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​Increase Your Focus for Better Productivity

In our lives today, we are busier than ever before. We think technology has streamlined many tasks, but instead we are given more tools that give us more and more to do with less time to do it. We are stressed and overwhelmed. The phrase “time management” has become taboo, since it implies there are different ways to cram even more into our already overflowing lives.
We have been lead to believe that if we don’t multitask every minute of our day we will not be productive. This can’t be farther from the truth.  Successful people have long realized that focus is the key to being productive. 

Most of what we say and do is not essential. If you can eliminate it, you’ll have more time, and more tranquility. Ask yourself at every moment, ‘Is this necessary?’ ~Marcus Aurelius

Increasing your focus means you should get up each day, looking forward to what you can achieve.  Being focused means you are making progress towards what is most important to you. You will feel a greater sense of productivity and fulfillment.

Learn why focus is important in both your personal and professional life in the following pages. You’ll learn tips and strategies on gaining and keeping your focus so you can be productive in everything you do. Multitasking is one of the most overrated skills people claim to have. In this report you’ll find out why you shouldn’t be multitasking, and what to do instead.

Let’s get started.

Why focus is important

Why is being focused so important in today’s world? What results happen when you are focused? Does being focused make you less stress? Happier? If it’s so important, why don’t people focus more?

Being focused on one thing for a certain period of time allows you to do a better quality of work, more work gets done quicker, and your creative ideas flow easier. Being focused on one task at a time is less stressful on your mind. And being less stressed allows you be happier.

It’s difficult for people to remain focused on one task for a variety of reasons. For one, we live in a world where we are constantly bombarded with TV, radio, cell phones, Internet social media, as well as a much larger population that lives closer together than ever before. 

It’s difficult to get completely away from all these distractions. One way is to go to a room where you can shut your door and turn off your phone and email notifications.

•   When you focus on a single task, avoiding distractions, your brain becomes focused on that task alone. This lets you complete that task much more quickly than if you are trying to complete two or more tasks at once. For instance, let’s say you need to write a blog post, do your bookkeeping for the week and research information for an upcoming speech. The best thing to do is to set aside all but one task. So, for this example, you want to give all your attention writing your blog post. That means turning off the TV, cell phones, social media pings, closing your door and putting all your attention on writing. 

 

•   By giving all your attention to the task without distraction, you can get it done much more quickly and with fewer mistakes. Your work will be higher quality as well. Another benefit to being focused is that your creativity will kick in too. You’ll come up with new ideas associated with the task at hand. 

This is great if you are someone who creates in some way. This includes traditional creative types like artists, writers, photographers, designers and musicians, as well as people who create products or services, teachers, researchers, stay-at-home parents, executives, bloggers, and anyone who needs ideas. This means just about everyone can benefit.

•   Being constantly connected to others and having many distractions that take away your focus can affect your stress levels as well as your productivity. When you aren’t focused, you don’t get as much done as you could if you were truly focused on the task you’re doing.

 

•   Focusing on one thing for a certain period of time helps you think better. Having your mind scattered over several tasks at once keeps you from thinking about what you are actually doing. You only have time to complete a task quickly before you must move on to the next one. All the while you are trying to remember everything that has to be done. When you focus, you are able to think about only one thing for that period of time. 

•   Focusing allows your subconscious to do the work. Think about when you learned to ride a bike or drive a car. It was difficult in the beginning, but when you began focusing on what you were doing, your subconscious took over and helped you learn. The same is true in your everyday tasks. Once you begin focusing solely on one task, your subconscious helps you do them quicker and easier.

It’s important to focus on one task at a time to become more productive, do better quality work and be less stressed. Focusing can help you be more creative and have more happiness.
Multitasking is overrated


If you’re like many people you spend most days multitasking. You’re probably so used to multitasking that you don’t even realize when you’re doing it. After all, it’s a skill many employers look for in their employees. Many people believe multitasking saves them time. There are many reasons why multitasking is bad. It’s better to focus instead though. Focusing lets you concentrate on one task or thought at a time, helping you create a better result for each task.

Many people like to multitask because they become bored working on one task at a time. 

Why is multitasking bad?

You have to switch from task to task. This takes time for your mind to change into the right mindset for the new task. You have to take the time to remember where you left off. 

1.   Multitasking leads to attention and memory loss. According to a study by Harvard Professor Clifford Nass, in findings published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, people who use online social media and other forms of electronic communications have trouble focusing their attention and have lower scores on memory tests.

2.   Cognitive performance is diminished. A recent study by Zheng Wang, a professor at Ohio State University, showed that multitasking caused students to feel more productive, but showed they were actually reducing their cognitive skills abilities such as studying.

 

3.   It turns people off when you are interacting with them. People who multitask often find themselves coming in contact with others. If you only half pay attention to them, answering texts and phone calls while talking to them, you will lose their respect. 

4.   Multitaskers lose productivity. Switching between tasks is counter-productive. You lose time and concentration every time you switch to a different task.

5.   Multitaskers are less likely to finish one quality project. They may finish all their tasks for the day, but they will most likely be sub-par than if they had focused solely on one to completion.

Multitasking makes it difficult to focus entirely on each task you are doing. You are thinking about emails you have to respond to when writing a report and the phone calls you need to return even while you are thinking about the next task on your to-do list. This type of working environment doesn’t do anything but cause you stress. Instead of multitasking among several tasks, you should prioritize your tasks and break them up into workable time chunks.

Tips to improve focus. 

Maybe you want to focus on a single task, but find yourself easily distracted. You find it difficult to focus on what you are doing because you find your mind wandering, you’re worrying about everything or maybe you just have way too many things you need to do to make a choice of just one task to start with.  

