Advertising
Advertising

The Lazy Person’s Guide to Gradual Self-Improvement

The Lazy Person’s Guide to Gradual Self-Improvement

Did you know laziness has roots in our survival instincts?

A long, long time ago, our ancestors didn’t have to think long term. They had to stay focused on the here and now, so they could react and survive in case they were attacked by enemies, animals and, well, nature.

Yet, in the modern age, when survival is not our top priority, this instinct prevents some of us to engage in projects that don’t offer immediate results.

The reason for a man being lazy, carved deep into the structures of our brain, is not the only one. Sometimes, people are lazy because they didn’t find their true path and they just don’t know what they would actually like to do.

In case you think of yourself as a lazy person, and you managed to go this far through the article, there might be good news for you. Let’s quickly go through some ideas for improvements that could help you stay consistent.

Advertising

Start Working Out

I know, you don’t have time, right? Well, let me tell you something. You do. You need 20 minutes, three times a week, to get some results. “But that’s not enough training time to reap the benefits”, you might think. Well, I don’t want to be rude, but how do you know? Did you try it?

As you can see, it is important to catch that little self-sabotaging part of your ego that says a big NO to any thought that considers taking action. Maybe you have your reasons why you don’t want to work out. Is it that you have to go all the way to the gym, workout, then come back home? Don’t worry, there are workouts you can do at home or outside, so you can get it over with quickly and get good results.

Why am I emphasizing workouts from the start? Because some psychologists say that the reason people are lazy is because there are no immediate results after taking action. Bear with me, it is a fact that exercise floods your blood with endorphins, hormones that create feelings of happiness and euphoria. You will have immediate results after your activity; you will be happy and high on endorphins. Go for it, you can do it!

Increase Confidence

Lack of confidence is often the underlying issue of laziness. Some people are simply born or nurtured to develop good confidence levels. Other have to put some effort into building their own.

It’s not complicated. Some of the handy things that are really helpful are already available, right this very moment. Think about all the things that you have accomplished so far. It doesn’t matter if they are big or small. They are still accomplishments.

Advertising

This can point out the fields you are good at. If you were trying to overpass your weaknesses, no wonder you had little success. Build on your strengths!

Sometimes it is best to make some goals that can be checked off a list, and boost your self-confidence that way. Start with something small, like go out with friends, read an article online or make cookies.

Stay Motivated and Focused

Don’t get fooled. Even people that are not lazy are having problems staying consistent for a long period of time.

The key lies in understanding passion and boredom. I’ve heard many times that people quit doing something or don’t even want to engage in something due to a lack of focus and motivation. They adopt the lazy mindset just because they think successful people with immaculate work ethics have incredible passion and willpower.

This might sound like news to you, but successful people sometimes feel boredom and a lack of motivation. Still, they somehow manage to go through it without going into lazy mode. What makes them different? They don’t let their emotions determine their actions and stray their course towards planned goals.

Advertising

You have to think. Gradually, you will become more introspective and you will be able to tell the exact moment when the emotional drop spills the cup, and all the focus and motivation fades to black. Use that moment to work on yourself. If you find it too difficult, you can always ask for professional help.

Spark your Creative Genius

Start by pronouncing yourself as someone creative. It might sound silly, but believing that you are a creative person will actually help you become one.

There are dozens of methods that can help you spark creativity without breaking a sweat. Write a list of “Must do things this week” or keep and Idea Book.

Becoming more creative is very important if you want to gradually self-improve. It provides a powerful incentive and the energy needed to follow up on your ideas.

Put on the wings of Social Butterfly

Advertising

If you start to mingle, you will meet new people with whom you will be able to share your thoughts, worries and ideas. Never underestimate the power of the feedback people give you. Keep your ears open and listen to every word.

Testing your plans and even asking others to help you with something that is bothering you is such a stress reliever. It is important to understand that you want to change your personality, and that takes time.

Hang out with motivated people in real life, let the enthusiasm, energy and motivation of others in. Everything you let into your mind will influence you. Try feeding your mind with positive and motivating things.

Look at all these ideas as a sort of “cheat sheet” on tricking yourself into achieving great things. The only obstacle that stands on your way is you.

This whole transformation is a process, and it is important to take small steps and take time to enjoy small victories. All the rewards that await you on this road will make sure that you get that great sense of achievement. In the end, Rome wasn’t built in a day – as long as you are consistent, even a bit of effort here and there can add up and help you make huge leaps within a few years.

