you try to dress it up.

Camu Camu – Grown in the Amazon, Camu Camu supposedly has the highest concentration of vitamin C of any food, anywhere. It comes in supplement form, as the actual fruit is not readily exported.

Cordyceps – Grown in China, it’s used to improve stamina and performance. It’s a fungus that grows on caterpillar larvae.

Purslane – It’s a weed that looks a little leafy and is high in vitamins A, B, and C, omega-3s, and contains melatonin.

Teff – A gluten-free grain from Ethiopia.

What I’d like to think is that this superfood trend will continue and eventually be a commonplace way of eating. Organic and whole are the foods of today and the future if we hope to maintain our health and prevent illness and disease.

What’s “popular” today might fall back on the list tomorrow. Regardless, knowing about nutrients in all the foods you eat, super or superer, will help you make more informed choices about what you’re feeding your body.

 

 

5​ ​Incredible​ ​Seeds​ ​You​ ​Should​ ​Add​ ​to​ ​Your​ ​Diet​ ​Right​ ​Now

With so many Superfoods on the market, it can be tough to figure out what to add to your diet. Including healthy foods now can help assure that your body will thank you later. In fact, there are 5 incredible seeds that can significantly improve your health, which you should seriously consider adding to your next grocery list.

 

Seeds Aren’t Just for the Birds

Eating seeds might seem strange. Aren’t they just for birds, bears, and other wild animals? Of course not! If you’ve ever followed baseball, you’ve seen how snacking on sunflower seeds has taken the place of chewing tobacco. Adding seeds to your diet can also help:

  • Reduce cholesterol
  • Lower risk of diabetes
  • Lower risk of heart disease or stroke
  • Protect your cells

Seeds are full of nutrients and good fats. Many contain vitamins and monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats like omega-6 and omega-3.

 

Delicious Seed Diet Tips

One may ask, “What’s the best way to eat seeds?” Well, there are several ways to enjoy these healthy treats.

  • Grab a handful as a snack
  • Add them to smoothies
  • Sprinkle them in a salad
  • Bake them into protein bars

If you keep your seeds in a dry place at room temperature, some seeds can stay good for more than three years! They are super easy to store. You can place them in an air-tight-sealed container in your fridge and they will retain their natural crunchy flavors. They may not last as long if they are prepared in a dish. When cooking with seeds, unfortunately, they will only last as long as the first ingredient to go bad.

 

The Incredible 5

There are so many wonderful seeds from which to choose, each with dietary and nutritional benefits. However, there are five specific seeds that stand out as ones you should consider adding right now (and we’ll tell you why!) The seeds that made the top of the list are: Flax, Pumpkin, Chia, Sesame, and Hemp.

 

1) Flax​ ​seeds

Flax seeds are very small, brown in color, and shaped like a teardrop. They’re easy to grind up and add in to smoothies, protein bars, oils, and baked goods. These seeds contain lignans, which help balance hormone levels and blood sugar.

 

2) Pumpkin seeds

Pumpkin​ ​seeds​ are large and green. They contain magnesium, are high in zinc, and help boost the immune system. They’re also high in fiber, which is great for digestion and can help lower heart-disease risk. You can chew them whole or grind them and add to oatmeal, batter for baked goods, or into protein bars.

 

3) Chia​ ​seeds

Chia are tiny grayish-black seeds. They’re known for boosting energy and metabolism. In fact, the word “Chia” means strength in the Mayan language. They’re high in omega-3 fatty amino acids, fiber, and antioxidants. You can munch on a pinch of chia seeds or add them into smoothies, soups, or salads.

 

4) Sesame seeds

Sesame​ ​seeds​ are small and generally white in color, although they can also be black. They originate from Africa and India and make an incredible oil as well. These seeds contain calcium and iron, which is great for your blood and helps boost bone health. Besides being on bagels, sesame seeds can be tossed into salads or used in cooking and baking.

 

5) Hemp Seeds

Hemp​ ​seeds​ are small, white, and round. They’re a terrific source of protein, fiber, and vitamin E. Hemp seeds have been known to help with acne and strengthen hair. These seeds are also a natural anti-inflammatory. They assist with providing a “full” feeling, which can be helpful if weight loss is a goal. Hemp seeds can be ground and place in smoothies, oatmeal, and even desserts!

