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10 Foods You Didn’t Know Can Chill You Out

10 Foods You Didn’t Know Can Chill You Out

Pretty much all of us are stressed out these days. Between increased work hours, family, money issues and homophobic jerks running Russia, it can be hard to relax. The good news is that what you put on your plate can help you feel more calm about the world: there are foods that reduce stress. So in the immortal words of Mr. Freeze…

    1. Black Tea

    Despite the fact that tea contains caffeine, a cup can actually help you to relax. I was ready to attribute this to tea being magical and able to fix anything, but it’s actually because it lowers your stress-hormone levels. In one study, participants were given either tea or a fake substitute and those who drank the real deal relaxed faster than those who didn’t. I’m of British heritage, so you don’t have to tell me to drink tea twice!

    2. Oranges

    Most of us know that vitamin C is good for us, particularly in regards to boosting our immune systems. However, it seems that its relaxation properties have been a closely kept secret. In fact, research has shown that large quantities of vitamin C can have a tranquilizing effect. Now that’s what I call stress relief.

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    In addition, oranges also contain vitamin B, which is known for combating stress.

    3. Milk

    Milk is high in essential nutrients, and can also effect our mood! For the record, I’m referring to ordinary milk, not the stuff from A Clockwork Orange. Milk contains iodine, which is essential for adequate thyroid function. This is incredibly important because your thyroid gland regulates the majority of your body’s functions, including your mood. In addition to this, the whey protein present in milk is said to alleviate anxiety and thus help you relax.

    Warm milk is also known for its calming and sleep-inducing effects; however, research has shown that this is almost entirely psychosomatic. Oh well, if it works, it works!

    4. Blueberries

    Ironically named, blueberries will actually help you to fight off the blues.

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    As previously mentioned, vitamin C is a great stress combatant. Blueberries also contain high volumes of the vitamin, which therefore makes them useful to fight stress. In fact, one study has shown that people with higher levels of vitamin C in their bloodstreams showed less signs of mental and physical stress when given challenges.

    5. Nutritional Yeast

    Alright, so this is a slightly ‘unique’ addition, but I promise it’s not as gross as the name suggests.

    Nutritional yeast contains vitamin B6, which helps to produce hormones that induce feelings of well-being. In addition, it contains vitamin B12, which helps with stress relief. Studies also suggest that various B vitamins help us ladies to calm down whilst suffering from PMS. I’m not sure I know how to respond to that.

    6. Brazil Nuts

    Delicious and NUTritious. (I apologize, that was uncalled for. I couldn’t help myself!)

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    Similar to milk, Brazil nuts can have an incredibly positive effect on your thyroid gland. This is because they contain a micro-nutrient called selenium that helps your body to function properly. The best part is that selenium is believed to have an almost instantaneous effect. That’s great news if you’re in a hurry to chill out.

      7. Avocado

      Can you really ever go wrong with avocado? The answer is, “No,” because it’s amazing. Avocados are full of vitamin C, vitamin B, folate, panothenic acid and vitamin B6. All of these nutrients are calming agents that will leave you feeling stress-free. The best part is that the fruit really does go with anything and therefore shouldn’t be restricted to salads. I have it in my morning smoothies and have made delicious ice cream out of it. I would also recommending trying avocado on toast with a drizzle of honey. Delectable!

      8. Fish

      Oily fish such as salmon and tuna are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which are known to alleviate mild cases of depression and improve your mood. In addition, salmon also contains high quantities of vitamin B12, which helps your production of serotonin. This is one of the neurotransmitters that aids in feelings of well-being and will therefore help you to relax.

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      If you’re not a fan of fish, you can still get the same benefits from fish oil tablets.

      9. Spinach

      Popeye was right on the money with this one. Leafy greens such as spinach contain large quantities of folic acid, which can fight depression and alleviate feelings of fatigue. Furthermore, spinach also contains magnesium, which helps to maintain adequate levels of our old friend serotonin in your system. As we learned previously, this will assist you in chilling out.

      10. Dark Chocolate

      I swear I’m not just using this as a justification to indulge.

