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Life After Graduation: How To Make The Most Of It

Life After Graduation: How To Make The Most Of It

After 16 years of studying and testing, you finally walked across that stage. It’s such a short walk for such a long journey, but now you are a graduate. You are an adult. So… now what? The last 16 years of your life have been planned out for you; however, a short walk later, you are now in charge of the direction of the rest of your life.

Here are some tips and guidance to make the rest of your life mean something.

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1. Be intentional

You are now the primary author for your life’s adventure. This is a tremendous amount of responsibility to land on your shoulders in a matter of days. Hopefully, you have been actively preparing for this moment, especially over the previous four years, but there is no way to be completely prepared. Life is a vastly complex series of situations, circumstances, choices, decisions, and the resulting consequences. To have a fulfilling life, you must actively and intentionally pursue it and craft it. A mediocre life doesn’t require anything of you – an excellent one does.

2. Get a mentor

After graduation, you realize just how little you actually know. You don’t have it all figured out, and you certainly don’t know how to answer all of life’s questions (why else would you be reading this article?). Seek counsel. Ask for advice. Surround yourself with people who are smarter and more experienced than you are. Find at least one person with whom you can meet to talk through tough situations or decisions. Nobody is meant to handle life alone because no one person knows everything. Draw on the wisdom and experience of those around you.

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3. Make choices and stick with them

With a new world of infinite choices now at your disposal, you have to make choices with tact. However, sometimes you just have to make a decision. Wisdom does not usually come knocking at your door – you must pursue it. Experience also goes a long way (and much wisdom can be gained from poor decisions), but don’t find wisdom only at the end of your life of poor choices. Instead, make wise choices now. That being said, with all of the options in life (just look at the chip aisle!), sometimes you just need to make a decision and stick with it. Be decisive. Be persistent. Have conviction.

4. Be bold

Here’s a maxim: “Life is spelled R-I-S-K.” How about another: “Boy, I wish I had played it safe more often”, said by no one ever. You have to be risky in life. Life itself is a risk – so play along. However, don’t be stupid when it comes to risk-taking. Learn what risks are good and bad. Play life’s game like you have nothing (and everything) to lose. Do hard things. Find a job that challenges you. Take on some heavy responsibility. Life is not made full by taking the easy way out and choosing the safe options. Life is abundant outside of your comfort zone.

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5. Give everything

If you spend your life investing in yourself, when you die, the investment is completely lost. When you spend your life investing in others, that investment echoes into eternity. How you spend your time doesn’t matter as much as who you spend your time on. Let’s be honest, life is bigger than little old you. It’s best to learn that now before life slaps you clear across the room with it later.

6. Write a journal

Journaling is one of the greatest discoveries I have made in my personal life. There’s a lot that goes on inside my head, and it often gets overwhelming. When I started journaling, my head cleared up. A whole new level of focus and drive opened up in my life. Journaling brings depth – of thought, character, and purpose in life. I won’t spend any more time talking about it. Just do it. It’ll surprise you.

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Featured photo credit: Alan Light via flickr.com

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Austen Broome

Social Media/Public Relations Manager and Copywriter for Liquid Creative

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Last Updated on August 12, 2019

12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

Nutrition plays a vital role in brain function and staying sharp into the golden years. Personally, my husband is going through medical school, which is like a daily mental marathon. Like any good wife, I am always looking for things that will boost his memory fortitude so he does his best in school.

But you don’t have to be a med student to appreciate better brainiac brilliance. If you combine certain foods with good hydration, proper sleep and exercise, you may just rival Einstein and have a great memory in no time.

I’m going to reveal the list of foods coming out of the kitchen that can improve your memory and make you smarter.

Here are 12 best brain foods that improve memory and brain power:

1. Nuts

The American Journal of Epidemiology published a study linking higher intakes of vitamin E with the prevention on cognitive decline.[1]

Nuts like walnuts and almonds (along with other great foods like avocados) are a great source of vitamin E.

Cashews and sunflower seeds also contain an amino acid that reduces stress by boosting serotonin levels.

Walnuts even resemble the brain, just in case you forget the correlation, and are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, which also improve your mental magnitude.