Here are some valuable tips on how to improve focus.

Meditate. 


Try to allocate at least 30 minutes each day to meditate. If you can’t dedicate that much time you can still do a short breathing exercise. Focus on your breathing, really focusing on the air, how it touches your nostrils and enters your lips. How does it feel as it escapes? Your mind may wander, filling with endless amount of thoughts. When this happens bring your thoughts back to focusing on your breathing. Continue this process for several minutes. 

Regulating your breathing relaxes your circulatory system and brings you a sense of peace. 

 

Listen.


Listen to music to help improve your focus. Really concentrate on the music. Try to focus on a single instrument.  

Cut goals into small targets.

Having an end goal in mind while working on the tasks to achieve it can frustrate you because you target goal might be too big or difficult. Your results won’t be quick, and it may seem like you aren’t getting any closer to the end. Instead of working toward the ultimate end goal, break it down into smaller, more achievable goals you can reach within a few days. Then cross each smaller goal off your list as you achieve it.

Time clock.

Work within your body’s most comfortable time period. Maybe you work best early in the morning before sunrise. Or late at night. Work when you are most productive. For example many authors get up early to do their writing, while artists often do their best work late at night.

Light meals.


Have you ever eaten a big meal for lunch when working only to feel lethargic and weighed down all afternoon? Eating a heavy meal slows you down and makes you sleepy. If you need or want to, you can go on a small juice fast on a regular basis. It will keep you alert and help keep your body in good physical condition. 

Exercise


Exercise your mind and body every day. Do crossword puzzles. Engage in lively discussions. Build something that’s creative. A simple 30 minute walk every day is all you need to keep your body healthy. 

 

Force yourself.

You may need to push yourself some when you’re feeling lazy. If you are hitting a mental roadblock, though, take some time away from the task. Do something else until you can regain your focus on the original task.

Learning to improve you focus will take time but it is worth it. Begin by implementing one or two of these tips into your day to begin changing how well you can become focused.

Strategies to Improve Focus

You’d be surprised by how many people lose track of where their time goes. They might think they are focused on a single task, but are they really? One way to find out is to keep track of how you spend your time for a week. You might find out you’ve been wasting time on little things like checking Facebook once an hour. 

Here are my strategies for improving your focus and increasing your productivity:

1. Track your time. Analyze the results after a week. Tweak and get rid of time wasters.

2. Plan your week. At the end of your week, find a quiet spot to plan out your week’s tasks. Write down key projects and the tasks associated with them. Don’t forget to add in family activities that you participate in as well.

3. Prioritize your list. Break down your tasks from most important to least important. Use a calendar to mark out blocks of uninterrupted time (anywhere from 15 to 60 minutes) to work on each one. 

4. Eliminate what isn’t essential. Outsource what you can for things you need to do but which aren’t your strengths. This could be anything from mowing your lawn to hiring a virtual assistant to take care of your social media for the week. 

5. Set your goals. Break down big or long-term goals into smaller weekly or daily goals to make them easier to focus on.

6. Set aside a specific amount of time each day for checking/answering email and social media. It could be the first 30 minute task of the day, the last 30 minutes of your work day, or maybe the 15 minutes before your lunch break. Only do it once a day though. Don’t be stopping in the middle of a task to check your email. The same goes for social media channels as well.

7. Do away with multitasking. It takes a while to learn how to focus on one project at a time, but stick with it and it will become a habit. Finish one project/task before moving on to the next one. Become laser-focused on one task at a time. This can really increase your productivity.

8. Make a distraction to-do list. The Internet has made it easy for us to become quickly distracted. As soon as we want to look something up, we hop on the Internet to do a search. “I wonder what’s happening on Facebook.” “What was the name of the actor in that movie?” “How long will it take me to drive to the zoo tomorrow?” Anytime we get distracted like this it takes about 25 minutes to get back to the original task. So instead, next time you want to look up something or an idea pops in your head, jot it down on a piece of paper (or, even better, use Evernote).

9. Learn to say NO. If you already have full day’s task list, don’t feel like you have to take on another project for someone else. 

10. Create an environment that works for you. Do you need a quiet space, free from people, phones and television noise? Set up your office so it works for you. Decorate it in soothing colors, inspiring artwork and a comfortable chair. If you work best in a neat and clean area, make sure you put away or file papers and magazines. Get rid of clutter. If you focus better while listening to music or some kind of ambient noise, be sure to have a way to make that happen.

11. Take a break when needed. Short breaks help break up boredom and burnout when you’re working on a big project. Get up and walk around the room. Do some yoga stretches.

12. Break up or Chunk it. Break your tasks down into smaller more manageable chunks of time with short breaks in between. For example, work on a task in 15 minute chunks. For example, let’s say you’re writing an eBook. Don’t try to do the whole thing at once. Break it down. Take 15 minutes to write out your outline. Take a short break. Then 15 minutes to research the first chapter. And so on.

13. Use an app on your phone to boost your productivity and concentration. Apps like Evernote can keep you organized and keep track of distractions. An app like Brainwave can be downloaded to your iPhone. In this app, you can choose settings like Concentration Boost and Problem Solving, Brainstorming, or Memory Boost and Creative Thinking. There are other apps that help you stay focused and productive as well.

 
The strategies for becoming more focused are endless. Make lists. Remove distractions. Set up your ideal environment. You need to find what works best for your style of working.
Exercises to Improve Focus

When TV newscaster Diane Sawyer was asked the secret to her success, she said, “I think the one lesson I’ve learned is there is no substitute for paying attention.”