More by this author

Nemanja Manojlovic

Editor at MyCity Web

10 Things To Remember If You Love A Sociopath The Smart Ways to Save Money Fast (Even If You’re a Big Spender) 5 Secrets to Being Confident and Earning People’s Respect How To Get a Killer Gym Body Without Going to the Gym 10 Sustainable Health And Fitness Habits Everyone Can Adopt

Trending in Productivity

1 7 Natural Memory Boosters That Actually Work for All Ages 2 How to Improve Your Memory: 7 Natural (And Highly Effective) Ways 3 11 Tactics on Increasing Brain Power, Memory, and Motivation 4 How to Use More of Your Brain to Become More Productive and Happy 5 Master These 10 Management Skills to Become a Strong Leader

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on February 21, 2019

7 Natural Memory Boosters That Actually Work for All Ages

7 Natural Memory Boosters That Actually Work for All Ages

Forgot a name? Misplaced your keys? Taking longer to find the right words? Don’t panic. There’s plenty you can do to improve your memory.

You’re probably expecting us to reveal 7 little known and newly discovered herbs from the forests of the Amazon, the peaks of the Himalayas and the Arctic tundra. No such luck.

Despite Americans spending hundreds of millions of dollars a year on Ginkgo Biloba, Ashwagandha, Periwinkle, Bacopa, Vitamin B’s, Omega 3’s and memory boosting supplement cocktails, there is very little scientific evidence they actually work. [1]

Instead, we’re going to offer you 7 completely natural memory boosters, backed up by scientific research. It may take a little more effort than a magic memory pill, but the benefits will transcend your memory and improve your overall quality of life as well, making you more fit, energetic, happy and sharp.

How Do We Remember?

The first process in remembering is creating a memory.

This is where our brain sends a signal, associated with a thought, event or piece of information our mind is processing, over our brains neural pathways, called synapses.

Think of our neural pathways like roads and information like trucks. The better the roads, the more trucks can be driven.

The second step in remembering is memory consolidation.

Consolidation is when the brain takes that thought, event or piece of information and actually stores it in the brain. So now we’re talking about taking delivery of the trucks and storing its contents in the warehouse.

Consolidation helps us store information and label it properly, so its organized and easy to retrieve when needed.

Advertising

The last step is memory retrieval.

That’s the step whereby we try to retrieve the information stored in our brains. You know when you have the name of someone on the tip of your tongue.

You have the information; it’s been stored, but you just can’t find it. Our memory recall is typically better the stronger the memory is and the more often we’ve used it.

Memory decline is a normal part of aging. However, new scientific research is discovering many new ways for us to improve memory creation, consolidation and retrieval–no matter our age.

7 Natural Memory Boosters

So how to work on memory and boost your brain power? Here’re 7 brain boosters backed by science that you should try:

1. Aerobic Exercise

Aerobic activity is about as close as we get to a magic pill for our memories. Exercise helps your brain create new capillaries and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) which creates new brain cells and connections. To put it in plain english, aerobic activity changes our brains and helps it grow.

Studies have shown that exercising increases the size of the hippocampus and improves memory. In fact, even if you start exercising as an older adult, you can reverse cognitive decline by 1 to 2 years and protects against further decreases in the size of the hippocampus, which is essential for memory. [2]

In another study, reviewed by Dr. Ian Robertson of the University of Dublin, they looked at a group of people of 60 years and older, who engaged in “active walking” for four months.

They compared them with another group of people who only stretched over the same period of time. After testing both groups before and after the 4 month period, the walkers improved their memory and attention considerably more than the stretching group.

So which exercises are best and how much do we have to exercise?

Advertising

Turns out, it doesn’t really matter whether you run, swim, row or bike. What does matter is that you push yourself beyond your current abilities, keep doing more, keep getting better. Set yourself short term goals and keep pushing the goal posts.

2. Sleep

You need your sleep. The deeper the better. Sleep helps improve your procedural memory (how to do things, like how do I navigate my iPhone) and declarative memory (facts, like what’s my password). [3]

Even short naps from 6 to 45 minutes have been shown to improve your memory. In one Harvard study, college students memorized pairs of unrelated words, memorized a maze and copied a complex form. All were tested on their work. Half were then allowed to take a 45 minute nap. They were then retested. Those who took a nap, got a boost in their performance. [4]

Another study showed that getting REM (deep) sleep can increase your memory and mental performance by 33% to 73%. Getting a deep sleep helps the brain consolidate memories through dreams and “associative processing”. However, the study also revealed that heart rate variability in deep sleep also contributed significantly to increased memory performance. [5]

3. MIND Diet

Healthy eating, particularly more dark colored fruit, vegetables and oily fish has been shown to improve memory and stave off cognitive decline.

