The trick is not what you take, but how much you take it.
What do France, Korea, and Japan have in common? Aside from having exquisite and delectable menus, these countries are said to have the lowest numbers of heart diseases all over the globe.
The trick is not what you take, but how much you take it.
What do France, Korea, and Japan have in common? Aside from having exquisite and delectable menus, these countries are said to have the lowest numbers of heart diseases all over the globe.
Social media brings out the best and worst in people. Here are ways to enjoy and manage the technological platform minus the stressful impact on your professional and personal life.
“Some benefits to improving resiliency include greater confidence, sense of personal power, and the capacity to reduce the fear and anxiety that often goes along with stress-provoking situations,” said Laurie Leinwand, MA, LPC.
Not Everything Is True
While social media is an excellent source of reliable day-to-day information about current events, it’s also the place where people throw in their garbage of lies. People who are obsessed with likes and appreciations are the ones who post fabricated or exaggerated details about themselves. A person’s profile is a reflection of their edited characterization of themselves to show the public that they are positively living their lives with general depictions of milestones, success, and happiness.
People who are not careful and mindful of what’s real and what’s not are often fooled into believing that everyone seems to be having a more prosperous, happier, and better life, whether it’s true or false. If updates on social media make you feel inferior, veer away from the platform and don’t forget to tell yourself that whatever you see is usually just a laboriously edited and distorted parcel of other people’s reality.
Jeremy Savage, MA, LPC said “The good news is that we can learn how to minimize and navigate stress by adopting specific skills.”
Binges and surfing are just some of the multitude of reasons why technology is considered as a revolutionary escape from daily stressors; however, attachment to the system can also nurture isolation. Increased use of social media has a negative impact on real-time relationships, romantic or not, by being physically present but mentally absent. Instead of giving significant consideration to the person you’re with, your mind is in too deep with what’s happening with everybody else updating their feeds and posting shallow announcement.
Put down your phone for a while and be courteous and respective enough of other people’s presence and time. Live the moment while you still have a group of people who are willing to stick around even if your attention is elsewhere; otherwise, you’ll find yourself being isolated and only having the company of your device.
“We think we just need to toughen up, and stop being so fragile,” said Daniela Paolone, LMFT.
Disable Notifications And Communicate Offline
Unless necessary, do not use social media to address a particular issue or to communicate with people. Don’t be that person who gets anxious whenever you hear your notification ringtone or when you see that blinking light just above your screen. Be less dependent on social media especially if it has something to do with communicating with other people. For example, if it’s somebody’s birthday, don’t be lazy by posting some random birthday greeting on your friend’s page. Instead, give that person a call. It’s more meaningful to hear somebody’s voice once in a while than just go through meaningless greetings and liking them one by one.
Yes, social media is called as such for the primary intention of reaching to other people. However, its purpose has now gone awry because it also cultivates negativity and animosity between people. Furthermore, social media is now flooded with useless information that it can fool people into thinking that what they’ve read are facts, not fakes.
The point is, if you log into your social media account less frequently, you’ll find it more rewarding to accomplish tasks and to talk to people genuinely.
Travel Without The Wi-Fi
When going beyond the comfort of your borders, make it a point that you don’t connect to the internet. Why else would you travel if you’ll just get stuck the entire day looking at your phone and being active on social media? Traveling is meant to be enjoyed in all its glory. When you’re in a different place, marvel at the structure, delight in the food, snap some shots, mingle with the people, and most importantly, appreciate your surroundings.
Don’t travel just for the sake of traveling; do it because you deserve a break from everything including the internet. Even if you get back to your hotel, refuse to look at your social media feed as it can just bring you down. For as long as you’re out there, might as well enjoy the view – social media can wait.
Don’t Be A Slave
By knowing how to handle your social media account, you are teaching yourself how to be an efficient and responsible individual who does not rely entirely on other people’s feeds and lives. Avoid falling deep into the hole of hate and self-pity. Do yourself a favor and stop endlessly scrolling through your timeline. Just take a moment to enjoy life minus the social media hype.
We need more highs in a world bombarded with lows.
Do you hear that? That’s the sound of seriousness and gloominess overtaking the world. Be immune from the weariness and doom with these ten outrageous ways to provoke laughter and happiness wherever you are. These are guaranteed effective and are 100% free from harmful chemicals. After all, laughter is perceived to be the most appropriate and effective medicine against medical conditions because it fights stress and increases a person’s happy hormones.
