How To Stay Positive While Losing Weight

Losing weight can be difficult under any circumstances, but it can be especially difficult when you aren’t feeling happy with yourself or your progress. The reality is, though, that being down on yourself or what you have accomplished so far can end up making the process even harder. The good news is, though, that you don’t have to feel stuck in this situation. There can be many ways to change your outlook and start feeling more positive about the steps you’re taking to be healthier and happier.

Try New Things To Get a Boost

Whether you just started working out and dieting and aren’t seeing the progress that you thought you would, or you’ve been doing it for a while and have hit a plateau, it can be easy to feel discouraged when you aren’t meeting your goals on the timeline that you wanted to. In this kind of situation, finding new ways to give your efforts a boost can be helpful.

One way to do this is to try a supplement. Whether you opt for a comprehensive multivitamin to fill in nutritional gaps in your diet and provide you with more energy, or for a supplement that might have weight loss supporting properties, a supplement can be a simple way to give yourself a boost. Before selecting a supplement, though, it can be a good idea to do your research by reading le-vel thrive reviews so that you have an idea of what a supplement can accomplish for you.

Make a Big Deal Out of Small Successes

Another way to stay positive even when you don’t feel things are going as well as you want them to is to start adjusting how you look at your accomplishments. The trap that many fall into is setting high goals and then getting upset when they fail to reach them quickly. They may be so set on these high goals that they fail to recognize all of the progress they have made. By celebrating all the things you have accomplished, even if they seem small, you can be better aware of just how far you have come, and have confidence that you can keep making more positive changes.

Embrace Your Flaws

Sometimes, even when weight loss is going well, some may still not feel as happy about their progress as they would like. This can be because they thought that weight loss would change everything, and remove their insecurities. The truth is, that even after weight loss, you will be the same person and even if you feel better about your weight, you will still have many of the same insecurities that you had before. By learning to accept your insecurities, even if you don’t like them, you can release some negative feelings that may be holding you back from truly enjoying the positive changes you’ve been making.

Don’t Go By the Scale

Letting your mood for the day depend on the number you see on the scale can be a recipe for discouragement, especially when you are working hard to lose weight. What some don’t realize is that your body weight can fluctuate due to many factors, and that even if you are eating well and exercising regularly, the scale may not always show the progress that you are actually making.

One cause of this is that if you are exercising, you can end up gaining muscle, which can make your weight go up, even though you are improving your physique and overall health. Water weight can be another culprit, and a slow digestion can be another. The less that you focus on the scale and more on maintaining good daily habits, the faster it will feel like you are meeting your goals.

The Bottom Line

Losing weight is rarely easy. Not only that, but it can be even more difficult if you’re feeling discouraged about your progress. The good news is, though, that by doing things like giving yourself a boost when you hit a plateau and not letting your mood be dependent on what the scale says, you can start feeling better about your progress today.

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The 7 Definitive Steps to Self-Mastery

The pursuit of self-mastery is a life-long endeavor. Unfortunately, it’s not something you can be naturally gifted at, or pick up with relative ease. It’s rooted in the conscious application of your knowledge to make better life choices. You can’t “game” any system or resort to hacks that will accelerate the process. In short, it involves a lot of trial and error. Achieving mastery over anything requires consistency. That’s the real secret – if there is one at all.

So how do you actually do it? The answer will vary depending on who you’re asking. Some will undoubtedly point to the spiritual path, while others will offer a more pragmatic approach. Neither is wrong. In fact, they’re both necessary and ultimately lead to the same destination. Self-mastery is about building a sense of inner fortitude that can’t be swayed by negative influences. It’s not a singular quality, but the sum total of your thoughts, beliefs, and actions.

Here’s how you can align your intentions to bring out the best of yourself in every situation:

1.          Start Taking Accountability for Your Actions

You can’t deny the influence your actions have on both yourself and others. When you refuse to acknowledge your part in events that don’t turn out as expected, you stagnate. It doesn’t matter whether it’s in your relationships, work-life, or even your hobbies. You’ll never find the solution to your problems if you’re unable to look at yourself from a critical perspective. You can’t shift blame onto others indefinitely and continue to develop as a human being – your personal responsibility is non-negotiable. Accountability starts with your introspection and being completely honest about why you’re in your current situation. If you’re not getting to where you want to be, then ask yourself, ‘when did this slide begin?’ Only you are capable of correcting your course. No one is coming to save you but yourself, and there is no reward for playing the victim.

2.          Use Your “Failures” as an Opportunity to Improve

Throughout life, you’re going to experience setbacks. But that doesn’t mean you can’t turn them to your advantage. The defining quality that separates those who succeed and those who fall by the wayside is how they respond. Life is a learning game. You don’t need to be perfect every time you turn your hand to something new. But you do need to approach it with an attitude of perseverance. It takes approximately 10,000 hours to gain mastery over a new skill. That’s a lot of mistakes. But then, even if you need to change directions completely, don’t view those efforts as dead-ends or “failures.” Use your hindsight to make better decisions in the future. “Fail forwards.” Invert your thinking and turn your missteps into an opportunity for growth. Instead of asking yourself, ‘Why me?’ ask yourself, ‘Why now? What is this experience here to teach me?’

