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Ways to Stay Positive when Times are Tough

Ways to Stay Positive when Times are Tough

In life, they say that change is the most permanent thing. It is a series of ups and downs like a turning wheel. Sometimes we are right on top, but sometimes we are right at the bottom. When we are at the bottom it can feel like we are never, ever going to get back up again. The good thing is, as the wheel turns, we can get back up and start feeling happy again.

During tough times, it is easy to get our spirits and attitudes dragged all the way down, but it is important not to lose the shine in our souls because no adversity is permanent. That is why we should always keep a positive mindset. Follow these pointers to help lift yourself back up when you are feeling down:

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Appreciate the good things around you.

The tough part of life is just one part of life. You need to look at the bigger picture and look at where your life has its positive side. Have you ever heard of people telling others to look at the glass half-full and not half-empty? That is exactly what you should do.

Take a walk and let it slow you down.

Go out and stop and smell the flowers. Physical movement or exercise can definitely lift you up when you are feeling down. If you go out, whether it is for walking, running, or shopping, you put your mind in a temporary state of rest from stress by diverting your attention to other things that you actually see and not just think about. Give your eyes new things to see.

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Be excited about the good things that could happen to you.

Dreams do come true, and today’s adversities won’t last forever. Tomorrow is another day. Keep looking ahead and envisioning how it will be when you are past the rocky phase. Look at the future so that your mind will cooperate and help you find ways to get there. Even during adversity, keep working hard to get where you want to be. Do not let tough times stop you from accomplishing your goals and reaching for that star. Be excited about getting there, getting unstuck from a tough situation and finally getting to where your dreams are.

Look back at where you were and where you are now.

Chances are, even if right now you feel that you are in the deepest, darkest sink hole ever, you have probably been in worse situations before. Be grateful that you have survived the first ones. If you made it past those, you will for sure make it this time around. Nothing is impossible.

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Know that being positive is a state of mind.

Most of the time it is all mental. We become happy depending on the thoughts that we have, and we become positive if we have positive thoughts. Keep that positive state of mind since negativity will not help solve any problems. If you are positive, at least you will be positive enough to try out new solutions to solve problems, and be calm enough to brainstorm and find these solutions.

Remember that in situations beyond your control, the only thing that you can control is your reactions. While being helpless or playing victim may be your initial reaction to a stressful phase in life, you should do your best to fight to stay positive. Being positive may not immediately take you out of a stressful situation, but it will definitely help you find ways to overcome a tough situation. A bright and happy soul is a great ally in getting back on top of the wheel again.

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Sarah Bonander

Writer, Human Resources Professional

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Last Updated on November 11, 2019

How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

Have you ever noticed that some people are able to effortlessly remember even the most mundane details and quickly comprehend new things? Well, you can too!

To unlock the full potential of your brain, you need to keep it active and acute. Wasting time on your couch watching mindless television shows or scrolling through facebook is not going to help.

Besides getting out flashcards, what can you do to help remember things better and learn new things more quickly? Check out these 10 effective ways on how to improve memory:

1. Exercise and Get Your Body Moving

Exercising doesn’t just exercise the body, it also helps to exercise your brain. Obesity and the myriad of diseases that eventually set in as a result of being overweight can cause serious harm to the brain.

Furthermore, without regular exercise, plaque starts to build up in your arteries, and your blood vessels begin to lose the ability to effectively pump blood. Plaque buildup leads to heart attacks and it also reduces the amount of oxygen and nutrients that your blood carries to your brain. When the nutrients don’t make it there, the brain’s ability to function is compromised.

To prevent this from happening, make sure you get moving every day. Even if it’s just a brisk walk, it’ll help you maintain and increase your mental acuity. Brisk walking, swimming and dancing are all excellent activities. Take a look at these 5 Ways to Find Time for Exercise.

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2. Eliminate Stressors and Seek Help If You’re Depressed

Anything that causes you major stress, like anger or anxiety, will in time begin to eat away the parts of your brain that are responsible for memory. Amongst the most brain-damaging stressors is depression, which is actually often misdiagnosed a a memory problem since one of its primary symptoms is the inability to concentrate.