Warning: Jaw and cheek pain with breathing difficulty might ensue.
Enroll In A Laughing Yoga Class
When people hear the word “yoga” the first thing that would come to mind would be someone doing meditation along with a demonstration of exercises that lasts for an hour or two. However, with laughing yoga classes, you can disregard those pricey outfits and whispering because this type of yoga mainly focuses on inspiring contagious and genuine laughter.
If you ever hear someone laugh hysterically, there is a considerable chance that you’ll be laughing along with that person for no apparent reason; this is the core principle of laughing yoga with facts to back it up. According to studies, the brain does not discriminate laughter, whether it’s fake or not. Therefore, doing fake laughter, which is the central concept of laughing yoga, can elicit real laughter and will quickly tap into the brain’s response center to release hormones responsible for making the body feel better.
Use The Power Of Social Media
Apart from the toxic, stressful, spiteful side of social media, there are priceless funny and intelligent jokes, videos, and memes that can instantly extract laughter out of you. Today’s technological world requires people always to be connected to the Internet and somehow be productive. When you’re glued to your seat 40 hours a week, the best source of humor is social media where you can get the hilarious puns, vines, podcasts, videos and a whole lot more. According to John Duffy, PsyD, “Writing about negative emotions also helps.”
Talk To An Intelligent Personal Assistant
Alexa and Siri bring out the best and worst answers of all time. Most of the time, those worst answers are outrageously funny you don’t even know why you asked those questions in the first place. While these intelligent personal assistants are efficient in providing information, they are also equipped to make your day by offering a lot of entertaining elements. Ask Siri and Alexa for a joke, and you’ll be surprised how an interactive device can make you guffaw. Also, be as random as you can by asking silly questions like, “Who’s the fairest of them all?”
Joel Silverman, MA, LPC said “Recent studies have found that laughter is good for your heart, can reduce pain, lower blood pressure and strengthen your immune system. How many medications can make that claim!”
Not everyone is good at reading each other’s lips and watching someone struggle to understand what’s coming out of another person’s mouth is utterly entertaining. Try it out! What makes lip-reading funny is that people are so terrible at it, the words formed make no sense or may sound nasty. Do some scenes from movie clips, interviews, or political talks.
Make No Regrets With Failed Autocorrect
Let go of your OCD for a while and be spontaneous with your messages to family and friends. Allow autocorrecting to play with you. Just go along with it and stand by at the funny reactions that may come from your parents, partner, or friends. Typing something like, “Hon, I’ve picked up the chickens from school,” then finding out after you’ve sent the message that your autocorrect function betrayed you by doing its thing is a surefire way to snort at the horrible, ridiculous mistake.
Shana Mercer, M.Ed., LPC said “When you laugh, serotonin is released into the brain which elevates your mood for a few minutes.)”
Just because this world is ridden with problems and issues left and right doesn’t mean that you don’t have a lot of reasons to be ROFL-ing and LOL-ing every once in a while. If happiness is hard to find lately, there are a lot of reliable ways and resources where you can get it. Laughter need not be complicated or expensive; it’s entirely free and conveniently available so make the most of it.
Though it’s an uphill battle, it’s a battle you can win.
When saying “no” is not enough, there are still a couple of ways to start your journey towards cleaner lungs and a smoke-free existence.
Create Your Love And Hate List
Similar to a pros and cons list, your love and hate list is more personal; noting down the things that you love and hate about smoking. Writing down your thoughts on a piece of paper about your smoking habits will give you a better perspective on how far gone you are on your addiction.
Be honest about the things that you despise – for example, how smoking interferes with your mental focus, how it severely affects your physical well-being, and how it has created a rift between family, friends, and co-workers. On the other hand, jot down the positive impacts of smoking in your life like how it relaxes your mind or whatever made you continue opening those pack of cigarettes.
Does your hate outweigh your love or is it vice versa? The moment you recognize how adversely smoking has personally done to you, it’s a vivid sign that you are quitting.
TRIVIA: “We see the end result in older people, but we know that people who smoke start before they turn 17, and that is when the disease process begins, which makes these pediatric illnesses.” – Amy V. Lukowski, PsyD.