3.          Move Away from Instant Gratification and Start Playing the Long Game

One of the unfortunate side effects modern technology – and social media – has gifted us with is the desire to experience everything now. It’s reasonable to want our meals when we’re hungry and public services to run on time. But today’s world moves at such a rate that we want almost everything else yesterday. However, there’s a lot to be said for playing a more deliberate game in life. By delaying gratification, you’re no longer ruled by your urges. It allows you to direct your energy into a more clearly defined vision for the future, which will ultimately yield bigger rewards. Sure, living for the moment does have a certain appeal. But if it becomes your default position, you risk falling into entitlement. You lose the ability to be flexible, which can lead to tensions within your relationships and emotionally charged decisions that you may later come to regret.

4.          Replace the Idea ‘Hope’ with Positive Action 

Hope may sound harmless enough. But if you invest so much of yourself into the idea that everything is going to ‘work out,’ it can take you away from what you could be doing right now. It replaces pragmatism with fantasy-based “what if’s?” What makes hope such a negative emotion is that it’s rooted in a ‘possible future.’ There’s no certainty that what you wish for is going to come true. And when it doesn’t, the crashing low you experience can feel like the end of the world. Hope leads to hopelessness. The more active you can be in improving your situation, the more likely you are to achieve your goals. Be accepting of your circumstances, but don’t fall into the trap of becoming the ‘passive observer.’ You can make a difference, no matter how small it might appear. Hope has killed more dreams than positive action ever will.

5.          Become the Objective Observer and Use Your Discernment

From an early age, the subconscious mind is processing all your experiences and cataloging them as reference points that will inform your future behavior. Unfortunately, there’s no way around this, as you’re too young to realize what’s going on. In later life, however, you can challenge your programming. But to do this, you must become completely unbiased. You need to develop the habit of questioning yourself relentlessly – and be accepting of some hard truths. This allows you to become the objective observer. In essence, it’s a more expansive way of practicing mindfulness. From this perspective, you can side-step your ego and distinguish between what’s a true need and just a want. By exercising your discernment on a regular basis, you create your own value system that supersedes your subconscious. You create your own identity and filter of truth, which in turn increases your problem-solving skills.

6.          Let Go of What No Longer Serves You

Letting go can be a hard skill to master. But everything has a finite existence. This may be hard to accept, as there’s a certain level of comfort in the familiar. It’s something we can predict. But over time, we allow toxic people into our lives, fall into negative habits, and take on limiting beliefs. It means we have to go through a purging process. We need to rid ourselves of the dead weight that’s adding nothing to our life and only making demands of our energy. This isn’t always easy. You might have to make some tough decisions about who’s really on your side and who’s holding you back. But what’s worse is allowing your self-limiting beliefs to keep you where you are right now. Remember, you aren’t closing yourself off from experiences, but simply making room to allow new ones in.

7.          Never Believe You’ve Got It All Figured Out

The true master never stops learning. And allowing your beliefs to be challenged is one of the greatest character traits there is – you can learn far more by saying less and being receptive to what others have to share. Everyone possesses their own nuggets of truth based on their unique set of experiences. And even if there is a lot of common ground, there are multiple ways of expressing a concept – each one coming from a different angle. Perspective is such a valuable commodity; it does no harm to have an old idea reaffirmed in a new context. Whenever you enter into a conversation, leave your ego at the door, and adopt a stance of listening first. The moment you think there’s nothing left to learn is the moment you start losing touch with the world around you. Your assumptions are the mother of arrogance, which in turn is one step away from bias.  

Author Bio

Sam Boomer

Sam is a Beyond Quantum Healing Hypnosis practitioner. He creates profound transformations in those he works with, helping them resolve deep-seated emotional traumas, chronic health issues, and discover their true purpose in life. If you’re ready to take the next step in your personaldevelopment and healing journey, you can find out more at Awake and Align

The post The 7 Definitive Steps to Self-Mastery appeared first on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement.


How Different Types of Exercise Improve Your Mental Health

Exercise has been shown to have a great effect on your mental health and well being. There are many types of physical activities that will positively impact your mood and the chemicals which influence your feelings and outlook on life. 


Running is one of the easiest activities to begin. It requires little equipment and you can go at your own pace. Humans have evolved to be naturally great at running. Once you push past the difficulty of beginning a running habit, the overall feeling during your workout can be positive for your mental health. Aerobic activities like running have been shown to improve symptoms of depression and anxiety. It also has the immediate benefit of boosting endorphins, which can change your outlook and mood for your day. Likewise, running improves your focus. Running also leads to a better night’s sleep, which can be great for having a clear head when you wake up in the morning. Finally, it’s an easy activity to do alone, with friends, or in a group.


