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10 Superfoods That Will Super Boost Your Mood

10 Superfoods That Will Super Boost Your Mood

After the rush of the holidays, winter blues can have a great affect on your mood. Staying active and getting enough sleep are important to maintaining your well being, but including superfoods in your diet is another crucial factor to brightening your day. Here are a collection of foods that will give you a boast and put your mind at ease.

Swiss Chard

This leafy green has high levels of folic acid, which has been proven to be a strong mood booster. A study conducted by the University of York and Hull York Medical School discovered a connection between depression and low levels of folic acid. Spice up a meal with some delicious sauteed swiss chard and onions with this simple recipe here.

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Asparagus

A versatile green veggie that can easily be roasted for a delicious addition to any meal and has been proven to raise low folic acid levels that are linked to depression. Asparagus also contains vitamin C which has been connected to easing depression. Eating a cup of this vegetable is recommended to be effective.

Oatmeal

This morning staple is high in magnesium that has been proven to combat anxiety and depression. It also has large amounts of soluble fiber that helps stabilize mood swings. Add flavor to your oats with these simple, but delicious recipes. For maximum results make sure to eat at least 1/2 cup of dried oats to jump start your day.

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Almonds

An easy and filling snack, these nuts are packed with magnesium, which are vital to maintaining good brain health and alleviating depression. Create a savory-sweet snack by making your own trail mix with almonds and other heart-healthy nuts and dried fruits. Snacking on around 23 almonds daily will allow you to see positive changes in your mood.

Dark Chocolate

Have a sweet tooth? Satisfy your cravings and get a natural mood boost through this sweet treat by eating 3.5 to 7 ounces daily. Need another reason to indulge? The Journal of Psychopharmacology concluded that dark chocolate is filled with cocoa flavanols, a key ingredient that helps reduce stress levels.

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Tomatoes

Often mistaken for a vegetable, these fruits are packed with the antioxidant lycopene, which helps rid the body of free radicals that damage cells. Tomatoes are also known to have high levels of folic acid that help prevent depression. The recommended amount is 1/3 cups of tomatoes daily to reach optimal results.

Eggs

This protein-packed breakfast food, assists with your body’s ability to create serotonin. Low levels of serotonin have been linked to depression. For a bright start to your day, check out these healthy egg-based recipes. It is proven that up to three eggs are safe for daily consumption for healthy individuals, but if you are worried about your cholesterol intake consult with your physician first.LentilsWhat’s better than a steaming bowl of lentil soup on a cold winter’s day? Not much. An added bonus is that lentils are packed with folic acid, which is a major mood booster. Lentils also have the amino acid L-tyrosine, that allows your brain to create the neurotransmitters dopamine and norepinephrine that help fight off depression. A cup of cooked lentils is the minimum amount recommended for effectiveness.

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Honey

Nature’s sweetener is known to have a calming effect that can soothe anxious minds. Honey is also known to have tryptophan, an amino acid that induces sleep by creating the hormone serotonin that is known to aid in relaxation. Try it in a cup of tea, with some plain yogurt or just as a spoonful to have an instant effect on frazzled nerves. Ten tablespoons is the recommended maximum amount for daily consumption.

Mussels

This superfood from the sea is filled with vitamin B12, which is necessary for normal nervous system functioning and is critical in creating a compound named S-adenosylmethionine that monitors your mood. For a delicious and mood-elevating meal, try making your mussels with garlic butter, a recipe where you cannot go wrong. Be mindful that mussels have a high sodium content, where a 6-ounce serving has 627 milligrams of sodium, so consume in moderation.

Featured photo credit: An image of a woman eating vegetable salad via shutterstock.com

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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