Create A List Of Why Quitting Is Hard
Be as comprehensive as you can be, even if what you’re writing becomes somewhat discouraging and disconcerting. One of the primary reasons why people have a hard time quitting is because they just see the reasons why it’s hard and not the things that can counter those reasons.
So here’s what you’re going to do: Opposite each reason, think of options on how to overcome that hindrance. For example, if you wrote that smoking is a form of stress reliever, you can respond on the opposite side that you can meditate or do walks instead. There are a lot of sound techniques to manage your stress and smoking is most certainly not one of them.
When smoking addicts look forward to the challenges connected to quitting, it’s easier to find an appropriate solution to help you fight the habit and be successful in your goal.
According to Amy Lukowski, PsyD, “Nicotine is highly addictive and is associated with cardiovascular disease, birth defects, lung infections. Inhaling nicotine stimulates production of saliva and phlegm, increases heart rate and blood pressure, elevates serum cholesterol levels, promotes blood clot formation, and aids in plaque formation in the cardiovascular system.”
Note Down What To Do When Your Craving Arises
Without a to-do list, people often find themselves aggressively needing to quench their thirst for nicotine. Here are some suggestions to satisfy your craving immediately without turning to that one stick of cigarette.
You can add more to the list for as long as the activities will keep your mind off of thinking about smoking. Bring this list everywhere you go so that when the craving starts, you know how to retaliate healthily.
Vaughn I. Rickert, PsyD said “Although only 5% of daily smokers enrolled in high school think that they will be smoking in 5 years, 75% of these adolescents still smoke 5 to 7 years later.”
Throw Away Smoking Paraphernalia And Memorabilia
Do not keep anything that reminds you of smoking as it will serve as a trigger to continue with your bad habit. Smoking paraphernalia includes boxes of full or empty cigarettes, ashtrays, matches, cigarette holders, and even car lighters. They will serve as a temptation that can easily lure you and convince you to smoke just this once. In other words, break up with your habit because it’s toxic and destructive.
Always consider those who will be severely affected by your smoking habits, especially your family. Think of how your addiction directly affects their physical and mental health through secondhand smoke. Furthermore, remind yourself of how smoking has ruined the majority of your life.
If you find yourself relapsing, just start all over again because if you fail the first time, there’s always a second, a third, a fourth, and the list goes on until you get it right. Just be determined and know why you’re doing this and who you’re doing this for.
[A Splash Into The Pool]
There were days when I used to be so self-conscious that I don’t want to leave my home. I even pretend to be sick, though more often I was, just so that my mother will allow me to miss my class. I barely make friends. Usually, I would just sit on a bench and pretend that I was reading books, but the truth is, I was observing how good the cheerleaders were as they were practicing their stunts. Deep inside me, I was so jealous of them, and I was drowning in my own insecurities. How were they able to maintain those figures?
Interestingly, it is not hard to say for everyone that the body and brain’s functioning level is dependent on sleep. Aside from eating, sleeping is the quickest way for the body to recharge and the most effective way for the brain to refresh.
Mari Hysing, PsyD said “The use of electronic devices before bedtime and high screen usage during the day independently increase the likelihood of sleep deprivation.”
Getting a good and full night sleep will never leave the list of How to Perform Well in an Exam kind of checklists. A complete and relaxing 8-hour of sleep is also needed for a glowing and cheerful-looking you in the morning. The benefits of good sleep are so significant that our body and brain to perform their functions to their fullest.
The recommended number of hours an adult should get for sleeping is 7-9 hours, according to doctors and health experts. Some people underestimate the effects of being sleep-deprived. Sleep deprivation, in a worst–case scenario, poses higher risks and chances for the sleep-deprived person to meet an accident, as the brain is not fully functioning at this state.
Aside from eyebags, dark circles, and a moody-looking you, take a look at what more can a lack of proper sleep do:
Shelby Harris PsyD said “Seven to nine hours of sleep may seem high, but that’s only because six hours.”
While many people know its advantages and disadvantages, many still do not know how to take proper sleep. Remember, one does not just need an average of eight hours every day just to say he/she gets a good sleep. One needs to have a relaxed, continuous and habitual hours of sleep.