If you can’t concentrate, then you might feel like you are constantly forgetting things. Depression increases the levels of cortisol in your bloodstream which elevates the cortisol levels in the brain. Doctors have found that increased cortisol diminishes certain areas of the brain, especially the hippocampus which is where short-term memories are stored.

Prolonged depression can thus destroy your brain’s ability to remember anything new. Seek professional help to combat your depression – your brain will thank you.

3. Get a Good Night’s Sleep and Take Naps

Getting a consistent 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night will increase your memory. During sleep, the brain firms up memories of recently acquired information.

Getting enough sleep will help you get through the full spectrum of nocturnal cycles that are essential to optimal brain and body functioning during the waking hours. Taking a nap throughout the day, especially after learning something new, can also help you to retain those memories as well as recharge your brain and keep it sharper longer.

4. Feed Your Brain

Fifty to sixty percent of the brain’s overall weight is pure fat, which is used to insulate its billions of nerve cells. The better insulated a cell is, the faster it can send messages and the quicker you will be thinking.

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This is precisely why parents are advised to feed their young children whole milk and to restrict dieting – their brains’ need fat to grow and work properly. Skimping on fats can be devastating even to the adult brain.

Thus, eating foods that contain a healthy mix of fats is vital for long-term memory. Some excellent food choices include fish (especially anchovies, mackerel and wild salmon) and dark leafy green vegetables. Here’re more brain food choices: 12 Foods that Can Improve Your Brain Power

Deep-fried foods obviously contain fat but their lack of nutritional value is not going to help your brain or your body, so think healthy foods and fats.

5. Eat Breakfast and Make Sure It Includes an Egg

According to Larry McCleary, M.D., author of  The Brain Trust Program, an egg is the ideal breakfast. Eggs contain B vitamins which help nerve cells to burn glucose, antioxidants that protect neurons against damage; and omega-3 fatty acids that keep nerve cells firing at optimal speed.

Other foods to add to your breakfast include fruits, veggies and lean proteins. Avoid trans fats and high fructose corn syrup. Trans fats diminish the brain cells’ ability to communicate with each other and HFCS can actually shrink the brain by damaging cells.

Having a healthy breakfast in the morning has been shown to improve performance throughout the day. If you’re too busy to have a healthy breakfast, this maybe just right for you: 33 Quick And Healthy Breakfasts For Busy Mornings

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6. Write it Down

If there’s something you want to remember, writing it down can help.

It may sound like a no-brainer, but do you really know why? Writing it down creates oxygenated blood flow to areas of your brain that a responsible for your memories and literally exercises those parts of it. Here’s How Writing Things Down Can Change Your Life.

You can start a journal, write yourself emails or even start keeping a blog – all of these activities will help to improve your capacity to remember and memorize information.

7. Listen to Music

Research shows that certain types of music are very helpful in recalling memories. Information that is learned while listening to a particular song or collection can often be recalled by thinking of the song or “playing” it mentally. Songs and music can serve as cues for pulling up particular memories.

8. Visual Concepts

In order to remember things, many people need to visualize the information they are studying.

Pay attention to photographers, charts and other graphics that might appear in your textbook; or if you’re not studying a book, try to pull up a mental image of what it is you are trying to remember. It might also help to draw your own charts or figures, or utilize colors and highlighters to group related ideas in your notes.

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Here, you can learn How to Become a Person Who Can Visualize Results.

9. Teach Someone Else

Reading material out loud has been shown to significantly improve memory of the material. Expanding further upon this idea is the fact that psychologists and educators have found that by having students teach new concepts to others, it helps to enhance understanding and recall.

Teach new concepts and information to a friend or study partner, and you’ll find you remember the information a lot better.

10. Do Crossword Puzzles, Read or Play Cards

Studies have shown that doing crossword puzzles, read or play cards on a daily basis not only keep your brain active but also help to delay memory loss, especially in those who develop dementia.

So pick up the daily newspaper and work on that crossword puzzle, read a book or enjoy a game of solitaire.

Pick one to two of these tips first and start applying them to your everyday life. Very soon you’ll find yourself having better memories and a clearer head!

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Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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