Did you know improving your focus can be done with different types of simple exercises? It’s true. Something as simple as getting exercise on a daily basis or chewing gum can improve your brain function, which leads to better focus. Most of the time, focus exercises take less than ten minutes to do.

Check out these to get you started:

•   Mutter to yourself. It might seem like you’re crazy but talking to yourself either out loud or not, helps you pay attention, calms you emotionally and tells you to act. 

 

(Check out the 8 ways to make your brain smarter at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/28/how-to-focus_n_3795523.html)

•   Trade your caffeine for cardio. Caffeine gives you a boost, which makes it easier to concentrate. But you might find it harder to focus when you’re not buzzed. A better way to keep your mind stimulated is with physical exercise. Exercise triggers the release of chemicals in the brain that affect our learning and memory, which in the end are what help us focus. 

•   Drink more water. Mild dehydration can lead to distraction. Being even as little as 2 percent dehydrated can affect your ability to concentrate on cognitive activities. 

•   Get plenty of shut-eye. Getting at least seven hours of good quality sleep each night helps your body and mind rejuvenate and leads to better concentration and focus during the day. 
Here are some Concentration exercises taken from the Success Consciousness website. (http://www.successconsciousness.com/index_000004.htm)

Exercise 1 

Count the words in any paragraph from a book. Count them again. Repeat until it’s easy. 

Now count the words in two paragraphs. Repeat until it becomes easy.

Finally count all the words on the page. Count mentally and with your eyes only. Don’t use your finger to point to each word.

Exercise 2

Count from one hundred backwards to one.

Exercise 3

Count backwards from one hundred, by threes, for example 100, 97, 94 and so on.

Exercise 4

Pick an inspiring word or simple sound. Repeat it silently for five minutes. When this becomes easy, try doing it for ten minutes continually.

Exercise 5

Hold a piece of fruit in your hands. Examine it, keeping your entire attention focused on the fruit. Just focus on the fruit, ignoring other thoughts. Examine its shape, the smell of it, how it’s texture when you touch it and how it taste.

Exercise 6

Visualize a piece of fruit. First examine a piece of fruit for 2 minutes. Then close your eyes and visualize how it feels, looks and smells. Try to visualize a clear image. If the image gets blurry, look at the fruit again for a few seconds then close your eyes and try to visualize it again.

It’s never been harder to stay focused than at this time in history. We are distracted by technology and everything happening around us. You can regain focus though by doing different exercises that can help you build your concentration.
How to deal with focus issues

You probably already know how hard it is to focus on something. Focus issues are often the result of different things like boredom, lack of interest or even fatigue. Concentration can often be attributed by how motivated and interested we are in the task. 

There are ways to deal with focus issues. 

Supplements can help you when you are having focus issues. Vitamins like the B complex group, Biotin or vitamin H and lecithin all help improve your memory.

Eating the right foods can help you better focus as well since you will be getting the supplements from the foods to help with brain health. Foods like lean meat, beans, oranges, peanut butter and oysters.

Consult with your physician if you find you can’t focus on any one thing for any length of time. Lack of focus can be a symptom of several different conditions, including depression. Get a thorough checkup to rule out any physical causes of your lack of focus issues.

When working on projects on your computer and online, make sure you only have tabs open that are relevant to what you are doing. This keeps you from getting distracted by all that fun information floating around the Internet. 

Make your tasks routine. Set up a routine for tasks that you do every day. For example, check your email and social media at the same time every day. Just like you probably have a routine when you wake up, you should also have a routine when working. 

Separate your day into a time for creating, time for work and communication, and time for yourself.  Split the day up in whatever way works best for you. 

Dealing with focus issues causes your productivity to drop. By learning how to take care of your focus issues through your diet, exercise and routines, you can be more productive.

Applied Focus

You can increase your productivity and accomplish more in less time by using a technique called applied focus. Applied focus can help you avoid the little distractions that can derail your efforts at productivity.

How applied focus increases productivity

Applied focus is a strategy that helps you multiply your productivity. Each session is 45 minutes long, with a 15 minute shift in focus. Or you can do 90 minutes followed by 30 minute shift in focus. In other words, you stop focusing intentionally on your task and do something completely different in the shift focus period. During the focused session, though, you don’t allow anything to distract you (except a dire emergency). Phone calls are out, email is off, texting and Facebook are off limits. 

Here are some guidelines (be sure to adjust them as necessary to fit your individual situation):

1. Open only one browser or application window at a time. So if you’re writing a blog post, only your word processor or text pad is open. 

2. Keep your sessions timed. Don’t go past your 45 or 90 minute session, no matter how focused you are. You need the break.

3. Get away from your task. Get up from your desk, walk around, get a drink or snack. Give your mind a break.

4. Be prepared ahead of time. Do your research during a different applied focus session then from the writing session.  That way you’re able to concentrate on the writing alone.

5. Have a session set up for email, telephone and social media time. 

Applied focus sessions can increase your productivity but it will take some getting used to. Start slowly by scheduling one or two sessions a day. Once you become used to the routine, you will notice an improvement in your concentration and productivity.

What’s next?

Learning how to focus on one task at a time takes time and commitment. In our busy lives we are pulled in many directions at one time. It’s best to begin your journey on a more focused life gradually by implementing the tips and strategies found within this report. 

Focus is such an important part of how productive you are. If you can focus on one task for a set amount of time you will be more productive in a shorter amount of time than you have been. Putting aside your tendency to multitask will improve your productivity as well, since you will be able to finish one task before you move on. 