Swimming, because it is in the water, has been shown to have a positive impact in helping reduce anxiety and aiding relaxation. It can also be a great way to bond with your family and enjoy activities together when the weather warms. Many people favor swimming as their preferred form of cardio and even install pools in their own backyards. For instance, if you reside in Virginia, a simple internet search for “inground pools Virginia” can provide you with companies in your area that specialize in estimating and building pools to fit within your budget and space. Building a swimming habit can be an incredibly relaxing way to improve your mood, cool off, and get in shape at the same time. 


Practicing yoga on a regular basis has many positive effects on your mood, mental health, and emotional state. Yoga shifts you from a state of sympathetic nervous system to parasympathetic, bringing you into a relaxed mode instead of being on edge, or in fight or flight mode. Additionally, yoga can help you heal emotionally from traumatic events in your past by addressing them mentally in a calm environment. Another added benefit is the mental peace you achieve with yourself. Try taking a break from the hassle of your day and spending a few minutes practicing yoga. 


Zumba is a stimulating aerobic activity. It’s been increasingly popular in the past few years, and for good reason. The activity is usually practiced in a group setting, such as a class, with a combination of music and exercise, cultivating a positive environment that can boost mood. Both of these things have also been proven to relieve symptoms of mental illnesses such as anxiety and depression. Practicing something with happy music, along with the group effort of accomplishing a common goal, can have incredibly benefits on your mental health as well. Many gyms and fitness centers offer Zumba classes for every level and age group. 

Weight Training

Lifting is also incredibly important for a well-rounded exercise regimen. It also assists your body in building muscle. Not only has regular weight lifting been shown to alleviate both anxiety and depression, but in addition, it can have positive impact on your self-esteem. Studies have revealed that it also improves cognitive function when combined with brain exercises. If you want to improve your self-image, feel better about yourself and your life, and gain muscle while you are at it, consider a gym membership to lift weights regularly.

There are many types of exercise that can improve your mental health. With these tips, you’re guaranteed to start feeling better, both physically and mentally. 

You’ve read How Different Types of Exercise Improve Your Mental Health, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’ve enjoyed this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.


Death is a Tragedy that Keeps Us Going: How it feels to experience loss for the first time


  1. “Don’t be afraid of death; be afraid of an unlived life. You don’t have to live forever; you just have to live.” –Natalie Babbitt.

Summer 2018 was supposed to be thrilling. Summer 2018 was supposed to be the summer of freedom. But I was wrong.

I had recently graduated college and was excited to move back home to begin my next chapter. I was finally free, free from school. No more homework, no more stress, time to enter the real world and have some time to enjoy myself.

Early June, my friends went to the beach. All but one returned home. My friend was missing. 24 hours later, they found him at the bottom of a canal, dead.

That phone call I got and those words I heard will forever echo in my mind.

“He’s dead, he’s gone, he’s dead.”

Those words couldn’t settle in my brain. My stomach was uneasy; my anxiety was high. I just didn’t understand. How can someone just be gone like that? How can someone so young just vanish? I felt like he was just on a long vacation, that one day he would return. But the reality of it is, he wasn’t, he was gone.

He was my best friend. And I had never lost someone close to me before. I thought I would feel it. I thought I would feel the physical sense of someone being gone from this world. Someone I had a deep connection with, I thought the feeling would pass through me. The feeling of a soul being taken. But I didn’t and now I was stuck trying to put together what happened.

How does one cope with this loss?
The day I got the news, a group of us went to his apartment. I could feel the emptiness of the place. All his belongings were right where he left it, but he was not.

We all sat around on the living room floor staring at a single rose in a vase, a lit candle and a picture of the friend we had lost. Everyone was teary eyed, some balling, but me, I was just numb.

I didn’t know what I was supposed to feel. But the truth is, I was feeling grief for the first time ever. The worst feeling possible.

There would be random times of the day where I could imagine him coming back home. Other times I felt like bursting out in tears. I felt this pain at the pit of my stomach, the world just didn’t seem right.

Realizing You’re Not Alone:
Later that week we held a vigil at the restaurant where he had worked at for almost 8 years. Feeling anxious and sad, the vigil went on. But something happened. Something almost satisfying.

The turnout for the vigil was insane. Over one hundred people came to pay their respects. The news even came out to document the experience. Multiple people came up and shared their fondest memories with him. Everyone said something similar. They discussed a time where he did something for them without them asking. They explained how he was so kind, selfless, and always put others first before himself. He was the glue that kept us together, but in his absence the bond was broken.

However, by listening to these experiences, it really made me realize just how much of an impact one person can have. That one single human being touched the hearts of over a hundred people in such a personal way. Now that is true love.

Time to Face Reality:
The following week I had to travel down to North Carolina for my cousin’s graduation. We spent all day driving and went straight to the ceremony. This was a great opportunity to see family I haven’t seen in years.

But still, something deep down was hurting. I just didn’t know what to feel.

