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5 Simple Ways to Unplug and Be More Mindful In Your Life

5 Simple Ways to Unplug and Be More Mindful In Your Life

In a world that is driven by constant innovation in technology and our innate need to want more and more in life, at what point does the society plateau or get comfortable at what is?  Probably NEVER!  Remember playing outside until the sun went down, leisurely trips to the local library to pick out books for the week, and having to look things up in the encyclopedia?  Nowadays, it seems as though the world is at our fingertips making life so much easier.  Or is it?

Going through life too fast

At what point does it become too much?  No longer do we gasp when a toddler who can’t even talk yet is able to navigate an Ipad or a cell phone better than some adults.  No longer do we question whether it’s ok to take leave from work by a quick text to your superior. Little by little our social etiquette is changing, but at what cost?

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So much stress is caused by the overload of stimulation. The amount of information coming at people is alarming.  Our bodies have not yet evolved to be able to handle it, so it is necessary to be mindful of how much is too much. Simplifying, minimizing, and slowing down are all ways we can create more peace in our daily lives and reduce the pressure we are putting on ourselves to keep up.

Cell phones have become an extension of ourselves

At concerts, instead of the glow of the lighters, the cast of white light recording to capture the moment illuminates the crowd.  Our ability to engage and connect with people and moments in life diminish with the incessant need to post, check-in and hashtag our experiences.

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New generations are losing their peripheral vision, people are injuring themselves while walking and texting, and social skills among our youth are not being developed appropriately for their age. Instead of creating memories in our mind, we rely on our hard drives to store them for us. The art of a handwritten letter or card or even learning how to write a script is becoming a thing of the past.  While social media, technology, and innovation have helped our daily lives, having an awareness of what impact it has on our relationships, quality of life, and stress levels can encourage all of us to unplug and recharge ourselves every so often.

In so many ways, we are all at the mercy of technology.  In order to create balance and a lifestyle that will allow you to be present in your life, it is necessary to create healthy habits.

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5 simple ways to become more present in life

Here are some tips that will help you manage just that;

  1. Create a cell-free time in your day – Often times having your phone next to you at all times creates the need to check in too often.  It’s so hard to shy away from that green or blue notification light blinking away!  Dedicate breaks of time where your cell phone is out of sight, so you can focus and truly be with people during your day.  Create a set of personal rules, such as no phone interactions at the dinner table, while you have company over, or while you are in a public place.
  2. Silence notifications – When you are not required to answer a text, call, or email, turn your phone on silent so that you can avoid constant distraction and not be tempted to answer immediately.  Stress can be caused by the pressure felt by having to answer immediately or multi-task.  We are more efficient doing one task at a time!
  3. Tune into nature – One of the best ways to ensure you are centered and engaged in the present is to be out in nature. Soaking in the sounds, getting some fresh air and sun exposure is amazing for the mind, body, and spirit.
  4. Read a book – Too much screen time is wreaking havoc on our eyes, posture, and brains. Taking breaks from the screen to read a book is a nice way to still get information and enjoyment, but without the physical strain induced by an electronic device. If you like to read in bed, prop a pillow behind your head so you are not looking down at the book, this ensures your neck is in a neutral position.
  5. Play music – Instead of having your television on all day on the weekend, opt for playing music instead.  Music can enhance focus, promote creativity, and relax the mind.

5 benefits of unplugging

This will instantly enable you to become more present in your life and that in turn will do the following;

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  • Strengthen interpersonal communication and your relationships
  • Boost creativity and focus
  • De-stress and calm anxiety or fear
  • Improve gratitude
  • Create inner peace and joy

Try to incorporate these tips into your daily routine and life will suddenly become more engaging and less stressful!

Featured photo credit: www.pexels.com via pexels.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!

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Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

Reference

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