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5 Ways To Improve The Relationship With Yourself

5 Ways To Improve The Relationship With Yourself

The one and most important relationship you have is the one with yourself. In order for all your other relationships to work, you need to consider the time you spend on yourself and your own needs. Let’s be honest that if you feel fulfilled with yourself, you will project the same positive energy to the world out there and all your relationships will benefit from that.

You need to constantly pay attention to your body, to the daily signals it gives you about the way it feels. You also need to make sure you give yourself enough love, nurture, care and accept yourself for the person you are. The way you treat yourself will impact the way you treat other people – if respect and love grows within you, then they will grow around your relationships as well.

Here are 5 ways to improve the relationship you have with yourself:

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1. Practice self-love

The starting point of improving the relationship with yourself is loving and accepting yourself for who you are. Think about the importance of enjoying your own company because if you don’t, how can others enjoy it? When you start accepting and being grateful for yourself, that will be the moment you start a healthy and loving relationship with yourself. Make sure you show love to yourself in your daily endeavors even if it means grabbing your favorite drink or sitting for a moment and reading your favorite magazine.

From time to time look at yourself in the mirror and be proud of the person you have turned into. Showing appreciation of yourself is a key in practicing self-love every day.

2. Make time for yourself

Making time for yourself must become a priority in your life if you want to have a lasting loving relationship with yourself. You can’t really give much to others if you do not show care and nurture to yourself first. Perhaps saying “no” to other people is the starting point to create some extra time for yourself.

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When you make yourself a priority you will be able to unwind and recharge for the next day. There is nothing wrong with this because what we normally do is put ourselves on a second plan in order to fulfill other responsibilities and inquiries.

3. Don’t be so hard on yourself

Many times you have fallen into the trap of feeling guilty about something you have done or something wrong you said. You then start accusing yourself of not being appropriate and always making the wrong moves with other people. Well, it is time you stop doing that and start considering the importance of being kind to yourself.

If you do not do it now, when will you start doing it? How long can you go on with being so harsh on yourself? The more love and kindness you show to yourself, the more it will be able to give you back. So make sure you are aware of your own thoughts in order to start a healing relationship full of acceptance, gratitude, and awareness.

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4. Think about your health

Taking good care of your own body, having a regular and nutritional diet and enough exercise every week is really important for you. Meditating and practicing yoga are also essential for connecting to your inner world and becoming aware of what is going inside your mind. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is like giving yourself a precious gift every single day in order for you to feel happy and fulfilled.

Fall in love with the process of caring about your own health, mind and spirit. Your body is practically like a home to you, so make sure you turn it into a place full of love and comfort.

5. Smile more often

Smile and laugh more often. Do not take life so seriously and make time for having fun. Life becomes a much more exciting journey when we start acting and thinking mindfully and always expecting good results in return. Practice to be more positive and optimistic towards the world out there as this will be extremely helpful in maintaining the relationship you have with yourself.

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When you become more enthusiastic about life in general, the way about you feel yourself will change. You will be much more excited to wake up in the morning and embrace the person you have become. So go on and make your every day beautiful because you deserve to have an amazing relationship with yourself!

Featured photo credit: Deya Walking on the Beach / Nan Palmero via flickr.com

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Filiz Mehmedova

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Last Updated on June 6, 2019

Science Says Silence Is Much More Important To Our Brains Than We Think

Science Says Silence Is Much More Important To Our Brains Than We Think

In 2011, the Finnish Tourist Board ran a campaign that used silence as a marketing ‘product’. They sought to entice people to visit Finland and experience the beauty of this silent land. They released a series of photographs of single figures in the nature and used the slogan “Silence, Please”. A tag line was added by Simon Anholt, an international country branding consultant, “No talking, but action.”

Eva Kiviranta the manager of the social media for VisitFinland.com said: “We decided, instead of saying that it’s really empty and really quiet and nobody is talking about anything here, let’s embrace it and make it a good thing”.

Finland may be on to something very big. You could be seeing the very beginnings of using silence as a selling point as silence may be becoming more and more attractive. As the world around becomes increasingly loud and cluttered you may find yourself seeking out the reprieve that silent places and silence have to offer. This may be a wise move as studies are showing that silence is much more important to your brains than you might think.