Later that night, in the hotel room, I was laying down trying to get sleepy and it hit me. All at once, it just hit me hard. I found myself balling. I finally felt the feeling of loss. I finally felt something, and I hated it.

In my despair I turned to sad poems and songs. It just made me cry harder. I was finally processing what had truly happened. I was finally feeling.

These questions of Why him? Why is life so cruel? Why do the good die young? were constantly going through my brain. But the truth is, there will never be an answer.

The empty feeling:
Cleaning out his apartment felt empty. His boyfriend and I sat in their room, boxes all over the house, his belongings spread all over. It just didn’t seem right. There I was at my dead best friend’s house, going through his stuff, reliving his memories.

But the memories didn’t make me sad, they made me feel relieved. For these memories were happy times, times where he was living his best life. Adventures he went on; concerts he went to. We even found a letter he wrote to his boyfriend wishing him happy birthday, explaining how he loves him and wants to make their relationship work. Yes, the situation was horrible, but living these memories helped me get some closure.

The Outcome:
Once a person loses someone close to them, the hole that was once full will never fully be filled again. That person you wish you could call up to catch up is gone and that person will never come back. However, the memories will forever be there. I cannot think of one bad memory of my friend. I can think of times where we bickered, but it was all out of love. I am now left with these beautiful memories of a time we once both lived together.

Death really gave me a new perspective on life. Death really brought the people he left behind closer. Death showed us a new type of love. Death gave me more of a reason to want to live.

At the end of the day death isn’t so bad. Death reminds us that we are human. Death proves that these moments are not going to last forever and that part of living is dealing with grief and loss. Death is a reminder to live your life with yourself in mind, do what you want to do and accept no less. It’s to time accept what happened and continue on, because this is your only chance.

Rebecca Toro is a writer and digital artist. She is a recent college graduate who is excited to share her experiences and advice with others. Want to chat? Follow Rebecca on Instagram, Twitter or check out her portfolio.


The Revival of the Handwritten Love Letter

The handwritten letter is romantic, poetic and sensual. It’s more permanent, purposeful, engaging, reflective, thoughtful, individualized and requires and more effort than a cold electronic email message.

In many ways, emails, texting and instant messaging have brought back some of the qualities of letter writing skills, although for many people, it has taken away the allure of the stamped letter mailed at the corner mailbox. Even though most of my day is spent at the computer composing emails, I do have a drawer totally dedicated to stationary and note paper. After all, an email is not a ‘real’ letter and in many ways receiving a stamped letter delivered by the mailman seems to hold more weight and be more credible. It is just so precious. Although we can save emails, there is nothing like saving a handwritten letter, something we have stored away, a piece of paper which reminds us of a particular person. Sometimes the paper might even hold their fragrance.

Word processors are ubiquitous now, but holding a hand-written letter elicits different feelings than a typewritten one.  Writing a handwritten letter is the next best thing to showing up at someone’s door. A hand-written letter also holds the story of the letter’s journey, perhaps across many miles. It holds the spirit and energy of the person who wrote it in a very tangible way.

When each of my children were born I wrote them a letter. When my grandmother died, when I was ten, I wrote her a letter and continue to do so when I have the need to be connected with her. When my father died, twenty-five years ago, I wrote him a letter. All my children are grown and every so often I love sending them a handwritten note or card. I hope they cherish it as much as I do.

To write a handwritten letter, all you need is stationary which reflects your personality, a smooth-moving pen and sealing wax.

Here are some tips for writing love letters:

  • State purpose of your letter
  • Recall a romantic memory
  • Write what you love about the person
  • Write about how your life has changed since your meeting
  • Reaffirm your love
  • Summarize with a potent phrase, such as “I can’t wait to grow old with you.”

If you want to get inspired by wonderful letter writers, check out the following books:

de Ayala, R. (1999). Illustrated Letters: Artists and Writers Correspond. New York, NY: Harry N. Abrams.

Gunwald, L, and S. J. Adler, Eds. (2005). Women’s Letters: America from the Revolutionary War to the Present. New York, NY: Dial Press.

Fitzpatrick, E., ed. (2010). Letters to Jackie: Condolences from a Grieving Nation. New York, NY: Harper Collins.

Tamplin, R., Ed. (1995). Famous Love Letters:  Messages of Intimacy and Passion. Pleasantville, NY: Reader’s Digest.


How to Handle the Tug-of-War between Working for Money and Idealism

We have idealisms and aspirations. However, we all need a roof over our heads, food on the dinner table, and education for our children (and ourselves). To fulfill all those necessities, we often need to compromise and choose to work for money instead.

Thus, idealisms and aspirations often die over time. Simply because we no longer nurture them. We let them die slowly. We still smile whenever encountering them from time to time, but something within us says that it’s time to “grow up” and forget “childish” idealisms and aspirations.

We become the slave of our routines, which comprise of endless chores and errands. At work, daily workloads become monotonous and boring. At a certain point, life in the suburbs becomes unbearable. Even worse, we label those idealisms and aspirations “childish.”