      Dark chocolate contains a group of chemicals called N-acylethanolamines that stimulate the channels to your brain. This results in them releasing some of those sweet, sweet endorphins that makes us feel so good. In addition to this, dark chocolate has been known to reduce anxiety in people who are prone to it. So go ahead and have some chocolate—just make sure it’s the dark variety and in a modest amount.

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      Tegan Jones

      Commercial editor for global publications Gizmodo, Kotaku, Lifehacker & Business Insider.

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      Last Updated on January 17, 2019

      8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

      8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

      In life, we all need to be conscientious of what we are doing. You don’t need to live a life of stress if you don’t want to. You can achieve peace and happiness in life by carefully building mindfulness exercises into your life’s routine.

      Exercising mindfulness isn’t rocket science and as importantly, you can do it. It will, however, take a few tries to get into the groove of things but once you get it, it is like riding a bike, you will never lose it.

      Trust me. It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. In this article, I will share with you 8 mindfulness exercises that will help you to boost your energy, vitality and live a more peaceful and happier life.

      Why Is It Hard to Live A Peaceful And Happy Life?

      Our Habitat Has Become Too Technological

      The world has accepted the idea that technology is often the cure for all evil. We have accepted, as a society, that everything technological will make us live a better life without fully investigating the many side effects that modernity brings.

      There are a number of technological side effects that have a tremendous impact on your life that the media rarely tells you about.[1] Some of them include self-harm, economic inequality, having less sex, and even suicide. The global community is becoming less happy because of technology.

      How can anybody live a peaceful and happy life when they are depressed? Technology advancements, ladies and gents, is a major reason for why we are living a poor life because it has infiltrated our lives too much.

      According to my research, Americans spend an average of 8 hours a day looking at the computer screen — The average screen time spent on smartphones alone is about 20 hours per week. That’s a lot! No wonder why living a happy and peaceful life is so difficult these days.

      Too Many People Don’t Want to Unplug

      Americans check their phones an average of 80 times during vacation.[2] Some admit to checking their smartphones 300 times every single day. In countries like Brazil, India and China, the situation is no different.

      The reality is that people are constantly plugged into technological devices and this behavior is literally making people all over the globe fight an inner war with themselves, which consequently makes them very sad. As we know, war is the enemy of peace which won’t make anybody happy.

      Listen carefully:

      We have a global anxiety epidemic because people don’t want to unplug from their smartphones and most people aren’t doing anything to fix it. It is a sad state of affairs but very real. This obsession with technology is turning us into perishable robots who live terrible lives.

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      The era of anxiety is here to stay. There is little doubt about it. We can, however, fight back with the best remedy of all — We call it mindfulness!

      Thank God there is an antidote to this whole technological madness. Without further ado, let’s go straight to the mindful exercises.

      8 Mindfulness Exercises to Start Practicing

      There are tons of mindfulness exercises available for you to engage with out there.[3] In the paragraphs below, I will include the best ones I’ve personally tried or have seen my close friends and family members try.

      Are you ready for it? Let’s go!

      1. Pray Daily

      You should pray on a daily basis. Why is that you may ask — Well, because science has told us to do so.

      When people pray, they feel peaceful, almost eliminating anxiety. Worries become secondary, and often gives people energy and hope to cope with the difficulties of life.

      Prayer can make you more confident and focused. Prayer also helps you with self-control, helps to control pain, and can protect you against illnesses and disorders like cancer and high blood pressure. At least, this is what researchers from Harvard Medical School have said.[4]

      Pray. You won’t regret it.[5]

      2. Pay Attention to Your Inner Thoughts

      A lot of people allow themselves to be influenced by their negative thoughts. Be different and resist believing in them. It is a bad habit that can lead to unhappiness.

      By the way, if you do feel this way, chances are high that somebody other than you put these thoughts into your head.

      Here is my secret to combat this cancer — look at things objectively. I bet that if you look at things as they are, you will realize that most if not all of your negative thoughts are only inside of your head.

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      If you pay close attention, you will quickly realize that these voices aren’t worth your time. Believe me — Ignoring them and looking at things with objectivity is often the best course of action.

