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How to End This Year on a High!

How to End This Year on a High!

    Are you looking forward to the New Year or are you bogged down with unfinished tasks from this year?  No matter what sort of year you have had, you still have the opportunity to end this year on a high, and start the New Year on a positive note.

    You will have had a number of successes in the last twelve months and it is important to acknowledge them. At the same time, you can learn from those things that did not quite go the way you had hoped.

    Here are some simple ways of ending this year powerfully.

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    1. Review the year that is about to end. Write down some of the highlights of all the good things that happened to you. You will be surprised just how much goodness and happiness you have actually had this year. Write down all your achievements such as “I did more exercise”,   “I gave up junk food” or “I wrote a book”.

    2. Share and celebrate your successes this year with your family and friends.  This self acknowledgement and appreciation will be a great platform for the New Year. You deserve it. As usual, being grateful for the goodness already in your life makes it possible for you to receive even more. Celebrating your successes is also a key step in having the confidence to take on new challenges in the New Year.

    3. Send greetings of appreciation and thanks to those people who have helped make this year special for you. Use the normal Xmas paper cards, or better still, be economical and environmentally friendly and use email or internet ecards.  Express gratitude for your past alliances and at the same time, forge stronger friendships for the future.

    4. Review your current to do list for work. Be ruthless and eliminate as many tasks as you can, without doing them. Then choose just one task and get it done before the end of the year. Finally, throw away your unfinished to do list and do not write another one till next year. You will be surprised how great it will feel not having a list of things to do.

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    5. Finish off any unresolved matters. Look at completing any small unfinished and niggling tasks around the house, such as oiling any squeaky door hinges, and make sure that these things do not play on your mind early in the New Year

    6. Clear up some clutter. Go around the house room by room, collect those things you no longer want and either dump or give to a charity shop. Have a clear space so that the New Year can begin to bring you greater prosperity. Be ruthless and do not wait till spring time to clear your unwanted stuff.

    7. Go through your important paperwork and bring up to date as much as possible. You do not want to start the New Year worrying about mundane administration tasks. If you use a computer, then delete any old and unnecessary files and emails.

    8. Review how you have spent your time this year, and identify those things that have been draining your energy. Make a plan to eliminate those relationships that no longer work for you. Look at smarter ways of spending your time.

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    Begin to say NO this year to things that you don’t really want to do. Unsubscribe from newsletters, magazine, email groups so that your time is not cluttered up in the New Year.

    9. Be different and do something new. Before the end of the year, do something that you have never done before. For example, go and see a children’s pantomime on your own, take a city tour guide or dine in a restaurant you would have never thought of trying.  End the year on a new voyage of discovery and child like curiosity.

    10. Start walking every day for at least 20 minutes until the New Year begins. Not only will you feel great but you will be avoiding the weight gain problems so common during the holiday season. Also, you might just enjoy the walking so much that it could become a great new habit for the New Year.

    11. Rest and relax. Though you will get busy with some of the above suggestions, it is also important to take it easy now for a day or two and do nothing. Sleep in all day, or just laze about in front of the TV.

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    Recharge yourself before the New Year kicks in.

    No matter how the year ends for you, just remember that it has been a great year. And next year you can make it even better.

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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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