Now let’s reflect. Is living monotonously days in and days out the only way to live? The answer is an absolute no.

The old Hollywood movie siren Mae West once said, “We only live once. If we do it right, once is enough.” Moreover, I can’t agree more.

Despite what most religions say about the afterlife, which promises a “better life” and a “better place,” we should focus on the 70 to 90 years of limited time on Planet Earth that we have one shot to enjoy. For me, this is the most appropriate way to look at life, which I treasure every single day.

This perspective gives me the courage to live my life according to what I believe and what I truly want out of life. In my case, I’m enjoying my ideal life where I can travel the globe while working remotely as a writer and an online business owner.

With this “one shot to make it right” philosophy, I’m much more compelled to do the best within my limitations. This outlook provides me with energy, determination, perseveration, and willingness to go the extra ten or a hundred miles, not merely “an extra mile.”

It also gives me with the optimism that I can and should reach most, if not all, of my idealisms and aspirations within this lifetime. Translated into simple language: I must manage my time accordingly, so I can work hard and smart, while also having no regrets whatsoever.

The thing is, how have I been doing it and will continue to do it?

First things first, I constantly remind myself that there are two ways that I can make money while keeping my idealisms and aspirations intact. The first way is by keeping both of them separate. You can choose to work for money during the weekdays and keeping your idealisms and hopes during the weekends and holidays.

The second way of making money is by combining the two, which means you make money with your idealisms and aspirations. Either way, you don’t leave those nagging wants on the side. Embrace them fully and expect the fact that it would require advanced time management, some persuasion to people around you, and determination to make things work.

Now, how do you come to terms that you want to make it happen? In other words, do you want to be more than a boring mom (or dad) in the suburbs?

1. Be clear about what you truly want in this lifetime (not in “the next one”).

Write down the “bucket list” of what you truly want to get accomplished in this lifetime. Do it freely without feeling restricted by anything. I call this “free writing” session.

Be free, don’t worry about money, family obligations, work responsibilities, taxes, and other stuff. This is the list of things that you’d do in an ideal situation.

2. Ask yourself honestly and realistically whether that idealism or aspiration is doable at this stage of your life.

Be super honest and very realistic about this, because it takes a stable lifestyle to incorporate something new that might not be in perfect alignment with your current job and other obligations.

For instance, if you’ve just had a new baby, it might not be suitable to start something new. This is a reflective session on your current most realistic situation.

3. Once you’re truly convinced, persuade your family to support your intention.

After considering ideal aspirations and the most realistic situations, you’d be convinced to act or not to act. In the best scenario, you’re ready to fulfill your dreams. Also, it means you’ll need the blessing, approval, and support from your loved ones.

Why? Because you might probably need to use more time for yourself (and that idealism you’re pursuing) instead of spending it with them. Persuade them with love and kindness. Make them understand that it’s important to you and you’d be happy to support their idealisms and aspirations too, when the time comes.

4. If you choose to keep work and idealisms-and-aspirations separate, manage your time well.

In this first scenario, you’re keeping both work and idealisms-and-aspirations separate, so all you need now is good time management. At this point, you probably have received a blessing, full approval, and heartfelt support from the family.

Allocate your time well, so you can do well in work, relationships, and whatever it is you’ve just put your heart and mind into. Today, there are plenty online tools and apps ready to help.

5. If you choose to combine the two, inventory the required skills, people connections, and other social capitals you’d need to acquire before you can realize that specific idealism or aspiration.

In this particular scenario, you’re mixing making a living with the aspiration you’ve been longing for years. Congratulations. This choice requires the most sacrifice from yourself and your loved ones, particularly when you’re in the training and apprenticeship mode.

When you’ve just resigned from your current job or ended your current business to pursue your idealistic aspiration, you might stop earning and provide for your family. This may require some other cash flow arrangement, such as having your spouse to be the temporary breadwinner while you’re in training. And it might need time to build your skills to be able to earn sufficiently again. During that period, your family’s support will be tremendously helpful.

In conclusion, idealistic and aspirational wants and wishes can complement realistic situations as long as you have the peace of mind. Moreover, this state of mind can be provided by your loved ones’ blessing, approval, and support. Once you’re convinced that it’s the time to get real about aspirations, you can start right away.

After all, we only live once. If we do it right, once is enough. We only have this lifetime to live with no regrets. Yes, only one lifetime.[]

About the Author

Jennifer Xue

Jennifer Xue is an award-winning author, columnist, and serial entrepreneur based in Northern California. She is a digital strategist for Oberlo. She is the author of White Paper Writing for Business (BookBoon, 2016) and Guide to Become a Management Consultant (FabJob, 2003). Her works have been published in Forbes, Fortune, Esquire, Cosmopolitan,, Business2Community, Good Men Project, Addicted2Success, Positively Positive, and others.