 

Next time you’re at the market, make sure to add these seeds into your cart. You can always cultivate seeds at home if you’re inclined to plant, grow, harvest, or bake. If you enjoy unique flavors and participate in a healthy diet, then adding these incredible seeds will fit perfectly into your style. Check out GetThrive for many more tips on nutrition and healthy living.

 

Sources:

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/6-healthiest-seeds#section5

https://healthyforgood.heart.org/eat-smart/articles/polyunsaturated-fats

https://bodyecology.com/articles/6_benefits_monosaturated_fats.php

https://www.theodysseyonline.com/10-reasons-healthy-young

http://www.hgtv.com/design/outdoor-design/landscaping-and-hardscaping/qa-do-seedshave-expiration-dates

https://draxe.com/chia-seeds-benefits-side-effects/

http://food.ndtv.com/food-drinks/how-to-eat-flaxseeds-health-benefits-tips-and-recipes-1247569

https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/09/30/pumpkin-seed-benefits.aspx

https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/seed-and-nut/sesame-seeds.html#Skin_HairCare

 

 

 

Green Workspaces: How You Can Benefit as a Student or Employee

I recall some of my school classrooms having very few windows, no natural light, drab walls and work on our desks view able only by light from the overhead fluorescent.

No wonder it was a struggle to stay focused—or awake for that matter. As we’ve since discovered, that type of environment is not particularly conducive to productivity for students or office workers.

When a task requires a person’s full focus, that person must literally fight off the enticement of other thoughts and external distractions. If you’re trying to complete a balance sheet for this fiscal quarter, and you’re brain keeps nagging at you, for example, telling you you’re hungry, you have to fight against that voice to stay focused on your work.

That takes a lot of energy. The same applies for a student trying to complete an essay. He/she has to try his/her hardest to drown out the sound of the tapping pencil from the neighboring desk or other thoughts screaming, “When will it be Friday?”

It’s an extreme effort to attend to a task 100%. And that’s why we become mentally exhausted. Focusing on something that doesn’t require effort, like a tree, a picture of a sailboat, or a photo of kittens—these types of images, which don’t require brain effort, actually lets our brain rest, rejuvenate, and regain its ability to focus on more difficult tasks. This is the argument for classrooms and offices to be functional green spaces.

According to research from the University of Illinois (Department of Landscape Architecture), students learn and perform better on exams if they have the accessibility to see greenery.

And according to Urban Greening Research at the University of Washington, adult office workers report less illness and more enthusiasm for their job when there’s opportunity for access to green space or nature during the workday.

Results of these studies hope to encourage improved school and office design, as well as break-time spent outdoors. More windows, indoor plants, green walkways, and small parks can create a “nature” setting in an urban environment.

One expert claims that the reason for improved success has to do with Attention Restoration Theory (ART.) ART’s theory supposes that prolonged effort to focused attention causes mental exhaustion—restorative environments (such as greenery) enhance recovery from fatigue and stress.

Green views may the most beneficial. Lots of windows with views of grass, trees, mountains, or running water can quickly enhance recovery from brain strain. Courtyards previously dull with cement fixtures can be “greened-up” by painting benches, hanging flower terrariums, and even adding bonsai trees.

It can be simple additions that can change the energy of a space as well as the mood and productivity of those who work or study there. Indoor plants also work wonders, adding a calming effect as well as more oxygen.

By adding a few touches to your environment, you can help yourself become more productive, whether it’s at work or in your classes. Hopefully, this concept has sparked some ideas for you to improve your environment and your well being. What will you add first?

 

 

Most Effective Healthy Eating Tactics for 2018

“I really want to eat healthy this year!”

Most of us have made this proclamation. But, eating healthy, as most of have experienced, can be a considerable challenge. Fret not, however, because we have assembled the most user-friendly, effective, and successful healthy eating tactics for 2018.