The MIND diet is proven to reduce the risk of dementia. It’s a mix of the popular Mediterranean diet and the low blood pressure DASH diet. [6]

The study kept track of the diets of almost 1,000 older adults. They were followed for an average of 4½ years.

The study concluded that “people whose diets were most strongly in line with the MIND diet had brains that functioned as if they were 7½ years younger than those whose diets least resembled this eating style.”

The study also showed that people who followed the MIND diet in the study reduced their chance of getting Alzheimer’s disease in half.

Advertising

So what does the MIND diet consist of? Lots of vegetables, leafy greens, nuts, berries, beans, fish, poultry, olive oil, whole grains and wine.

4. Relax

We all know that stress is bad for our health. It can raise our blood pressure, impact our immune system and interrupt our sleep. Stress also impairs our memory.

When our body gets stressed, it releases cortisol into our blood stream, which can cause short and long term physical changes to the brain. While cortisol has sometimes been shown to cause increases in short term memory, it can actually decrease our long term recall memory.

To help reduce the stress in your life, try relaxing with meditation, yoga or breathing exercises. Unplug–even for just a few hours. Stop checking your emails, social accounts and news. Release some endorphins with some exercise.

Bottom line, the more anxious and stressed we are, the less clearly we think, the poorer our memory works.

5. Continuous Learning

The mind is like a muscle. The more you challenge it, the stronger it gets. The more you learn, the more you can learn.

Research shows that learning can actually change the physical makeup of your brain. Not too long ago, we used to think that you were born with a fixed amount of brain cells, which declined with age. New research now shows that we can actually increase the number of brain cells we have throughout our life.

Aside from staying physically active, learning new skills and studying can actually keep our brains healthier. Consider taking a continuing education class, studying a new language, learning a new instrument, playing new card games. [7]

Studies show that the more complex the task, the more benefits for your mind. Simply showing up to class is not enough. You need to be actively engaged. Anything that forces you to focus and learn something new and get out of a rote routine will help you sharpen your mind and boost your memory.

6. Stay Social

The more deep and meaningful social connections you maintain, the more you protect your brain. Bottom line, the more friends you have, the more people you work with, the more you’re forced to use your brain.

Advertising

Social isolation and loneliness are significant risks of dementia. Without interacting with others, our brains wilt. Isolation and loneliness lead to depression, physical and mental decline. [8]

In a 2016 study published in Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, seniors with a full social calendar did better on memory, reasoning, and processing speed tests. [9]

What to do?

Party! Seriously, get together with friends as often as possible. Have family dinners. Choose social activities or sports like tennis, golf, cards or go for walks with a friend. Bottom line have fun, build meaningful social relationships and stay connected. Not only will it make your mind sharper and your memory better, you’ll be happier, too!

7. Wakeful Rest

This one is getting harder and harder to do. In a world where we can’t sit on a bus, go up an elevator or go to the bathroom without our phones, doing absolutely nothing to distract our minds is becoming increasingly difficult.

But, the results are in. Doing nothing is great for your memory. Quietly resting for 10 minutes, after you learn something will help you remember and help you create more detailed memories. [10]

What we do minutes after we learn something new has a significant impact on how well we retain the new information. In another study, it didn’t matter what you did after you learned something new, as long as you weren’t distracted by outside factors. In other words, you could be thinking of your day, making a grocery list, or thinking of a story. In either case, wakeful rest for a period of 10 minutes helped the brain process and consolidate your memories so that you were better able to recall the information at a later date. [11]

Conclusion

You don’t have to spend a dime on cocktails and supplements promising a quick boost to your memory power. There is very little conclusive scientific evidence suggesting supplements will help improve the memories of healthy individuals–not for Ginkgo Biloba, Vitamin B, fish oils, Vitamin D, Folate or other supplements claiming they a secret formula.

There are far cheaper and more effective ways to boost your memory: exercise, rest, eat well, learn, love, laugh and relax. Who wouldn’t want that prescription?

More Resources About Boost Brain Power

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

Reference

Read Next