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5 Positive Ways to Shake Up Your Life

5 Positive Ways to Shake Up Your Life

Sometimes, a life that is peaceful, calm and uneventful can unexpectedly end up feeling stressed. You might feel a void because you’re not accomplishing anything new. You might start feeling worried about your current situation and wonder what disaster is around the corner.

Some people are fine with the mundane. But for those craving some excitement or personal growth, certain major life changes can give you valuable lessons that create a permanent positive life shift,  making you a happier person.

According to Psychology Today, the only way positive change can happen in your life is to make choices. Yes, there are always risks involved with every decision you make, but the payoff comes in the accomplishment you’ll feel during the journey. Even if the outcome isn’t exactly like you anticipated. As outlined in this article on how to conquer fear and make a change, going after something new is as much about the process as it is the result.

If you feel like you’re in a rut and are looking for a positive way to add depth to your life, here are five ideas.

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1. Further Your Education

If you’ve always dreamed of getting a new degree, it may be more within your reach than you think. Online educational programs make it more manageable for professionals to study on their own schedule. Many employers will even fund at least part of a higher education if it pertains to the role.

Studying something completely new may lead to career changes that are more rewarding. You’ll also connect with potential new friends and learn subjects you may have never considered pursuing. This may lead to new discoveries or life decisions that help you attain more personal growth.

2. Go on Your Dream Vacation

Travel is one of the best investments you can make in yourself. Exposure to a new places, cultures, and people make you more aware of your personal qualities and how you interact with others. This also teaches you to be thankful for your current home base and the abundance you have been blessed with.

Traveling to your dream destination doesn’t have to break the bank. You can even stay somewhere for free with a service such as Couchsurfing. Before you hit your destination, look into deals sites like Groupon to score discounts on restaurants and excursions, and research free activities, such as nature walks or festivals.

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    3. Face Your Fear

    Stepping outside of your comfort zone is essential to achieve growth and transformation, reports Psychology Today. Facing a fear provides many benefits including:

    • A sense of accomplishment
    • Courage to go after new goals
    • Lasting increased confidence

    Some fears maybe even hindering you professionally. For example, a fear of public speaking may make you less likely to go after executive positions that require talking to groups, even if you’d excel at all other parts of that role. In such cases, try taking a public speaking course to help you conquer that fear. To push the boundaries of what you think is capable in your life, perform the activity you fear, such as skydiving or bungee jumping if you’re scared of heights.

    4. Move to a New City

    Whether it’s a change of climate, population size, scenery, or culture, moving away from your home helps break the monotony of daily routine.

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    If you have a job where you work remotely or do much of your work online, you may be able to stay with your company and make the leap. Some countries, such as Australia, have extensive work-holiday visa programs that are welcoming to new residents for up to a year.

    Having an employee who works in a different country allows a company to potentially add a new exotic location to their list of “global offices.” Talking about your dreams to move somewhere else may be seen as beneficial to your job. So don’t be afraid to share your thoughts with your supervisor to see what your options are.

    5. Volunteer

    There are so many worthy causes to donate your time to; from working at an animal shelter with cute animals to helping disadvantaged youngsters as a tutor. A study published by the American Psychological Association found those who volunteered regularly were less likely to develop hypertension than non-volunteers.

    Volunteering doesn’t just help those you’re working with — it helps you focus on a positive task, which eliminates stressful thoughts. This makes you more appreciative of what you have in your own life while giving you a satisfying feeling of accomplishment.

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    Ready to make a move? The American Psychological Association recommends making a plan for your change and asking for support to increase chances of fulfillment. Use these techniques when you want to do something different in your life or to set a goal for personal growth. Embrace the uncertainties you face, and have the confidence you can handle whatever comes your way.

    Featured photo credit: life changes via shutterstock.com

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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!

    More About Boosting Brain Power

    Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

    Reference

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