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2. Blueberries

Shown in studies at Tuffs University to benefit both short-term memory and coordination, blueberries pack quite a punch in a tiny blue package.[2]

When compared to other fruits and veggies, blueberries were found to have the highest amount of antioxidants (especially flavonoids), but strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are also full of brain benefits.

3. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are packed full of the antioxidant lycopene, which has shown to help protect against free-radical damage most notably seen in dementia patients.

4. Broccoli

While all green veggies are important and rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, broccoli is a superfood even among these healthy choices.

Since your brain uses so much fuel (it’s only 3% of your body weight but uses up to 17% of your energy), it is more vulnerable to free-radical damage and antioxidants help eliminate this threat.

Broccoli is packed full of antioxidants, is well-known as a powerful cancer fighter and is also full of vitamin K, which is known to enhance cognitive function.

5. Foods Rich in Essential Fatty Acids

Your brain is the fattest organ (not counting the skin) in the human body, and is composed of 60% fat. That means that your brain needs essential fatty acids like DHA and EPA to repair and build up synapses associated with memory.

The body does not naturally produce essential fatty acids so we must get them in our diet.

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Eggs, flax, and oily fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel and herring are great natural sources of these powerful fatty acids. Eggs also contain choline, which is a necessary building block for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, to help you recall information and concentrate.

6. Soy

Soy, along with many other whole foods mentioned here, are full of proteins that trigger neurotransmitters associated with memory.

Soy protein isolate is a concentrated form of the protein that can be found in powder, liquid, or supplement form.

Soy is valuable for improving memory and mental flexibility, so pour soy milk over your cereal and enjoy the benefits.

7. Dark Chocolate

When it comes to chocolate, the darker the better. Try to aim for at least 70% cocoa. This yummy desert is rich in flavanol antioxidants which increase blood flow to the brain and shield brain cells from aging.

Take a look at this article if you want to know more benefits of dark chocolate: 15 Surprising and Science-Backed Health Effects of Dark Chocolate

8. Foods Rich in Vitamins: B vitamins, Folic Acid, Iron

Some great foods to obtain brain-boosting B vitamins, folic acid and iron are kale, chard, spinach and other dark leafy greens.

B6, B12 and folic acid can reduce levels of homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine increases are found in patients with cognitive impairment like Alzheimer’s, and high risk of stroke.

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Studies showed when a group of elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment were given high doses of B6, B12, and folic acid, there was significant reduction in brain shrinkage compared to a similar placebo group.[3]

Other sources of B vitamins are liver, eggs, soybeans, lentils and green beans. Iron also helps accelerate brain function by carrying oxygen. If your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen, it can slow down and people can experience difficulty concentrating, diminished intellect, and a shorter attention span.

To get more iron in your diet, eat lean meats, beans, and iron-fortified cereals. Vitamin C helps in iron absorption, so don’t forget the fruits!

9. Foods Rich in Zinc

Zinc has constantly demonstrated its importance as a powerful nutrient in memory building and thinking. This mineral regulates communications between neurons and the hippocampus.

Zinc is deposited within nerve cells, with the highest concentrations found in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for higher learning function and memory.

Some great sources of zinc are pumpkin seeds, liver, nuts, and peas.

10. Gingko Biloba

This herb has been utilized for centuries in eastern culture and is best known for its memory boosting brawn.

It can increase blood flow in the brain by dilating vessels, increasing oxygen supply and removing free radicals.

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However, don’t expect results overnight: this may take a few weeks to build up in your system before you see improvements.

11. Green and Black Tea

Studies have shown that both green and black tea prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine—a key chemical involved in memory and lacking in Alzheimer’s patients.

Both teas appear to have the same affect on Alzheimer’s disease as many drugs utilized to combat the illness, but green tea wins out as its affects last a full week versus black tea which only lasts the day.

Find out more about green tea here: 11 Health Benefits of Green Tea (+ How to Drink It for Maximum Benefits)

12. Sage and Rosemary

Both of these powerful herbs have been shown to increase memory and mental clarity, and alleviate mental fatigue in studies.

Try to enjoy these savory herbs in your favorite dishes.

When it comes to mental magnitude, eating smart can really make you smarter. Try to implement more of these readily available nutrients and see just how brainy you can be!

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Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

Reference

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