To get you all prepped up, be warned of these habits that hinder your goal to attain a good sleep tonight:
Keeping All Your Electronic Gadgets In Bed With You
Scientifically speaking, the bright light produced by your phone or tablet will hinder your sleep-inducing hormones called melatonin in giving you a good night sleep. Aside from this, social media, online games and other online forms of entertainment can be stimulating and will engage you so much you might not notice the time passing and your supposed hours of sleep decreasing.
The result? Lesser hours of sleep and a tired-looking you in the morning.
“All of our parasomnias, whether it be sleep talking or sleepwalking, often occur during the transition between different stages of sleep,” explains Michelle Drerup, PsyD.
So stop refreshing your social media, refrain from scanning your emails and reschedule your online entertainment practices. This way, you will stop tricking your brain and eyes into thinking that it is still daylight.
Consuming Foods And Drinks With Caffeine
This stimulant is the reason a cup of coffee keeps us awake in the morning. Caffeine should be avoided within 3 to 4 hours before bedtime if you want to sleep right away. This chemical, however, is not only contained in your daily fix of coffee. You can also find caffeine in sodas, energy drinks, and even chocolates.
Eating Heavy Meals Right Before Bed
Having some late-night snacks can disrupt and interfere with your supposed continuous sleep. Lying immediately after eating can cause heartburn, or your stomach acids are going up thus, making you feel uncomfortable.
In the case of craving, it is better to have some small snacks that are rich in tryptophan and calcium as these two promote sound sleep. Food such as cheese, cereal, milk, and crackers contain these chemicals.
Working And Stressing Yourself Before Bed
As mentioned, tuck away your laptops and office work from your bed. A good sleep should be relaxing and unwinding. Stop thinking about your boss, your officemates, your bills, and all your stresses. Gettings stressed will just make it hard for your mind and brain to settle down and calm for a while.
Listening to slow music will help you relax and finally get some good sleep. Just remember to keep the volume down so it will not be uncomfortable for more extended hours.
Sleeping At Different Hours Every Day
The key to having proper sleep is a regulated sleep every night. You should condition your body and consciousness to sleep at this hour. The quality of your sleep depends on your consistency and sleeping patterns. Consider having a sleep schedule and practice sticking with it even on weekends.
Not Regulating Your Room Temperature
Before going to bed, make sure that your ventilation source is doing great. You would not want your sleep to get disrupted early in the morning because of a super cold room, only to find that there’s just an hour remaining before sunrise for you to still go back to bed. The result? A groggy version of yourself in the morning.
Sure enough, you can take one cup of coffee to trick your mind that you are not sleepy the following morning (if you did not get an eight-hour of sleep). However, caffeine wears off only hours after and your body will look for its lost time of relaxation, making you look tired and grumpy for the rest of the day.
Don’t think that you can recover your lost sleeping hours over the weekend as sleep deprivation can cause serious health problems in the long run.
Everyone’s mood depends on the environment he or she is exposed to. Although challenging life events fill us with extreme emotions, our thought patterns and daily routine can also significantly affect our feelings and behavior. One trigger for anxiety and depression is our eating habits.
In this article, we will discuss the best smoothies to help you manage your negative emotions and boost your mood.
Oatmeal Cookie Smoothie
The combination of complex carbs in oats contributes to fueling the brain. It helps you think on your feet and dig deep into your knowledge bank. At the same time, the amino acid tyrosine obtained from the protein powder keeps you more mentally alert. Since your brain is at its peak, you won’t be able to think about negative thoughts.
“Studies have shown that different colors often produce different psychological, emotional, and physical effects. The color blue, for instance, is often used in marketing material to convey a sense of calmness.” – Richard Shuster, PsyD
Mint Chamomile Elixir
If you want to reduce the levels of your stress and anxiety, you might want to take the key ingredients of this smoothie—chamomile, and mint. Chamomile has various therapeutic benefits such as its anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, and relaxant properties. The scent of mint alone has been proven to reduce the vulnerability of an individual to stress.
When these two ingredients combine in one cup, they harness a calming effect that soothes the emotional state of an individual.
“Do you experience one big emotion that overwhelms you for a long time? If you look in the mirror, does your facial expression reveal what you’re feeling? Write down what you learn.” – Deborah Serani, PSyD
The creaminess and sweetness of the Banana Booster will surely put a huge smile on your face in just one sip. The combination of the feel-good chemical called dopamine and magnesium, zinc, and vitamin C will help you sustain that kind of mood throughout the day.