The Three W’s of Healthy Eating

The concept of healthy eating is not necessarily about dieting. Dieting connotes a goal of weight loss. Eating healthily entails a commitment to your overall fitness, which also includes a series of behaviors along with certain types of foods. They are:

  • When to eat
  • What to eat
  • Where you eat

These are the three W’s. Each of these “W” categories incorporates tactics that will make your healthy-living mission most effective.

 

“When” Tactics for Your Eating Plan

The word breakfast literally means to “break” the “fast” that you’ve endured while you were sleeping. Eating within your first waking hour is important because you need to stabilize your blood sugar. Additionally, you are essentially refueling to start your new day. Would you begin a road trip with an empty tank of gas?

Many nutritionists suggest eating every three to fours hours to keep blood sugar levels from dropping too low; no one wants to get “hangry.” One suggestion is to apply a 1-to-10 scale to your level of hunger. A grumbling tummy with a lack of mental focus and low energy would be a 1, 2, or 3. That would mean it’s time to eat.

Feeling bloated or like you have to take a nap right after eating might count as an 8, 9, or 10—meaning you ate too soon after your last meal or too much food. The goal would be to maintain a feeling somewhere between a 4 and a 7. Try not to wait too long between meals or snacks so that you don’t risk over-eating or eating “junk” once you get a hold of some food.

If you want to have a good night’s sleep, you probably shouldn’t go to bed on a full stomach. Have your last meal or snack at least three hours before turning in. If you feel peckish and it’s late, have a full glass of water with a squeeze of lemon, lime, or orange or an herbal or flavored decaf tea. That’s a far better tactic for healthy eating than sneaking a midnight snack.

“What” is Included in My Plan?

The most effective habit you can incorporate into any health plan is to educate and surround yourself with nutritious foods. Knowing the difference between the truth about certain foods versus marketing will help you make better decisions about what you store in your home and what you ingest.

Here are some prevalent truths:

  • We need fat in our diet (as long as it’s monounsaturated or polyunsaturated). This would include olive, coconut, and avocado oil, salmon, some nuts, and seeds, etc. Trans fats and saturated fats are unhealthy (beef, margarine, corn oil, palm oil, vegetable oil, cake mixes, non-dairy creamers, microwave popcorn, some frozen dinners, etc.)

 

  • “Eating 10 portions of fruit and vegetables a day could significantly reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke, cancer, and early death” (Imperial College London Study, published February 2017.) If you can shop organic, it’s preferred, as you will be subjecting yourself to less toxins in your produce such as pesticides and fertilizers.

 

  • Sugar intake significantly increases health risks such as diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and certain types of cancers. Sugar in your pre-packaged foods can be listed as: fructose, corn syrup, and cane sugar. None of them will benefit your health or waistline.

 

  • White potatoes, bread, and rice will not help you if you’re on a healthy eating course. Instead, choose whole grains, sweet potatoes, and wild or brown rice.

 

What you stock up on at home is what you will eat.

Effective tactic: Shop wisely and avoid purchasing or bringing home foods that are unhealthy. It’s that simple.

 

“What” Else?

Portion control is a huge (but, keep-it-small) element in healthy eating. Snacks are tiny meals aimed to tide us over until we have our next meal. A meal should be proportioned, balanced, and focused on nutrition and providing energy. Just because you’re eating healthy foods doesn’t mean you should eat a ton.

 

Best “Where” Tactics

Healthy eating can absolutely be successful while dining out. You just need to keep a few things in mind beforehand. Where you go, and how you act when you get there, is all up to you. But you’ve got this!

Most effective tactics for healthy eating away from home (aka as in a restaurant):

  • Peruse the menu before you get there. See what you should/can or should not/cannot eat in advance.
  • When the server asks if you want bread or chips, say, “NO. Thank you. J)
  • Beware of yummy sauces and dressings. They are most likely filled with bad fats and sugar.
  • Keep it simple and delicious. Grilled is a great option, as long as it’s with olive oil, not butter or vegetable oil. Salt, pepper, and garlic in moderation is awesome for flavoring and your health.
  • Side dishes: order the veggies (as long as they’re not drowned in butter), or the fruit. French or home fries, mashed potatoes, salad with a ton of dressing, or slaw with mayonnaise are not productive choices.
  • Order an appetizer instead of a meal. Often, that portion is enough.
  • Order water instead of a sugary or alcoholic beverage.
  • If they serve you too much food, get a to-go box. Don’t force yourself; leftovers are awesome.