Image Source: Deposit Photos



6 Scientifically Proven Ways to Improve Your Memory

mindfullness : procrastination

Remember those days when your brain is too lazy and you keep forgetting a few things every now and then. Are you tired of studying the same chapter over and over again every day but nothing retains in your brain the next day? Don’t you like to change this? Don’t worry! Read this article and you will find 6 ways that are scientifically backed up on how to improve memory power.

  1. Rehearse your brain for at least 40 seconds.

Rehearsing your brain can help you remember things much better. A study was carried out in a few people, where 26 youtube clips have been played. For most of these videos, the people spent 40 to more than 40 seconds going over the events of the video. They were tested 2 weeks later and the videos that were not rehearsed were almost forgotten by them but they remembered most of the events that they spent 40 seconds rehearsing one.

  1. More vegetables a day could help you improve memory

A study found out that people who eat about 2.8 servings of vegetables a day showed a small decrease in the cognitive function with advancing age. This study was carried among 3718 participants with an age of 65 years or older.

  1. 2 cups of hot chocolate a day can boost your memory.

Different areas of the brain which are functioning more need more blood supply to those areas. An antioxidant known as Flavanol helps to improve the blood supply to different areas of the brain. A study was carried out among 60 people for one month. Half the people were given 2 cups of hot chocolate rich with Flavanol every day for a month and the rest were given hot chocolate with a low content of Flavanol. After 30 days, they were given small tests of memory and thinking skills. Ones, who drank hot chocolate rich on Flavanol, had a better memory power compared to the ones who drank hor chocolate with a low Flavanol content.

  1. A good mood will keep your memory happy.

Simple methods like having some sweets can elevate your mood as well as your memory. A study was carried among a group of older adults aged between 63 – 85 years. Half of the people were given a bag of candy and a thank you card whereas the other half received nothing. The working memory and their decision-making skills were assessed. The results showed that the group which received a bag of candy had better working memory and decision-making skills compared to the ones who did not receive anything.

  1. Supplements can enhance your memory power

As we grow older, our memory tends to decline by about 60%. Isn’t that awful? The good news is that there are ways to prevent or stop this decline in memory power and one such way is by Flexoplex . Flexoplex is a supplement produced by all natural ingredients that help you to improve your memory power. This purely natural supplement helps to improve your memory and your focus. As this is produced by 100% natural ingredients, there are no side effects. This supplement works for both males and females of any age.

FocusNutra Intelligex will improve the cognitive function as well as boost up your energy levels. So reserve your bottle today to improve your memory.

  1. Exercising helps

A new study finds that exercising 4 hours after studying helps to improve the memory. This study used 3 groups of people. The first group exercised soon after studying some picture-location associations. The second group exercised 4 hours after studying the same thing and the third group did not exercise at all. The exercise was interval training on an exercise bike for about 35 minutes. These groups were called to the lab 2 days later and their memories were tested. The group that exercised four hours after studying had the best memory power out of all the 3 groups.


It is a normal fact that we tend to lose our ability to remember things as we grow older but this process of slowing in memory power can be prevented or slowed down. Simple measures like adding more vegetables to your diet, drinking 2 cups of hot chocolate a day, exercising and rehearsing your brain can help you to boost your memory. Another effective way of improving brain power is with FocusNutra Intelligex. It is a 100% natural side effect with minimal side effects which enhance your memory power and boost your memory.

You’ve read 6 Scientifically Proven Ways to Improve Your Memory, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’ve enjoyed this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.


The Smartphone Effect (And Why We’re All Addicted)

Most of us know the tug of a new SMS message or a notification from Facebook which comes with the ever-present smartphone.  But most of us don’t know – until it’s taken away – how powerful that tug really is.  I recently left my phone in the Athens airport: for at least a few weeks, I went to sleep without a phone beside me.

I was surprised by how potently I felt the difference.  The itch to check just one more app became defunct.  There were only two choices once in bed – read, or drift off to sleep.  No frittering away an hour in the morning or before bed.   Usually the resolution to read before bed – which I genuinely love – gives way to watching Husky videos.  Even after putting the phone down, smartphones haunt sleep, exciting the brain and sending an explosion of stimuli.

Smartphones and the Brain

Checking your smartphone releases an onslaught of neurotransmitters called dopamine.  Dopamine is responsible for desire – not pleasure or reward.  The result?  The powerful urge to check your phone, without ever feeling satisfied by it.

In 1953, James Olds and Peter Milner, two young scientists at McGill University, implanted electrodes in a rat’s brain.  Though they didn’t know it at the time, they had hit on the part of the brain which releases dopamine.  They were surprised by the rats’ behavior: the rats appeared addicted to the painful electric shocks the scientists were delivering.  (1)

Olds and Milner in their laboratory

The scientists set up a lever in a rat cage which delivered electric shocks when pressed.     Once the rat figured out what the lever did, he gave himself shocks every five seconds until he collapsed from exhaustion. Olds then put levers at opposite ends of an electrified grid so that a rat could only receive one shock at a time. Rats ran back and forth across the electrified grid until their feet were so burnt they couldn’t move.