Pineapple Kiwi Kalm
Do you experience difficulty sleeping? If this is the case, the Pineapple Kiwi Kalm should be your go-to smoothie! It contains zinc for relieving anxiety, amino acids for lower blood pressure, and kale for sound sleeping. Make sure to drink this to help you sleep like a baby at night and feel energized throughout the day.
“When that self-awareness becomes intense, we’re often chanting about what’s wrong with us – it’s a place we go to experience low mood states; anxiety, tension, and it all comes from how we interact with thoughts and a lot of times, thoughts about ourselves or our futures.” – Scott Bea, PsyD
Strawberry Stress Buster
If you are feeling a little bit agitated, the Strawberry Stress Buster can help you. This drink contains magnesium-rich almond milk to address your sleepless nights and enough vitamin C to protect your body from any stress.
Take note that these smoothies address different kinds of anxiety-related problems. However, they only have one goal—to give you emotional positivity and boost your overall mood.
Whoever you are or wherever you live, oatmeal is one of the most nutritious meals for breakfast. It fills your tummy with a mix of milk or hot water and a topping of fruits or dressing. Worldwide, the oatmeal industry has earned billions of dollars and is set to make significantly more in the years to come. “Your body uses glucose from whole grains to fuel itself without creating “sugar highs,” so make sure to get a healthy supply of oats and whole-wheat products,” says Dr. Farrah Hauke, PsyD.
Sales figures aside, it is no mystery to scientists, nutritional experts, and avid fans that oatmeal is a very healthy dish that packs several vitamins and nutrients. Find out below why you should have oatmeal in your nutrition plan.
Oats Are Full Of Vitamins, Minerals, And Other Organic Compounds
Oats, on their own, contain a great balance of nutrients that fill up your daily recommended nutritional intake adequately. They are a good source of the following compounds:
Due to its nutrient density, oats are commonplace for fitness enthusiasts and professional athletes.
Oats Lower Cholesterol Levels
The consumption of oatmeal reduces low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL, also known as bad cholesterol) without affecting the amount of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL, also known as good cholesterol) in our body.
Studies have backed up the claim that beta-glucan, one of the soluble dietary fibers found in oats, reduces overall cholesterol levels. In turn, it effectively reduces the risk of incurring heart-related ailments.
Oatmeal Aids In Weight Loss
The critical aspect in oats, according to several studies looking into weight loss, is the soluble fiber content. The more fiber your food has, the faster it is for you to feel full, reducing the desire to eat more considerable meal portions. From a fundamental perspective, the less you eat, the quicker you lose weight. However, obesity psychologist Jim Keller states, “The human body and brain are designed to eat — thus explaining why losing weight proves so challenging for so many.”
From a more technical standpoint, studies have shown that oatmeal ultimately reduces appetite and cravings for excess or unhealthy amounts of food. Thus, it is easier for you to achieve your weight loss targets.
Oatmeal Reduces The Risk Of Asthma
In the United States alone, about 25 million people have asthma. Asthma is a widespread condition that occurs during childhood. Studies have provided that there are specific foods that are considered risk factors for the development of asthma; other particular foods reduce the risk of asthma. Among oats, wheat, rye, fish, and eggs, oats have been confirmed to reduce the incidence of asthma.
Oatmeal Offers Almost Unlimited Variety
Arguably the best non-scientific benefit that comes with having oatmeal is its variety. Whether you plan to lose weight or like to prepare healthy and delicious meals, variety is a crucial factor to maintain your diet. From simple meal recipes such as the plain steel-cut oatmeal and instant oats to mango graham overnight oats and chocolate and banana oatmeal with blueberries, the possibilities are endless.
You can prepare oats in a variety of ways. Find one that best suits your taste and available time for preparation.
“What I ate this morning: Oatmeal — right from the box — and milk topped with raisins. I don’t cook it. I checked with the scientists from Quaker and they said it is fine to eat it this way, too. Cooking the oats just softens them up.” – J. Michael Murphy, senior psychologist.
Food is the delicious creation of the heavens above that you should enjoy and be thankful for, but it is also one of the reasons why people get depressed and call a psychologist. After all, when you enjoy it so much, and its ‘traces’ show in your middle section, you can barely breathe out when in public for fear of love handles poking through your clothing.