 

2018 needs to be a year of success for you and your family. Healthy eating practices are not difficult once you understand which foods will benefit you most and how you can include them into your diet habitually. Hopefully, with our guided tactics, your quest will be simply attained and managed.

 

Sources:

https://www.bodminsou.com/how-often-should-i-eat/

https://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-13869/13-tips-to-stay-healthy-when-eating-out.html

https://www.livestrong.com/article/410350-does-eating-every-three-hours-really-raise-metabolism/

https://medlineplus.gov/ency/patientinstructions/000747.htm

http://www.cnn.com/2017/02/23/homepage2/ten-portions-fruit-vegetables-study/index.html

 

 

 

 

Which Can Help to Improve Personality: Your Brain or Environment?

Everywhere we turn, there are tests to help us identify what type of personality we have. There’s the Myers and Briggs (decision-making), DISC (traits), Rosenberg (esteem), Core Values (life priorities), Cosmopolitan (passion), and a bevy of other legitimate and also less-scientific paths to personality self-discovery.

Whether you utilize these tests, survey friends, or ask a magic-8 ball, finding out how you’re “identified” personality-wise is fine and dandy to use as information to improve yourself, get a job, or stay unmarried. An alternately intriguing question, however, is “How did I wind up with this personality?

One of the biggest brain-theory breakthroughs was established after the completion of a study in 2009. The University of Michigan’s results were printed in Psychological Science.

The hypothesis was that biological associations could be made between the Big Five personality traits and specific regions of the brain. The Big Five traits are OCEAN: openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism.

After studying completed questionnaires and MRIs, it became pretty conclusive that areas of the brain were literally bigger where the dominant personality traits presented.

For example, conscientiousness co-varied with volume in lateral prefrontal cortex, a region involved in planning and the voluntary control of behavior. This study supported psychological application of personality traits with biologically-based testing. “One of the things that this shows is we can start to develop theories about how personality is produced by the brain,” remarked researcher Colin DeYoung.

Earlier this year, scientists in Singapore unveiled a female robot with a full-on, unique personality. Being that “Nadine” doesn’t have a genetic history, the only assumption we can make is that her personality is completely supplanted. She’s powered by software similar to the likes of Siri and Cortana, and, evidently, has a range of moods and emotions. No judgment, but my personality is worried…

Yale researchers also recently made tremendous headway in the brain activity/personality-research conundrum. They studied activity in various regions (via brain scans) in contrast to other regions. By creating a matrix for each participant, they soon recognized that each one had his/her own unique “fingerprint”.

No two minds were alike, as were no two personalities. Fortuitously, the researchers were able to pinpoint each participant from his/her personality to his/her MRI. Their findings were that the frontoparietal network was most distinct. The frontal lobe is, evolutionarily, the last to have been developed. That’s the part this study claims, “defines personality.”

Giving the brain a break, there are other “environmental” issues that have proven to contribute to fabulous and not-so-fabulous personalities. Many psychologists will concur that birth order contributes to personality.

Family environment, according to psychologically-based specialists will concur that, in general, for example, first born children tend to be more aggressive. They use strategies and tactics that take advantage of their greater physical size and their status as “first born”. The younger sibling is always vying for the upper hand.

The younger may eventually choose to branch out and choose academics or sports (completely opposed to his/her older sibling), just to become successful at his/her own unique passion/strength/sport/instrument, etc.

To toss another iron into the curiosity-fire, earlier this year, the 11th edition of “Theories of Personality” (a popular college text, almost 500-pages long) explores the accumulation of theories and studies, both scientific and psychoanalytic of this thing called “personality”.

The authors include their beliefs that race, gender, and cultural mores have an undeniable impact, far beyond (but also including) brain structure and size. It’s certainly a topic worth continual exploration and verification.