Removing distractions can help you focus as well. Create an environment that you feel comfortable in, and that fits with how you work. If you’re a morning person, then focus on your work tasks, and vice versa for night owls. 

Eat healthy and nutritious foods to keep your brain strong and able to concentrate. Exercise daily, meditate daily and take time to enjoy nature and your family.

Yours in good health, 

Elle💋

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Is Your Glass Half-Full Or Half Empty?

How Positivity Can Change Your Life

 Do you know what happy, successful people think about every day? It’s simple. They think about what they want and how they can get it. Positivity can change your life.

When you spend your time thinking and talking about what you want from life and how you can achieve it, you will feel happier and more in control. When you think about happy things, your brain releases endorphins, which give you a feeling of well-being. It doesn’t take long to develop a positive attitude.

The Importance of Optimism

Psychological tests have shown that happy people have a specific quality that enables them to live a better life. That quality, of course, is optimism. If you’re groaning at the thought of such positivity, because you worry that you can’t become an optimist, then stop right now. According to WebMD, optimism can be learned. It’s all about cause and effect. If you change your way of thinking and align it with optimists, you will start to feel happier and see results.

The Happy Find The Good In The World

There are two distinct ways that optimists deal with the world, which sets them apart from the rest:

· First, they remain focused on what they want, looking for ways to achieve it. They set clear goals and remain confident they will achieve them.

· Second, in every difficult situation an optimist will look for the good. When something goes wrong, they determine what lesson or knowledge can be drawn from the situation.

If you look for the good in someone or something then you will always find it, and in the looking, you will find yourself more cheerful.

The Power Of Positive Thinking  

Optimists seek the lesson in every obstacle. They don’t get upset and look at where they can lay blame. They control their emotions and look at things logically.

Positive thinking has several benefits to your life:

Motivation: Willpower and motivation come from a strong mind. Negative thoughts lead to negative actions. When you replace pessimism with optimism, you reshape your outlook.

Strong Relationships: Happiness attracts happiness, thus happy people attract people who are happy. If you surround yourself with negativity, you will only attract negativity. Positivity breeds trust, which builds strong relationships. Without trust, relationships cannot survive. We are hardwired to seek trust.

Confidence: Negativity spreads and can impact other attributes, such as self-esteem and confidence. The key to leading a happy life is loving yourself. Optimists laugh louder, love harder, and walk taller. They glow.

Strong Mind & Body: Negative thoughts are draining and can have a severe impact on your mental health. They can leave you struggling to get up in the morning and inhibit your ability to sleep. Fatigue leads to weakness, sadness, and a lack of motivation. Therefore, negativity takes a toll on your whole body.

Choose Happiness

You can make the choice today to see the glass as half full instead of half empty. Look at your blessings rather than noting every shortcoming. Look at the best in everyone around you, because in truth, the majority of people are honest and good. Look for the good in their actions and in their words, and resolve to be of good cheer.

It’s easy to be upbeat when everything in your life is going well. However, it’s even more important to do so when everything is going against you or is falling apart. You can still draw from your inner strength and look on the bright side of life, it will pay off in spades.

Elle💋

 

 

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5 Effective Ways To Stay On Track With Weight Loss


Many people would love to lose 5 pounds, but there are those who need to lose, as much as 30, 50, or even 100 pounds. A journey like that is not short nor is it easy and often includes ups, downs, plateaus, and setbacks.

So how can it be accomplished? You’ve seen the stories of heroic triumphs plastered across the Internet, social media, talk shows, and infomercials, the ones with amazing headlines such as, “Amazing Mom with 5 Kids Finds Time to Hit the Gym” or “Spectacular 100 Pound Weight-loss With Common Sense Tactics.”

These are not miracles, these people did not find a magic pill, they used sensible tactics to reach their goals.

1.) Treat Yourself as a Human

To err is human. The truth is willpower is not an endless supply of magic beans, you run out and at some point and fall off the wagon. You will find a stressful situation you can’t seem to manage. You may binge while you are all by yourself or in front of everybody at a celebration.

 

The key is to forgive yourself. Know that it happens to everybody and one bad day doesn’t mean you are failing or that you have worked for all this time for no reason. A cheat day or wavering in your willpower means you are human. Be prepared and expect it, they key is to move on and get back on track immediately.

 

2.) Set Manageable Goals

A 50 or 100 pound loss while impressive is not by any means unattainable, but reaching goals renews your motivation. If you want to keep your weight loss on track, break it down into bite-sized nuggets.

 

Plan to lose about 5 to 10 pounds a month (as about a one to two pound loss each week is considered healthy and sustainable weight loss). Anything more than that, is a celebration. Anything less is still a victory. The important part is you are setting manageable goals with healthy ide

as about what your body is most likely capable of supporting.

 

3.) Find A Buddy

Weight loss in particular is easier when you decide not to go it alone. A workout buddy is a big help. You can diet at home with your spouse, join a weight loss app or program, and hire a nutritionist or a physical trainer. The bigger your support group the more people’s energy you have to draw on and the more consistently you feed off that energy and comradery the better off you will be.
 

4.) Break the Plateaus

Wow, you are doing the work and it is really paying off you have lost 10, 15, even 25 pounds. You keep things going, but you can’t seem to shake anymore. It all stops working, the diet, the cardio, the strength training seems to stop being of any value. Your journey has plateaued and you find yourself a little bit hopeless all over again.

 

Power through a plateau by getting out of your rut. Often in weight loss, we find ourselves in routines for workout and food. Changing your routine by taking an extra or different workout class, adding strength session to your week or adjust your protein ratio. Shocking your system is one of the most effective ways to work through a plateau.

