Small Changes That Can Make A Big Difference
Small things can often make big impacts on our lives. And the best thing is that they can make things a lot more positive for us, if only we care to recognize the power within them. The power to make things better, happier and healthier, for us. Presented here are just some of the things that can make our life all the more beautiful, if only we care to pay heed to them.
Consume One Apple
The saying, an apple a day keeps the doctor away may be all too familiar to us, but it’s the timing of when you actually eat the apple that holds the key to good health. Or so believe researchers at Pennsylvania State University. In an experiment that they conducted, all volunteers were served peeled apples 15 minutes prior to lunch. What they found out is that this contributes to a cut on your calorie intake by about 190 when compared to those who consume the same number of calories, 125 to be precise, in the form of applesauce, apple juice fortified with fiber or just plain apple juice. The difference in calorie figures can be attributed to the fact that all calories are not equally created. Since an apple is enriched with fiber and nutrients, eating one whole apple can make one feel full much longer. In fact, researchers believe the outcome could have been even more promising had the volunteers consumed apples along with the peel, it being rich in fiber.
Use the other hand for brushing your teeth
Doing simple everyday chores with your non-dominant hand works to lift your mood as well as boost your memory. The reason why this happens can be attributed to the fact that such acts causes the brain to produce neurotrophic factor or BDNF, which is a protein that acts as a stimulant for the production of neurons linked to long-term memory and mood. Production of BDNF in the brain goes down sharply during conditions of depression or when you feel stressed out. In fact, pumping up BDNF levels is one of the lesser-known activities of antidepressants. And for some, even the simple act of smelling rosemary early in the morning can activate BDNF production.
Drinking filtered coffee
Unfiltered coffee is increasingly being seen as the prime cause that is contributing to high LDL as well as total cholesterol, with terpenes, a constituent of the oil from coffee beans, being suspected to be main culprit. Sources like the French press, espresso or the percolator that churn out unfiltered coffee are likely to have significantly higher content of terpenes which has a negative influence on cholesterol metabolism. Filters can prove to be effective in removing surface oils and for this, experts recommend paper filters that perform far better than gold filters.
Engage in power walk
Spend a few minutes with a fitness expert and you’re likely to come across the word core, a form of exercise that works on the supple muscles, particularly of the abs and the back. As per a 2008 review from the University of Colorado School of Medicine, the sole aim of a core workout is to prevent injuries, promote athletism and relieve lower back pain. And a little bit of core conditioning if made a part of your walking regime can work wonders for you.
What you have to do is, take a deep breath and with a single strong exhaling motion, pull your navel inwards towards the spine. Hold on to this for a count of five and then release. Repeat for a total of 10 times while you’re walking and after a short rest, do it for another 2 or 3 sets. Add some lunges to it and what you have is another core conditioning added to your walk.
The method to be followed is like this: keep your spine long with abdominals engaged. Then with the right foot, step about 3 feet forward with the knee staying directly above the ankle. Also, the left foot should be drawn up so that it is only the right leg that you are balancing on for a moment. Repeat the entire thing with the other foot.
Consume some walnuts
You should be looking at your liver if you find yourself to be bragging, since it is the fat and carb rich American diet that is at fault for increasing the risk of liver inflammation among millions of adults, and probably even cirrhosis of liver. This, when many of them may never have had consumed alcohols. So you should be watching out for fatigue and malaise, as these are the early symptoms of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. And to prevent it or heal a diseased liver, an ounce of walnut everyday is all that is needed, thanks to the presence of liver friendly omega-3s. Also, cut down on junk food and increase intake of fruit, vegetables, fish, and whole grains.
Healing effects of music
According to experts, music can have a significant positive impact on an individual. It has been found that if music beats per minute (bpm) matches with your heart rate during exercise, motivational factor increases immensely. You can try out music with different tempos to find out the one that you think has the best positive influence on you. Presented here is a playlist with varying bpm figures that suits different activities to help you get started.
For meditation and yoga (bpm: 50 to 76)
- “Albatross”, Fleetwood Mac (66 bpm)
- “Evenstar”, London Philharmonic (50 bpm)
- “Terrapin”, Bonobo (76 bpm)
Walking (bpm: 95 to 120)
- “Let’s Get It Started”, Black Eyed Peas (105 bpm)
- “Pon De Replay”, Rihanna (100 bpm)
- “This Is How We Do It”, Montell Jordan (104 bpm)
Running; elliptical machine (bpm: 125 to 160 bpm)
- “Push It”, Salt-N-Pepa (124 bpm)
- “Put Your Hands Up for Detroit”, Fedde Le Grand (129 bpm)
Time major decisions
Estrogen and testosterone reaches peak levels during the week before evolution so as to facilitate egg formation. Of these, estrogen is the hormone that is responsible for making you creative and emotional while the role of testosterone is to lend aggressiveness and confidence to your character. So the best time to get involved in projects that require a high degree of insight and imagination is the week and a half after you have your periods. This is also the time to make daring or bold moves, like asking for a promotion. However, its best to refrain from making any relationship decisions during this time since high levels of estrogen during this time can make you sentimental or mawkish while testosterone leads to rashness. So if you wish to do anything that is big and groundbreaking, it’s best to give it a thought thoroughly.