Regenerated brain cells may be just a matter of silence.

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     A 2013 study on mice published in the journal Brain, Structure and Function used differed types of noise and silence and monitored the effect the sound and silence had on the brains of the mice.[1] The silence was intended to be the control in the study but what they found was surprising. The scientists discovered that when the mice were exposed to two hours of silence per day they developed new cells in the hippocampus. The hippocampus is a region of the brain associated with memory, emotion and learning.

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    The growth of new cells in the brain does not necessarily translate to tangible health benefits. However, in this instance, researcher Imke Kirste says that the cells appeared to become functioning neurons.

    “We saw that silence is really helping the new generated cells to differentiate into neurons, and integrate into the system.”

    In this sense silence can quite literally grow your brain.

    The brain is actively internalizing and evaluating information during silence

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      A 2001 study defined a “default mode” of brain function that showed that even when the brain was “resting” it was perpetually active internalizing and evaluating information.

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      Follow-up research found that the default mode is also used during the process of self-reflection. In 2013, in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, Joseph Moran et al. wrote, the brain’s default mode network “is observed most closely during the psychological task of reflecting on one’s personalities and characteristics (self-reflection), rather than during self-recognition, thinking of the self-concept, or thinking about self-esteem, for example.

      “When the brain rests it is able to integrate internal and external information into “a conscious workspace,” said Moran and colleagues.

      When you are not distracted by noise or goal-orientated tasks, there appears to be a quiet time that allows your conscious workspace to process things. During these periods of silence, your brain has the freedom it needs to discover its place in your internal and external world.

      The default mode helps you think about profound things in an imaginative way.

      As Herman Melville once wrote,[2]

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      “All profound things and emotions of things are preceded and attended by silence.”

      Silence relieves stress and tension.

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        It has been found that noise can have a pronounced physical effect on our brains resulting in elevated levels of stress hormones. The sound waves reach the brain as electrical signals via the ear. The body reacts to these signals even if it is sleeping. It is thought that the amygdalae (located in the temporal lobes of the brain) which is associated with memory formation and emotion is activated and this causes a release of stress hormones. If you live in a consistently noisy environment that you are likely to experience chronically elevated levels of stress hormones.

        A study that was published in 2002 in Psychological Science (Vol. 13, No. 9) examined the effects that the relocation of Munich’s airport had on children’s health and cognition. Gary W. Evans, a professor of human ecology at Cornell University notes that children who are exposed to noise develop a stress response that causes them to ignore the noise. What is of interest is that these children not only ignored harmful stimuli they also ignored stimuli that they should be paying attention to such as speech. 

        “This study is among the strongest, probably the most definitive proof that noise – even at levels that do not produce any hearing damage – causes stress and is harmful to humans,” Evans says.[3]

        Silence seems to have the opposite effect of the brain to noise. While noise may cause stress and tension silence releases tension in the brain and body. A study published in the journal Heart discovered that two minutes of silence can prove to be even more relaxing than listening to “relaxing” music. They based these findings of changes they noticed in blood pressure and blood circulation in the brain.[4]

        Silence replenishes our cognitive resources.

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          The effect that noise pollution can have on cognitive task performance has been extensively studied. It has been found that noise harms task performance at work and school. It can also be the cause of decreased motivation and an increase in error making.  The cognitive functions most strongly affected by noise are reading attention, memory and problem solving.

          Studies have also concluded that children exposed to households or classrooms near airplane flight paths, railways or highways have lower reading scores and are slower in their development of cognitive and language skills.

          But it is not all bad news. It is possible for the brain to restore its finite cognitive resources. According to the attention restoration theory when you are in an environment with lower levels of sensory input the brain can ‘recover’ some of its cognitive abilities. In silence the brain is able to let down its sensory guard and restore some of what has been ‘lost’ through excess noise.[5]

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          Summation

          Traveling to Finland may just well be on your list of things to do. There you may find the silence you need to help your brain. Or, if Finland is a bit out of reach for now, you could simply take a quiet walk in a peaceful place in your neighborhood. This might prove to do you and your brain a world of good.

          Featured photo credit: Angelina Litvin via unsplash.com

          Reference

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