They couldn’t stop pressing the lever even though they were doing irreparable self-harm.

Kelly McGonigal

Scary and unnerving, when we apply it to the seemingly innocuous theme of modern technology.  Between Facebook, Twitter, e-mail, and text messaging, we’re bombarded by dopamine-delivery programs nearly impossible to put down.  Kelly McGonigal, health psychologist and a pop conduit to scientific research, states:

“There are few things ever dreamed of, smoked, or injected that have as addictive an effect on our brains as technology.”  (2)

I love my smartphone, and I believe it adds to my quality of life.  I read off my phone, use a piano metronome, keep an easy budget on it, and track my time.  But like with every good thing, it’s about limits.  Because of the chemical addiction, it’s hard to set a limit with smartphones.


Smartphones and Anxiety

So is it a surprise that dopamine is sometimes linked to anxiety?  Scientists have suspected for a long time that too much dopamine is linked to dread.  University of Michigan researchers studied what happens to rats when dopamine is blocked from the nucleus accumbens, where emotions including fear are processed.  The scientists removed a fear-controlling brain chemical called glutamate; usually, this would have made the rats frenzied and panicked.  But, when dopamine was absent, the rats were calm.  They came to the conclusion that excessive dopamine is linked to fear, dread, and paranoia.  (3)

When I retrieved my cellphone and started sleeping beside it again, my anxiety increased noticeably.  Increased heart rate, slight trembling in the fingers, feelings of uneasiness.  Maybe it’s because of the barrage of stimulation when the mind should be getting ready for rest.  Maybe it’s because it gets rid of the willpower battle to put down the phone, which wears you out.  In any case, I’ve been careful ever since to keep my phone out of the room when I got to sleep at night.  Try it yourself – you might be surprised!


  2. McGonigal, Kelly: “The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do to Get More Of It.”
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How To Get Sh*t Done – Book Review


Here’s something we could all use in this New Year – How To Get Shit DONE! I stumbled upon this book recently, and to my surprise, it had a huge impact on me. Erin Falconer, the author of the book, states that we are not doing what’s exactly needed to achieve success. As we all know, life isn’t easy; it’s as complicated as can be. But Erin says that this complexity is necessary for us to perform to the best of our abilities. You need to create a crystal clear plan and stop underestimating your self-worth to get work done better, faster, and in a smarter way.

The book discusses the power of being before the power of doing to achieve your goals. The journey begins with the Power of POP. “What’s that,” you ask? Well, simply put, it is Personality, Opportunity, and Productivity. What women want is a huge mystery – we are lost trying to prove our worth to others and are often sidetracked from our paths. What we need is a personality fix. We often wonder how others reap more benefits from work when we put in more hours of efforts. It’s a mindset that has dug its way into our minds, and that’s why we are judged much more harshly. To avoid feeling that way, we need a clear-cut purpose for everything we do so that our productivity is rightly measured.

We are all busy, but the things we spend the day doing, do we need them all? The only approval you need is yours. This is a lesson we could all use. Do things that give you the most satisfaction and not what others expect from you. Before that, you need to be clear about who you are. Be your true, natural, “wild” self. Think and reflect on what you are doing to judge the situation better. When you talk about opportunities, you might assume that you are seizing them all, but, in reality, you are not. Understand what is holding you back, and you will be able to overcome any obstacle in your path.

Erin stresses that it is important to listen to the voice inside of you so that you can prioritize what you need. By taking charge, you make sure that you are your own boss. Women have been so conveniently objectified, not just by men, but even women too. We have been stereotyped to be just observed and not observe. Don’t you agree? My main takeaway from this part of the book was to stop focusing on what others think and monitor your judgments. In Erin’s words “Bring your focus back to what you’re doing rather than how you’re looking.”

Moving on to one of my favorite chapters from the book, “You and Your Smart Mouth.” You get a rulebook as to when and how you can say no. I believe its something we women could use. When you stop doing and saying what you don’t want, you will be able to focus on things you want to. It doesn’t need to end with a no; you can suggest an alternative. Do not be so bothered about disappointing someone else. Instead, look out for yourself. When you have a short list of things you need to work on, you will be more focused and move forward at full speed without worrying about the rest that you don’t need.

Check yourself always before setting those goals you have in mind. The author is right about this; you need to know the kind of person you are and set your goals to fit your personality. Once I grasped this concept, I knew I had to start afresh. You may think that you are using your time well. Well, that’s what I thought before I read this book! I realized that I could use it better than I did earlier. When we talk about time, we are not talking about how you can stop it or slow it down. We can’t control time, but what we can do is make priorities. Use your time well, and use it to get what’s most important done first and scrape off what you hate doing.

Reading this book helped me make my peace with people. You will come across all kinds of people along your way. You need to be a good judge of character and identify the ones who will help you grow. The relationships in your life, friends, family, and acquaintances are all said to have a strong influence on your professional life as well and vice versa. The best way to get work done and maintain relationships is to be honest and be yourself. I must say that this part changed my perspective. I started paying more attention to how I felt and began being more intentional in everything I did.