Say it aloud what you have learnt
The best way to retain knowledge is to involve your brain actively in the entire learning process. Experts suggest repeating of the information like name of a person, telephone number, or anything that you wish to retain using different styles as it increases the chances of retention. You can try different phrases to keep the information fresh and then build on it. When you come across a story, relate it to someone new. The idea is to think about it in different situations. This will ensure the information remains fresh so that it is easier for your mind to store the minute details.
Be ready with a plan when you wake up
The first thing for you to do early in the morning when the alarm goes off is to quit your bed and move into the shower. And during the time that you are there, try to figure out what the prominent headlines of the day before were. This bit of physical and mental activity acts as a trigger for the brain to wake up from its slumber. Chances are that you might be feeling awful and disgusted, but rather than let these feeling get the better of you, use this time to figure out the things that you would like to achieve before lunch. These are the things that a fireman had to share and how waking up early can benefit a fireman.
Preach forgiving others
Though easier said than done, this is something that can have a great healing effect on you as it enables you to view a situation with a sense of compassion and understanding. So the next time you engage in an argument with someone, do consider forgiving the other person, no matter how rude the other person may have been to you. For this will not only arm you with a degree of self-control, this will also ensure you do not harbor any bitterness or anger within you.
Make it a habit to chew gum
Though its still a matter of debate as to whether the act of chewing gum has any role to play in stimulating our appetite or not, what researchers know for sure is that it has a positive impact on areas of the brain which eventually leads to better concentration and memory, as has been reported in the journal Neuroscience Letters.
Lead a pure and free life
Try to get rid of anything and everything that you think can fuel depressive thoughts in you. For instance, if it’s a dress that reminds you of a past relationship gone sour, get rid of it even if you still marvel at its beauty or price. This will ensure you’re not only shaking the dress off you, but you are actually moving ahead of the not so fond memories that may be closely interwoven with that particular dress. Similarly, old magazines that you’ll probably never have the time to read, or the picture of a friend who is fond of putting you down, these are just some of the things that you’d better get rid of since living on past regrets or unpleasant memories will only lead to further depression.
Balance yourself on the balls of your feet
Shift your weight on the balls of your feet if you wish to remain well planted, no matter how demanding the situation might be. So whether its a tough conversation with your spouse, making a presentation in your office or delivering speech in front of an audience, you can be sure to remain well grounded. Another tried and tested trick is to pause for a few moments to regain your composure before you start speaking once more, since this works to enhance your confidence levels. Other thing that you have to be aware of is to maintain your pace even as you look to build upon your point and maintaining eye contact. If you feel uncomfortable doing that, you can always look at an earring or a side burn since all of this has the same effect.
Include Umami in your diet
It’s the four basic flavors that we are fully aware of: sweet, sour, salty, and bitter. However, researchers in 2000 have been successful in identifying a fifth taste receptor: umami, which is somewhat linked to a savory, meaty flavor that can be extracted from the amino acid glutamate. Umami can be found in food items like meat, fish, cheese, soy sauce, mushrooms, tomatoes, and green tea. Also, recent research has shown that consumption of food that is devoid of fat but hearty-tasty food, like umami flavored foods can make us fell full, without having eaten a whole lot more. The journal Physiology & Behavior reports of an experiment conducted on rats, which involved feeding male rats with water flavored with umami. What was found is that the rats gained less weight than those who were fed with same amount of non-umami flavored food.
Keep aside 10 minutes for daydreaming
Recent research is testimony to the fact what many brilliant people have always indulged in when faced with a problem that can take the better of them, just unshackle the mind and let it wander. The right hemisphere of our brain that houses the sensory part of the brain gets stimulated during daydreaming. Since it has a larger number of branches that reach far and wide, there’s always a better chance of the less obvious associations to take place. One way you can incite daydreaming is to move to a place that has very limited outside stimuli and think of pleasing things. Even if the problem at hand doesn’t get solved, you’ll always come back a lot more calmer and with a clear mind.