“Feeling like you have hit a dead end can add to depression.” – Lisa Bahar, LMFT, LPCC
Remember that chubbiness only suits toddlers and babies. If it has been decades since you have first started to crawl and talk, then it is high time for you to lose belly fat. Obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and other heart issues are just some of the diseases that you might eventually face. That is especially true if you keep on saying that you will do it tomorrow but not follow through.
Medicines and hospital bills come at a price higher than the rest of the ideas we have collected below. Read on about the best ways to lose belly fat.
Want It For Yourself
Some people make others’ criticisms and humiliating words the driving factor in their weight-reduction journey. Hence, the results are quite weak. If you want to get slim, do it for yourself, want it for yourself – not for anybody. Having the right conviction and knowing why you are going through this whole shenanigan can help you achieve your weight goals more efficiently.
“You may say ‘yes’ to many things that you don’t want to do, stop speaking up about things that are important to you, or give up all your alone time to spend it with someone else, and the result could be a sense of losing yourself.” – Marni Goldberg, LMFT, LPCC
Set Achievable Goals
Your ultimate dream is perhaps being able to squeeze into a size six after years of being in size 12. You should not give up easily if a month of exercising and watching your food intake only makes you a size smaller. We live in a real world where there are no fairy godmothers or genies to grant our wishes; we can solely rely on ourselves if we want to make dreams come true.
To avoid disappointments, you should set achievable goals for yourself. It sounds a bit cliché, but do not take more than what you can chew. This way, there is always something beautiful to look forward to, aside from having a flatter belly.
Do Not Skip Meals
Subjecting yourself to long periods of dieting every day without any sustenance resembles something called suicide. Apart from that, it makes your body stock up on fats, even more, considering its only energy source is your muscle tissues. So, do not skip your breakfast, lunch or dinner – especially breakfast, as that will forever be the most important meal during the day.
“If we’re too scared, we freeze or get stuck as if we’re just trying to survive the ordeal. Because our thinking brain is offline, this can get very big and out of control.” – Casey Radle, LPC
Start Eating Healthy
If you have been devouring greasy cheeseburgers, fries, pizzas, and other fatty foods for most of your life, it should not be too difficult for you to let go of them. Instead of dwelling on the saying, “you can only miss what you’ve already had,” view eating healthier meals as a new life adventure. You may be hesitant about it at first, but think of all the body-hugging dresses and the crop tops you can wear shamelessly as soon as you follow this bit of the best ways to lose belly fat!
Love The Fiber
Fibers are the best friends of the people who have a slow metabolism. It has been mentioned in scientific researches that by consuming at least 37 grams of fiber every day, your chances of successfully removing those excess fats can increase. You may want to keep these fiber-adding formulas in mind: 2 cups of broccoli, two apples, a cup of green peas, and a ½ cup of pinto beans.
Clean Your House Manually
Among the best ways to lose belly fat, using shortcuts is not one of them. While vacuum cleaners, floor polishers, and whatnots have been invented to make our cleaning process faster and more comfortable, you should lock them up for the time being. Instead, use cleaning tools like brooms and mops to tidy up your house. If your place is bigger than a 91-square-meter apartment, sweeping, mopping and polishing the entire home may take up most of your day. But do not feel so upset about it because house chores require you to move a lot. When you do so, you melt some of those bothersome fats.
Reds > Greens
Incorporating a higher amount of fruits and vegetables is one of the best ways to lose belly fat. Conversely, if you ever have to choose between red or green fruits, going for the former will bring you more fat-reducing benefits.
Understand that there is a more scientific reason why a particular fruit has a specific color. Papayas, peaches, oranges, and apricots have orange pigmentation due to the prevalence of beta-carotene. Green apples, green grapes, kiwifruits, and honeydews are in such color because of the presence of the cancer-fighting compounds called glucosinolates. Meanwhile, red apples, watermelons, strawberries, cherries, and grapefruits are red because of anthocyanins, which have the capability of controlling the exhibition of fats.
Good night sleep is another critical factor to help you lose belly fat. Most adults think that children only need 8 hours of sleep, but that’s where they are wrong at. Everyone needs it, specifically if you want to have that summer-ready body all the time.