 

5.) Make Your Biggest Changes Small Ones

The best ways to make your weight loss stick involve small sustainable changes you don’t really notice. Flavored waters instead of soda during the day and with meals, smaller plates when you eat, skipping dessert, or eating a little fruit instead of cake are all small sustainable changes to keep your weight loss on track. Most important, these profound habit changes ensure long-term weight loss success.

 

The best changes, the ones that make the most difference are the ones you can stick to for longer than the 6-12 weeks of your weight loss plan. 

💋Elle

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The Skinny

Yoga for Weight Loss

People practice yoga for many ‘mind and body’ health changing solutions. Some people practice yoga to help them achieve mental clarity and improve their ability to concentrate. Others prefer to practice yoga simply because they want to exercise.

If your reason for doing yoga is to lose weight, you have to consider exercises that not only help you to achieve peace of mind and stretch your muscles, but also serve as a good workout to help you shed those extra pounds.

Yoga Classes and Exercising

Yoga is not a high-intensity exercise; however yoga classes usually run from 75 to 90 minutes of non- stop activity. This means that you will be working your muscles all-throughout this period. Whilst you perform these exercises, they will lengthen, strengthen and balance not only your muscles but your entire body.

You may also do core work by practicing chaturanga poses. Like any other weight loss activity, you may have to indulge in practicing these yoga exercises 4 to 5 times a week in conjunction with eating a portion-controlled balanced diet.

Experts suggest that the best first step towards losing weight is to increase one’s physical activity, so choosing yoga for weight loss is a good first step! All you have to do now is to choose the right exercises to perform.

Yoga Styles Ideal for Weight Loss

Vinyasa and Ashtanga are two styles of yoga that are ideal for people wanting to lose weight. These classes will usually last for 90 minutes.
Indulging in Vinyasa and Ashtanga Yoga will also provide you with cardiovascular benefits as you burn those calories. At the same time you will be still stretching and toning your muscles. Vinyasa and Ashtanga Yoga can also provide you with some weight bearing exercises to improve your bone health.

Yoga Improves Digestive Health to Help Promote Weight Loss

Yoga classes expose your body to different kinds of moves, such as forward twists and bends. These moves help release gas by compressing your abdomen. There are also yoga moves that will enhance blood flow to your digestive tract and bowels thereby improving your digestive health.
A weak gastrointestinal tract can hamper your body’s ability to lose weight. This is because a weakened or damaged gastrointestinal tract can lead to poor digestion which can inhibit weight loss. With the help of several yoga moves you will be able to stimulate your gastrointestinal tract and unleash its vital force to help improve your overall digestive health.

For best results, start performing your yoga exercises on an empty stomach.

Yoga Teaches You To Focus On Your Body

One subtle factor that yoga has that will power up your weight loss efforts is its ability to make you focus on your body. This allows you to be more aware of your body and how it feels as you go through your daily activities. This self-awareness will lead to a shift in the way you treat your body.

You will more likely begin to eat only when you are hungry and not just because you feel the desire to eat that delicious snack. It will soon become easier for you to feel satisfied and stop eating before you feel overfull.

Regular practice of yoga can significantly help in your development of ‘mindfulness’ especially during mealtimes. You will become more conscious of your habits in regards to your food preparation, portion sizes and your manner of eating.

If you follow a nutritional plan and practice your yoga exercises regularly, yoga can definitely help you lose weight.

Yours in good health, Elle

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Just Chill

Stress Management: 8 Stress Relievers for Health and Wellness

Stress is something we all face, many of us face different types of stress on a daily basis and it is well known that stress can have adverse effects on our health.

Managing stress is a great way to ensure that you maintain your health throughout your life time and there are many different ways you can learn to manage stress.

Stress Relievers

  1. Exercise

One of the best ways to manage your stress is to ensure that your body is getting enough exercise. Exercise has been proven to help maintain mental fitness along with physical fitness. Studies have shown that exercise is very effective in improving concentration, helps the body release natural pain killers and helps to ad in more restful sleep. All it takes is five minutes of aerobic exercise to help stimulate the mind and the body producing anti-anxiety effects.  

  1. Meditation

Meditation is another great way to manage stress in your life. One of the great things about meditation is that it is absolutely free! Meditation can actually reverse your stress response which will help to shield you from the effects of chronic stress. Meditation also helps you clear your mind from the things that are causing you stress.

  1. Journaling

Journaling is also and effective stress management tool, because it will help you to clarify your thoughts and feelings. Many people have found that through journaling they are able to come up with a solution to their problems just by seeing it on paper.

  1. Dealing With Mental Stress

One of the reasons mental stress occurs is when the mind is overly focused or concentrated on one thing, this is something typically seen at work. It is important to step away in order to restore balance and clarity and do an activity that does not require any mental concentration.

This can be a walk around the block, getting out in nature also helps quite a bit, being somewhere without noise, distractions and anything that entails the mind having to focus on something so that you can just “be.”

This is often referred to as “gelling” in slang terms and it can really do wonders to clear and refresh the mind.

 

  1. Deep Breathing

Deep breathing exercises work great to help people with stress management. It has been proven that when a person focuses on deep slow breathing they are able to trigger a state of relaxation and their body temperature actually raises. Deep breathing exercises are great because they can be used at any time during the day. You don’t have to worry about having somewhere to exercise or having your journal handy you can simply take a few moments and focus on your breathing.

  1. Music

Many people have also found that listening to music can help to reduce stress. Some prefer angry hard rock while others find that listening to soft classical music helps them to relax. One of the best things about using music to reduce stress is that you can listen to music while you go about your life and you don’t have to set a specific time aside for this type of therapy.