Each of our personalities may be formed by the brain, genetics, upbringing, life experience, as well as awareness and commitment to change or hone certain characteristics. Unless, of course, you’ve got multiple personalities—then you’re in for a bigger task… (but maybe also more success!)

To learn more about your health and wellness, subscribe to Get Thrive today!

 

4 Pleasant Ways to Practicing Yoga in 2018

A new year is quickly approaching, and it’s usually our intention to make exercise and stress-reduction a priority. Unfortunately, we get side tracked and our health and fitness goals somehow fall by the wayside. However, for 2018, a healthy body and mind can be yours (and simply!) if you choose to follow these 4 pleasant ways to practice yoga.

 

Happy Yoga New Year!

Most of us already understand the benefits of practicing yoga. But there’s no harm in offering some friendly reminders. Health experts and yoga advocates can probably come up with at least 50 reasons why it’s essential to your overall health. Here are just a few main advantages included in your new-year yoga practice:

 

  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Builds muscle strength
  • Improves posture
  • Protects spine
  • Increases ability to focus
  • Improves balance
  • Relieves tension and anxiety
  • Promotes better sleep
  • Boosts immune system
  • Decreases pain and inflammation

 

Yoga is clearly healing to the body, but it is also incredibly beneficial for the mind. Yoga is a holistic practice in where everything is connected. For example, garnering better posture opens up your lungs and allows you to breathe more deeply, naturally. More oxygen into your blood improves your nervous system. You then become more relaxed and hopefully more content!

 

Practicing Can Be Pleasant

All too often we think of exercise and then, we think, “Ugh, I don’t want to do it!” But, yoga should be a joy—and it can be. For 2018, change your mindset to, “I want to do it. It keeps me healthy and I feel good!” And, it will be easy for you to have this attitude because practicing yoga can be enjoyable and rewarding.

Here are 4 pleasant ways to practicing yoga:

 

1) Set up a relaxing, clean space. You don’t have to invest in décor, statues, lighting, or a home with an extra bedroom. All you need is a comfy, clean area where no one will interrupt your dedicated time while in your space. Lighting and ventilation are important, but you can burn a candle or leave a window slightly open (as long as there’s no traffic noise.)

Also, keep your mat clean. It makes a difference when you are stretching or lying down. (Think of nice clean sheets on your bed.)

 

2) Begin with gratitude from the very beginning. Whether you are rushing into the yoga studio or anxious to grab a break in your home space, take a moment to breathe and center yourself before entering. You want your practice to start from a place of compassion and gratitude. This is a precious time and you will be glad you enter into it from a positive and calmer place, making the entire experience more pleasant.

 

3) Bring only yourself to your practice. Leave material objects and worries of the world outside your yoga time and space. If you’re going to class, just bring a mat. Most studios provide blocks, blankets, and whatever else you might want or need. The idea is lighten your load, physically and mentally.

Do not bring your phone or have your phone on you whenever practicing. Finish whatever task you were doing before you enter. Allow yourself complete freedom of experience. Forget a watch or clock. If you have a given amount of time, you can always set an alarm outside your space. Honor the pleasant simplicity.

 

4) Choose 4 favorite poses. Many suggest you begin your practice in a “do nothing doll” or “corpse” position. Just lie down, stop moving, and connect to your breath. Then, start out with four different poses that you love and that help your body feel good. You will be way more inclined to anticipate your yoga session if you already associate it with enjoyment and pleasure.

Yoga should never feel like an obligation. It is a gift you are giving to your body and mind. So take note when you are stretching or posing what feels the best. Start your session with those poses and you’ll be more apt to make time with a positive attitude.

 

Even though we make promises every year, sticking to your yoga practice can be a success in 2018. Approaching your commitment with simplicity and a feeling of pleasantry can make all the difference. Best of body, mind, and spirit to you today—and everyday!

Sources:

https://www.yogajournal.com/lifestyle/count-yoga-38-ways-yoga-keeps-fit

https://www.doyouyoga.com/ten-ways-keep-yoga-practice-simple/

https://yogainternational.com/article/view/the-beginners-guide-to-home-yoga-practice

https://www.getthrive.com/yoga-heals-brain-body/

https://www.getthrive.com/yoga-tai-chi-instead-medication/