Some studies show that when you only sleep for a couple of hours every night, your fat cells – not just your brain and body – experience fatigue and all sorts of disarray. You feel hungrier than when you have had complete rest the previous night; even when you inhale a heavy meal, you cannot seem to satisfy your stomach.
In truth, dieting is not for the faint at heart. You have to have a strong will to follow to lose belly fat because you may need to turn your back to your old eating habits. Nevertheless, after months of doing it and being able to wear any clothes you want, you can smile and say, “Hey, it’s worth it!”
The feeling of anxiety is something people deal with in our daily lives. Others have to manage it every day. But regardless of how often it bothers you, we can all agree that it isn’t easy to deal with.
There are many ways to combat that anxious feeling. Altering your diet, exercising, and getting enough sleep are some of these ways. But did you know that reading can help as well?
Beth Esposito, MS, LPCC-S, LSW said “If you’re the person that is having someone come to you often who’s anxious, that can get overwhelming.”
A Study On Novels
A study on this was conducted back in 2013 at Emory University in the United States of America. Results found that reading novels were good for the brain. It enhanced brain connectivity and improved overall brain function.
The study also had another interesting finding. Brain activity associated with physical movements and sensations suggested that reading novels could transport the reader into the body of the main character. These feelings persisted long after the reader finished it.
Reading a great story can help us experience the hero or heroine’s journey. That’s a given. But who knew it could also improve our neural networks?
There’s a term used to describe this phenomenon. It was first coined in 1916 by a Presbyterian Minister named Samuel M. Crothers. He called the therapeutic effect brought about by books bibliotherapy. “Biblio” in Greek is “book.”
The Benefits Of Reading
Novels and the stories they weave bring about a lot of benefits. These benefits help in reducing anxiety and can also better the overall state of your mental health. So, why should you read regularly? Here are five reasons.
“When we are anxious our bodies and brains can enter ‘fight or flight’ mode, leaving us to feel on edge with a small frustration-tolerance window.” – Christina Furnival, LPCC
Stress is a good thing. It gives people a sense of urgency that convinces them to do their work. But too much of it is a bad thing. One way to manage your stress levels is to read.
Research has suggested that reading for a minimum of six minutes can reduce one’s stress by up to sixty percent. It eases both the physical and mental tensions that you feel.
The term “escapism” has a negative connotation. It makes it sound as if people are ignoring their problems and focusing on useless fantasies. Contrary to popular belief, it helps people a lot if practiced in moderation.
Reading books, especially novels, is one form of healthy escapism. Are you feeling overwhelmed by all your work or academic requirements? Why not pick up a book and be transported to another world for a while?
By doing this, you momentarily forget all of your current problems and get lost in a story. After that, you’ll be able to tackle what you need to do with a refreshed mind.
“Even though feeling disconnected from yourself is uncomfortable, frustrating and disorienting, the good news is that there are many ways to reconnect.” – Marni Goldberg, LMFT, LPCC
Characters in books go through a lot throughout the story. Many of them have beliefs and personal philosophies that could be different from ours. Reading through their journey and understanding their mental processes can be interesting. They can give you insights that you’d never get anywhere else. Acknowledging that there are many perspectives apart from your own is humbling.
Who knows? Maybe the solution to whatever problem you’re facing is in the book you’re reading. Shifting your way of thinking by adopting a new mindset can help you solve a problem in a way you never thought to before. It may also improve the quality of your life.
Anxiety brings about a lot of other adverse side effects. It includes self-deprecation, feelings of inadequacy, and even shame. Getting rid of these feelings is not at all easy, but reading can help you work towards that.
Research suggests that reading can increase your level of empathy. It’s a skill that helps you understand what people are feeling. It gives you a solid grasp of the spectrum of emotions that humans experience. Empathy does not only apply to other people. It also applies to yourself. It can help you understand the emotions you’re feeling. By doing that, you’ll be able to go easier on yourself.
Anxiety as a mental disorder has physical symptoms such as increased blood pressure and heart rate. These symptoms tend to worsen the state of your mental health. Luckily, reading can help in alleviating these symptoms. Studies show that reading can lower one’s heart rate and ease muscle tensions. By relieving the physical symptoms of anxiety, reading helps you think more clearly.
And that’s five benefits brought about by reading. Who knew that a stack of bound paper on the table could bring about so much good?