  1. Well Balanced Diet

Finally and probably the most important thing you can do to manage the stress that you face is to eat a well-balanced diet. Avoiding foods that contain caffeine or other stimulants is very important.

These stimulants actually cause the body to be less equipped to handle normal stress. But there are many food that you can add to your diet to help you reduce and manage your stress.

Best Foods To Reduce Stress

  • Walnuts
  • Turkey
  • Spinach
  • Salmon
  • Avocados
  • All green vegetables have all been proven to help the body function properly when dealing with stress.
  • It is also important to ensure you are drinking enough water!
  1. Get Away

If at all possible get completely away from the sources of stress. If it’s work, take a break or a short vacation. If it is the kids and the house, then get a sitter and have a spa day or “me day” where you do things you enjoy.

Choose an activity that allows you to unwind, and if that means turning off your phone and tablet and just watching movies all day, then feel free.

Bottom Line

In today’s world, stress cannot be avoided. We deal with it every day from many different sources but the good news is there are things that we can do in order to help us manage the stress we face so that it does not take a toll on our bodies.

If stress is left unchecked it can lead to many different health problems such as chronic anxiety, heart attack, high blood pressure, and depression.

Simply by following the tips that I have given you, you will be able to manage your stress and reduce the chances that it will cause you future health problems.

 

Yours in good health,

Elle

cooking, healthy eating, healthy living, lifestyle

​A Healthy Lifestyle Equals A Longer Life

Healthy lifestyle habits certainly help us live longer, that’s only natural. If we don’t abuse our bodies, we won’t wear them out as quickly as they might otherwise.

This is proven scientifically, as experts have found that if you improve your health at a cellular level, you are also improving your cellular age and reducing the rate of decline.
However, it also makes sense that the opposite is true. If you lead an unhealthy lifestyle and abuse your health, damage which occurs cell by cell adds up to an increased rate of apparent aging. You are essentially speeding up the aging process, harming your health and reducing your longevity.

Men’s Lifestyle Habits and Prostate Cancer

A research study revealed a link between men’s lifestyle habits and their risk of prostate cancer. The study involved 35 male participants over a five-year period and focused on the early diagnosis of prostate cancer.
This study showed that following a healthy diet and exercising regularly helped improve the length of ‘telomeres’. Telomeres are the protective caps found at the end of each chromosome that play a crucial role in regulating the lifespan of cells.

The shortening of telomeres causes certain cells to die earlier than they would otherwise, if a healthier lifestyle was followed.

Some of the male study participants made positive changes to their lifestyle by eating a healthy diet, exercising on a regular basis and indulging in stress-reduction activities such as meditation and yoga. They also joined a support group.

The results showed that these men were found to have a 10% increase in their telomeres length. In the control group were 25 men who did not make any changes to their lifestyle habits. Their telomeres decreased in length by up to 3% and they also were diagnosed with early stage prostate cancer. The results of this study were published in the Lancet Oncology.

An Unhealthy Lifestyle Equals A Shorter Life

Although the number of incidences of people suffering from chronic illnesses such as obesity, cancer, stroke, arthritis and heart disease is increasing, experts agree that these conditions can almost always be controlled or prevented through healthy lifestyle habits.

In line with this claim, researchers from the University of Zurich conducted a study on the effects of 4 factors and how it affected their life expectancy. These four factors were:

1.    Being sedentary


2.    Following an unhealthy diet


3.    Cigarette smoking 


4.    Excessive alcohol consumption

While each of these factors contributes to a decrease in life expectancy, combining them greatly compounds the effect. The results of this study showed that a person whose lifestyle included all 4 risk factors had at least twice the mortality risk of those who did not involve any.
This finding was based on data gathered from a study of 16,721 people from 1977 to 2008. As the data sample and the time-frame were large, researchers consider the results very conclusive.
The researchers found that 75-year-old individuals who didn’t partake in the four negative lifestyle choices had up to a 67% probability of surviving for the next ten years.
Those statistics are definitely worth thinking about if you don‘t follow a healthy lifestyle. Taking action to remove negative factors from your lifestyle can result in a longer lifespan and an improved quality of life to enjoy it with.

Yours in good health,

Elle💋

cooking, family, habits, healthy eating, healthy living, lifestyle, Vegetables

Survive & Thrive ~ A Healthier, Happier, YOU!

There are many things that impact your health, some positive and some negative. It’s up to you to do all that you can to avoid the unhealthy ones. Of course, it won’t always easy. Obstacles sometimes get in the way. But, by learning more about the following five factors, which positively impact your health, you’ll be well on your way to better health. The factors covered in this report are quality nutrition, hydration, detoxification, oxygenation and alkalization. Hopefully, you’re already familiar with a few.

Quality Nutrition

Everyone needs to be concerned about quality nutrition, regardless of where they feel they stand health-wise. There are so many benefits to proper nutrition that it’s somewhat difficult to know where to begin. Here are some of them for your consideration.

Increased Productivity

Recent data indicates that eating foods that are unhealthy for you actually puts you at a higher risk of productivity loss. Some studies put that number as high as 66 percent. All the more reason to think of healthy food as fuel for your brain, don’t you think?

Fewer Wrinkles

Foods that contain a high water content help to moisturize your skin. They also contain antioxidants, which help to reduce the likelihood of cell damage and keeps your skin younger looking for a longer period of time. Go one step further and include foods like salmon, on the menu. Salmon is high in Omega-3 fatty acids that are also beneficial to your skin.

