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4 Hacks for Overcoming Addiction

4 Hacks for Overcoming Addiction

Most people don’t expect to be addicted to something when they are young. They envision a life just as happy as the life they currently live, perhaps just with more freedom. Unfortunately for many of those people, life can hit people hard, and then continue to hit them while they are down. That concept can be easily seen with addition.

While some people are addicted to drugs and other substances due to mistakes they made as teens or adolescents, other people are simply victims of happenstance. These people get injured at some point in their life, and find themselves addicted to the painkillers and drugs that were originally supposed to heal them from their malady. They are then forced to spend a lifetime fighting addiction, despite doing nothing to deserve that in life. Here are a few tips for those struggling to overcome those addictions.

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Tell someone

It is extremely important to have someone that you can trust know that you are struggling with addiction. They can be there during those dark hours when you feel like there is no way you will ever beat the addiction and you might as well give in to it. They can also help you have somebody to report to. People tend to do better at everything when they have to report the results to someone, and addiction is no different. Find someone you can trust and tell them[1] what you are struggling with and request their assistance in overcoming the addiction.

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Understand the long term

For many people, the fear of what long-term use of the substance they are addicted to can do to them is enough to help them overcome the addiction. You can find a full list of the long-term, dangerous effects of opiates here. You will quickly realize that your entire life will eventually be affected by the continued use of drugs. There will be physical and emotional problems that arise. When the urge to follow your addiction arises, think of the long-term consequences and allow those thoughts to steer you away from the addiction.

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Fill your time

To truly overcome addiction you have to understand where your addictive behavior often comes from. For most people it starts to come when they are alone and have nothing to do. Boredom drives the addiction. This means that in order to overcome an addiction you must not only stop the bad habit, but fill the void with a good habit. Consider taking up a hobby that you have always wanted. Even better, try taking up a sport or a form of exercise that you enjoy. Not only will that fill your time, but it will make you feel more healthy physically and emotionally.

Exercise

To add to the previous option, exercise is virtually essential[2] for successful addiction recovery. Exercise helps you discipline your body and puts your mind in charge of your body. Addiction is the exact opposite. Addiction is typically some form of bodily desire that overcomes your mind’s willpower to resist it. As you exercise and develop discipline and diligence, you will find that you are able to better control your addiction. An added bonus is that you will be more in shape.

Addiction is tough. Many people struggle with it. Never feel like you are alone. You would be surprised how many people you know may be struggling with addictions, or other similar problems themselves. If you don’t know anyone that can help you then there are plenty of online support groups and hotlines that can help talk you through your problems. Many local churches will offer similar services as well.

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Spencer Mecham

Personal Finance Coach, Digital Marketer

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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

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