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5 Ways to Stop Enduring and Start Thriving

5 Ways to Stop Enduring and Start Thriving

We wear our struggles like a badge of honor. We’re a culture of warriors. Included in any good success story are the struggles we’ve had to overcome. We may be sleep-deprived, completely stressed, and perpetually busy, but we’re always able to get it all done.

But, if you can accomplish so much when you’re just enduring, imagine what could happen if you started thriving. Imagine what could happen if you stopped putting yourself through struggles and started feeding yourself a little water and sunshine.

If you want to reach your full potential, it’s time to stop enduring and start thriving. Curious how? Try these five ways.

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1. Cut the obligations.

These days, there are so many things we have to do that we hardly have time for ourselves. But, in actuality, there’s not much we really have to do—just a series of choices. We choose to go to work or we might get fired. We choose to do the dishes or our place will look like a pigpen. And we can choose to drop the stuff that feels like obligations. If we’re just doing it because we’re supposed to and not because we love it, it might be time to drop the dead weight and make choices more in line with the life we want. Because anything in our life we don’t love is stopping us from completely loving our life.

2. Do what comes naturally.

These days, people are so focused on fixing their weaknesses that they forget about their strengths. In our constant quest to round ourselves out, we start to lose our edge. But why make things difficult when you’ve already got a leg up? You can save a lot of time and headache by focusing on what naturally comes easiest to you. Drop the embedded belief that anything worth doing has to be a struggle, and learn how to play to your own strengths. No one is naturally good at everything, but people who thrive constantly put themselves in situations where they’re set up to succeed.

3. Learn how to let people down.

There are just over 7 billion people in this world. Chances are you’re going to disappoint one or two from time to time. Instead of living your life based on what others will think, you’ve got to remember that you’re only responsible for making one of those people happy. We’re inundated with rules, from laws and business policies to dress codes and cultural norms. It’s hard enough keeping it all straight without people’s expectations. So give yourself a free pass to be imperfect and get really good at letting people down. The less afraid you are of saying no to others, the better you’ll be at saying yes to yourself.

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4. Ask for help when you need it.

Slow down there, Superman, or Wonder Woman. You may be perfectly capable of doing, or learning how to do, just about anything. But is that really the best use of your time? Does it light you up? Does it make you thrive? Instead of doing everything under the sun, why not stick to what you’re really good at and ask for help on the rest. Chances are there’s someone out there who would love to help with what you’re needing, and it frees you up more time to spend on what you really love. The strong person is the one who can admit that he or she needs a little bit of help.

5. Keep your eye on the prize.

Enduring is all about struggling. It’s about going from one obstacle to the next. But thriving—that’s about growth. Sure, there are a few aches and growing pains on the way to flourishing, but that’s all par for the course. Instead of getting stuck in the rut of current obstacles, keep your focus on where you’re moving. Remember why you’re doing this in the first place and how you’re progressing toward your goal. We don’t measure magnitude; we measure direction. And, if you’re working towards your goals, you’re growing in the right direction. I think some people call that thriving.

We’re insistent on struggling our way to success without ever tapping into our own arsenal. We’ve got strengths, passions, and skills that we’re ignoring. And, if we keep ignoring them, we’ll keep the game weighted against us.

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So let’s turn this board around. Let’s create a playing field on our own terms. Let’s decide, once and for all, to stop struggling and start thriving.

Because thriving is really about laying a groundwork that inevitably leads to success.

And it’s about time your potential starts to bloom.

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Featured photo credit: Thai Jasmine via flickr.com

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12 Best Brain Foods that Improve Memory

12 Best Brain Foods that Improve Memory

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:

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.

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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.

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.

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It can increase blood flow in the brain by dilating vessels, increasing oxygen supply and removing free radicals.

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!

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

Reference

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