Saves Money

By sticking to a healthy diet, you generally have fewer medical bills. In addition, you’ll probably eat less, which means you’ll save money on groceries. This is especially true if you’re one to eat a lot of sugary treats and/or fast food meals.

Less Cravings

It probably won’t happen immediately, but eating healthier is a great way to reduce cravings. Lean proteins and complex carbohydrates do an excellent job of stabilizing your blood sugar. This helps to alleviate a rapid drop in blood sugar, which causes a craving.

Healthier Smile

The calcium in milk and other dairy products helps to strengthen your teeth. Yogurt is known to contain microorganisms that are helpful in fighting the bacteria that causes bad breath. Research indicates that Omega-3, found in fish, may even reduce the chances of gum disease.
Longer Life

Although nothing is guaranteed 100 percent, quality nutrition goes a long way in helping you to live longer. Several studies indicate the possibility of low-meat, vegetarian or diets high in nut consumption very well adding years to your life.

Happier Disposition

The next time you feel a bit gloomy, why not take a minute out of your day to eat a banana or a couple of pieces of dark chocolate? The average-sized banana contains 10 mg of dopamine. Dark chocolate is packed to the brim with polyphenol. Both of these substances are known to give your mood a boost when you need it the most.

An added benefit to all of these things is the fact that learning to eat healthier automatically makes you more knowledgeable about nutrition. So, not only are you helping yourself, you’re helping your family as well. What could be better than that?

Hydration

Staying hydrated is extremely important for overall health. What many people don’t realize is that drinking plenty of fluids is also necessary for optimal heart health. This is especially true in warm weather.

Every single cell in your body needs water. So do your tissues and organs. The body requires water to lubricate joints, maintain proper temperature and remove waste products.

Keeping your body hydrated helps your heart pump blood through your blood vessels. It also helps muscles work more efficiently. In other words, when you drink the proper amount of water or other fluids your heart doesn’t have to work as hard.

Water Is Best

Water is the best thing to drink, when it comes to staying hydrated… especially when you’re exercising. If you’re someone who doesn’t enjoy the taste of water alone, try eating fruits and vegetables that have a high water content. These include, but are not limited to:

  • cucumbers
  • iceberg lettuce
  • celery
  • radishes
  • tomatoes
  • green peppers
  • watermelon
  • citrus fruits
  • strawberries
  • cantaloupe

As you can see, you have plenty of healthy choices. For additional options, doing a quick search engine search will bring up many other suggestions.

Sports drinks are recommended in very hot weather. However, if you’re trying to steer clear of added sugar and extra calories, you might want to think twice. Any sugary drink, such as soda or fruit juice, tends to be harder on your stomach. And, anything with caffeine in it actually causes you to lose fluid, which obviously defeats the purpose.

How Much is Too Much?

You’ve probably heard or read somewhere that you need to drink eight, 8-ounce glasses of water per day. While many people still believe this to be true, some physicians will tell you that it depends on things like climate, the type of clothes you wear and whether or not you’re exercising.

Never let the fact that you feel thirsty be an indication that you’re getting dehydrated. If you’re thirsty, you’ve ALREADY reached that point. If you perspire more than average, you need to drink more fluids. If you have a medical condition such as diabetes, you need to drink more fluids. If you’re elderly or pregnant, you need to drink more fluids.

Believe it or not sometimes when you feel hungry, you actually might be thirsty instead. If you’ve eaten within the last two hours, try this trick. Drink a glass of water and wait approximately 10 minutes. If after that time, you no longer feel hungry, you’ll know you were dealing with dehydration.

One of the best ways to monitor your hydration level is to keep track of the color of your urine. If it’s pale or clear it means you’re properly hydrated. If it’s dark, you need to drink more liquids.

Don’t ever take dehydration lightly. Not only can it lead to painful issues such as headaches and swollen feet, it can also lead to life-threatening conditions like heat stroke.

Detoxification

If you’re feeling sluggish and lacking energy, it may be time to consider body detoxification. Detoxification, or detox, is the process of cleansing the blood by removing impurities in the liver, where toxins are naturally processed. This allows the body to process and removes toxins more efficiently, which leads to improved health and a better quality of life.

Should You Detox?

 It is recommended that everyone detox at least once every year. A detox program can help alleviate symptoms that are otherwise unexplainable, such as fatigue, skin irritation, allergic reactions or even bags under the eye. Even if you don’t feel like anything is amiss, detoxing helps to cleanse the whole body and leaves you feeling fresh and rejuvenated.

Cleansing Your Diet

 There are many different detox recipes and programs to choose from, all focused on cleansing the body and eliminating toxins. One very popular and tasty way to include cleansing foods into your diet is detoxifying juices and smoothies.

Replacing one meal a day with a detox smoothie goes a long way toward getting rid of toxins and maintaining your metabolism. Stay away from pre-packaged shakes or other chemically enhanced products – the best ingredients to use are all-natural fruits and vegetables. Popular options include:

  • raspberries
  • blueberries
  • oranges
  • apples
  • spinach
  • kale
  • bananas
  • tomatoes
  • carrots

Any natural fruits or vegetables will do, especially those rich in fiber or vitamin C. With so many healthy foods and flavors to choose from, you can concoct a smoothie that suits your taste and is an excellent addition to your diet at the same time.

Fasting

 Taking a break from eating gives our digestive system a chance to rest and rejuvenate. This means it will be more efficient when it’s time for it to work again. In order to give your digestive system a break, replace your meals with juices or smoothies for a day or two of fasting. This will be easiest if you do it on a day off, so that you can rest and avoid situations that might otherwise tempt you to eat. This detoxifying method may not be much fun during the actual fast, but it will be worth it afterwards when you feel energetic and refreshed.