      This article can guide you to beat negative thoughts:

      How to Stop Automatic Negative Thoughts When You’re Overwhelmed

      3. Smile Often

      Smiling will slow down your heart. It will also relax your body because when you smile, your body releases endorphins which in itself has a number of positive benefits for you as a person.

      Smile often! You may want to smile early in the morning, during the day, and late in the evening. It is amazing what happens to you when you decide to smile instead of being grumpy.

      Surrender your problems to a nice smile. You will notice two things. First, most people just don’t which makes them live a miserable life. Second, if you decide to smile often, you will eventually smile unconsciously which is the ideal.

      The moment that you smile unconsciously, you then know that you are truly happy.

      4. Organize Your Working Desk

      A messy desk will make you less productive and can agitate and overstimulate you. You don’t want that.

      When you clear your desk, you engage in deep inner-thinking and your systematic decision making ends up becoming therapeutic.

      Most people realize that they are most creative when their creative space is clean and organized. The former often makes people more aware of what they are doing which lends to less stress and more productivity.

      Organizing your desk will also make you more energetic and focused because order often decreases chaos which is a condition that often slows down daily progress.

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      5. Celebrate Your Friend’s Victories

      I love this mindful exercise. One of the best ways to live a happy and peaceful life is to celebrate the victories of others. When you do that, you automatically make your friends in a better mood which makes you in a better mood, as well.

      Happiness is contagious! We might as well celebrate others as much as we can. If you find out that your peer has won an award, celebrate with him! If your friend is the recipient of a local charity award, celebrate with her!

      What is also awesome is that when you celebrate with others, they often celebrate with you in return. This, ladies and gentleman, will make you feel fantastic. You can’t go wrong with this one, period.

      6. Listen to Your Spouse/Partner

      God put someone in your life for a reason. You might as well listen to him or her.

      I listen to my wife everyday. In fact, I often ask the following question to her, “Amanda, what are your thoughts about…” or “What am I missing about…” It is shocking what I hear back from her. Without her having much context and perspective, by the art of observation in my own nonverbal behavior and the behavior of others, she accurately gives me incredible insights which helps me out with living my life to the fullest.

      I’m a firm believer that spouses are supposed to engage in interpersonal communication every day. I most definitely do and will continue doing it. You should do the same.

      7. Give Yourself a Break from Technology

      You can’t be in total equilibrium if your computerized devices control your life. You must get away from technology on a daily basis.[6]

      How do you do that? This is my formula:

      First, take this smartphone control test. It is only ten questions but this test will place you somewhere in the human robot cycle continuum.

      If your score is between 25-30, take a break from the computer (or smartphone, pad, laptop/desktop) every twenty minutes and stop being on a computerized device after 8:00pm.

      If you score between 30-35, still take a break every 20 minutes but stop being on these devices at 5:00pm.

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      If you score more than 35, you need to take action immediately.

      Limit computer use as much as possible throughout the day. Give yourself as many breaks from the computer as possible. Are you ready for the challenge?

      8. Go Exercise

      Go exercise at least three times a week. I don’t care if you need to workout early in the morning, late in the evening, on the weekends or during work days. Working out is absolutely imperative for you to live happy and peaceful life.

      The stresses of the modern world are too much for you to neglect this important mindfulness exercise. When you go to the gym, you burn calories, focus on activities one step at a time, your mind relaxes, anxiety decreases, you sweat and often think about topics unrelated to your work place among many other benefits.

      You must exercise at least three hours each week for optimum results. Why? Just take a look at all the benefits of regular exercising:

      12 Benefits of Regular Exercise You Should Know

      The Bottom Line

      It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. Now that our habitat has become too technological and many people just don’t want to unplug, engaging in daily prayer, celebrate your friends’ victories, and listening to your spouse are among the best ways to be mindful about what you are doing and how you are living.

      It is possible to live a happy and peaceful life. It only depends on you.

      Go exercise! Take a break from technology and invest in you! Life is too short for distractions.

      More Resources About Mindfulness

      Featured photo credit: Lesly Juarez via unsplash.com

      Reference

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