Why just aim for success when you can make an effort to enjoy your journey by investing in your well-being and helping yourself grow? The moment I read this book, I knew I had to start putting things into action. You need to get moving if you want to get sh*t done. Don’t just go about aimlessly striking things off your to-do list. Analyze your final goal and work accordingly. Thanks to Erin, I seem to have figured things out much better now.


Nisha is passionate about writing and loves to share her thoughts with the world. She has written many articles on yoga, fitness, wellness, remedies, and beauty. She keeps herself updated by going through interesting blogs every day. This fuels her passion and motivates her to write appealing and engaging articles. She is a regular contributor to and a few other websites.

You’ve read How To Get Sh*t Done – Book Review, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’ve enjoyed this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.


5 Effective Ways to Overcome Chronic Substance Abuse

When you are deeply addicted to drugs or alcohol, you pretty well know how the craving and yearning for getting intoxicated overpower your senses. At some point in time, you want to give up your addiction, break the shackles and get back to life, but to no avail. This is what the chronic nature of substance abuse does to you; it just takes a turn for the worse – a condition called “relapse”. In simple words, the term relapse refers to a person stopping the use of drugs or alcohol for a period of time and then starting to use again.

On the face of it, conquering substance abuse seems difficult and challenging, but it is certainly not impossible. With the right kind of treatment, support and direction, you can defeat addiction along with self-help and determination. If you have already tried and failed to overcome substance abuse, don’t think there’s no way out. However, the road to recovery is not that easy either; but with a sheer willpower and a strong resolve you are bound to succeed.

Here are some powerful ways to overcome chronic substance abuse:

  1. Understand your cravings

Being aware of your craving and knowing how to manage it is a constructive way to stay on track with your recovery from addiction. During the process of recovery, many people assume that cravings are a sign of relapsing. The truth is you only relapse when you revert back to using a substance to ostensibly cope with life stress and demands. It is quite natural that you feel that strong desire of getting intoxicated from time to time. The effort of eliminating cravings, therefore, is futile, rather you should recognize when your craving cycle begins and curb it before it pulls you in a downward spiral. Typically craving cycle works in three phases – trigger response, obsessive thinking, and full-blown craving. However, powerful these symptoms might be, the craving cycle is definitely not beyond your control. The key is to nip it in the bud the moment trigger response begins.

  1. Find an alternative source of pleasure

There are many reasons why people turn to drugs and alcohol, and all of them can be fulfilled with other activities. So you can still experience your life’s blessings without abusing substances. Since everyone wants to feel good and changing societal norms have become such that one naturally gets drifted towards mind-altering substances, so you have to understand that there are other ways of enjoying life. Drug and alcohol intake encourage your brain to release dopamine; however when the substance abuse becomes overwhelmed with time, the release of dopamine becomes less and less, and you become deeply indulged. As a result, cravings get harder to handle. Therefore, you need to fill your life with a wide variety of fun and engaging activities that will make you feel satisfied and happy.

  1. Seek professional intervention

Quitting drugs and alcohol cold turkey is often very difficult; therefore it is better to look out for professional intervention. The National Council on Alcoholism and drug dependence defines intervention as a “professionally directed education process resulting in face-to-face meeting of family members and friends along with the person in trouble with drugs and alcohol. When you find the best interventionist, it will be easier for you and your family through the initial recovery process and finally bring about positive change. Since quitting cold turkey might exacerbate side effects and relapse, medical supervision will be the best bet for you. The different treatment options available in the intervention are: rapid detox, inpatient/outpatient treatment, and drug/alcohol rehab. In addition to that, counseling is also very important part of substance abuse treatment.

  1. Change your lifestyle

If you have determined to overcome your drug/alcohol addiction once and for all, you need to change your lifestyle for better. You have to overhaul everything from your daily routine to the way you handle daily stress and down to the family and friends that you rely on for support and guidance. To that effect, following a healthy routine is very important for you to give a new lease of life to yourself. Apart from that, physical activity and exercise can prove highly effective ways in fighting substance abuse and getting back to life. You should focus on both cardiovascular exercise and strength training.

  1. Stay away from high-risk situations

In order to overcome your cravings, you need to distance yourself from people and situations that encourage addictions. You have to say no to your former drinking buddies, and instead surround yourself by the people who have a positive influence on you. If you are fighting chronic alcoholism, just avoid social gatherings and stopping by bars, while staying connected to friends who don’t drink. You need to eliminate those people, places, and things that are triggered for relapse. The reason for this is simple: you need to make it as easy on you as possible to stay sober.

Final Words

Overcoming substance abuse is difficult and there are not doubts about that, but taking proper steps and availing right kind of support will help you defeat your cravings. Sincerely follow the above five steps and you will see the results.

You’ve read 5 Effective Ways to Overcome Chronic Substance Abuse, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’ve enjoyed this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.