Stay Away from Toxins

 Toxins that we take in either through food or our environment get in the way of our body’s healing processes. Stay away from refined sugars, saturated fats, coffee, cigarettes, and alcohol. Also, try to use natural alternatives to both cleaning and personal care products, to avoid exposure to minor levels of toxins.

Oxygenation

Oxygenation is the process of oxygen molecules making their way into all tissues of the body. Oxygen is not only necessary for breathing, it also plays an important role in every metabolic process, which occurs in the body. Another term for oxidization is “medical oxygen saturation.”

How Oxygen is Used

Our bodies use oxygen for a number of different processes. When we breathe, the oxygen in the air that we inhale is diffused into our bloodstream. This oxygen-rich blood makes its way through our bodies and find places where oxygen is needed. Oxygen molecules in our body combine with certain enzymes to help out with many of our body’s processes. A waste product of these processes is carbon dioxide, which is transported back to the lungs.

Restoring Oxygen Balance

There are several easy things you can do to help restore your oxygen balance. This includes:

  • drinking an adequate amount of water
  • adhering to an alkaline diet
  • exercising daily
  • breathing properly

Without the proper amount of water, all body functions are diminished. Filtered water is the best choice, because of its smaller groups of water molecules, which provide better overall hydration on a cellular level.

Adhering to an alkaline diet is explained in more detail below. In a nutshell, it refers to eating more plant-based foods such as kale and spinach and eating less processed and animal-based foods. Along with the diet, it’s helpful to take an iron supplement. Women need at least 18 mg, daily. Men require no less than 8 mg per day.

The type of exercise you choose is completely up to you. Walking, biking and hiking are particularly good choices to help oxygenate your body. In fact, in this case, it’s actually more beneficial to walk for 15 minutes a day, as opposed to working out at the gym for two full hours.

Yes, there is a proper way to breathe. Whenever possible, avoid breathing from the chest. It’s much better to breathe slowly from your diaphragm and through your nose. Twelve breaths per minute are usually adequate.

Oxygen and Detoxification

A major factor in our health is how efficiently our bodies make use of nutrients on the cellular level. Another factor is how effectively waste and toxins are removed. Our body has several ways of getting rid of cellular waste. Much of it is dissolved into water and leaves the body through urine and sweat. But, some of this waste can only be neutralized by oxygen molecules, in a process called oxidation. Because our bodies need oxygen to process waste, avoiding environmental toxins and maintaining proper oxygen balance leaves us feeling great and could even help prevent disease.

Alkalization

Alkalizing your body is another wonderful way to stay healthy. Simply put, alkalization is shifting your body’s pH to the proper level. In the event the thought of this makes you nervous, there’s no need to worry. It’s actually much easier than it sounds. The end goal is to have a body which is more alkaline than acidic.

Optimal pH Level

When your body is highly acidic, it tries to balance itself out by getting nutrients from your cells and bones. That’s bad. The optimal pH level, to strive for, is just a little over 7. Once this number is reached, it greatly reduces the possibility of disease and cellular damage.

When your body reaches this level, it’s generally easy to maintain, as long as you know how to do so. The process involves replacing the acid you eat and drink with foods that alkalize.

Increased Health Benefits

There are many benefits to an alkaline diet. Statistics indicate that if your diet consists of at least 70 percent of alkaline foods, you’ll improve your quality of life substantially. Health benefits include an increase in energy, a more restful sleep, a slower aging process, a clearer mind and increase protection against certain kinds of cancer. That sounds wonderful, doesn’t it?

Foods to Avoid

There are several foods and beverages to avoid on an alkaline diet. The top five categories include:

  • processed sugar
  • meat
  • dairy products
  • coffee
  • soda

Cutting down or eliminating these foods not only helps to balance your pH level, it makes you healthier overall.

Foods to Enjoy

There are many types of foods that are great for increasing your alkaline level. You don’t have to partake in a boring diet in order to get healthier. Think about incorporating some of the following items into your meal plan. It’s probably simpler than you think!

  • leafy greens
  • Chia seeds
  • almonds
  • beets
  • bananas
  • garlic
  • figs
  • lemons
  • melon
  • tomatoes
  • and broccoli

Consequences of an Unbalanced pH Level

When your pH level is out of whack, it has the potential of affecting your health in many ways. Excess acid is stored in fat cells. The reason for this is that the fat neutralizes the acid. There is good news, however. Once you reach a pH level of 7, it’s entirely possible to lose as much as a pound of fat per day.

Your arteries are affected by pH levels, as well. Why? When your body is highly acidic, it automatically produces cholesterol to protect the arteries. High cholesterol can lead to heart attacks. The upside to this is, just like the excess fat cells, the extra cholesterol will disappear once your body is properly alkalized.

Believe it or not, there’s also a possibility that you’ll shrink, if your pH level remains off balance for long periods of time. This occurs when calcium begins to dissipate from your bones due to the acid.

Once your body begins to balance out and become more alkaline, you may experience something that is often referred to as “alkalize and energize.” This simply means that you’ll start to automatically feel more energized and ready to take on the world. Congratulations!

Taking Things Slow

When it comes to information about these five factors, which positively impact your health, this is just the tip of the iceberg. However, it gives you a great starting point. What you do with the information is, of course, up to you.

If you feel overwhelmed, as many individuals do, tackle one area at a time. You’re not going to feel transformed overnight. Obviously, it’s going to take some time. But, with patience and due diligence, you’ll start feeling much healthier before you know it.

 

At that point, all of your hard work will be more than worth it!

Hugs, Elle