Top Factors Causing Stress To Buildup In Your Body




Too much stress flowing your body can be damaging for both your mental health, as well as your body itself. Chronic stress can lead too many negative consequences, including:

  • Muscle breakdown
  • Fat gain
  • Hormonal abnormalities
  • Anxiety and depression

There are many different things that can cause stress without you even realizing it. Below lists some of the top factors that can cause excessive stress to buildup in your body:




1. Endurance training

Endurance training can lead to elevated stress within the body because it is stressful on the muscles, joints, ligaments, and other tissues. The prime example of endurance training is long distance running. Individuals who are long distance runners tend to have a hard time keeping muscle because endurance training breaks down muscle, it does not build muscle.

Fix it:

Instead of long workouts such as jogging or using the elliptical, add short high intensity intervals to your workout and cut your workout time in half.

2. Worrying

Worrying is one of the worst things you can do to yourself. What good does worrying do?? It literally has no value. Worrying about the past is consistent with depression, while worrying about the future is consistent with anxiety, and neither of these are things you can control. Constant worrying leads to greater mental stress as well as greater stress hormone to buildup within the body.

Fix it:

It is ok to be aware that you are concerned about something, acknowledge the awareness, write it down, and move on. Live in the present, consider trying meditation to help decrease mental stress.



3. Undernutrition

Under nutrition means not consuming enough vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients from your diet. If your body is not getting the vitamins and essential nutrients it needs, this can put the body into a stressful state. This type of situation can happen both if you are not eating enough and if you are eating enough but not enough of the right foods. 

Fix it:

Plan to space out your meals 3-5 hours and eat plenty of healthy fat, protein, and vegetables. Keeps healthy snacks with you at all times in case you get hungry – this will prevent you from snacking on food from the vending machine or eating the donuts that were left in your office.

4. Too much high intensity training

This means high intensity interval training every single day. High intensity interval training is the most effective workout, but it should not be done every day because this is intense exercise and too much intensity can cause elevated stress.

Fix it:

Aim to get 1-3 really good high intensity interval training sessions in per week. You don’t have to fully stop exercising, just cut back on the intensity. You can even still do intervals, just make sure that you aren’t sprinting everyday 🙂



5. Poor sleep

We write about the importance of sleep all the time because it is so important! Sleep is when all of your hormones are able to reset so that they are able to function properly the following day. If you are not sleeping, this makes your hormones go haywire and increases stress hormones in particular. 

Fix it:

Make sleep a priority and aim to get at least 7 hours of sleep every night. Determine what time you need to wake-up in the morning, and count back 7-9 hours to determine what time you need to go to sleep.



6. Too much sugar

Consuming too much sugar causes highs and lows in blood sugar, which is stressful on the mind and body. If you are constantly putting your body through this blood sugar roller coaster, this leads to chronic stress buildup in your body – and you can feel it! Think about when you get so hungry you feel irritable and anxious, also known as “hangry.” This is a clear sign your body is telling you that you have done something to upset its natural cadence.

Fix it:

Aim to get less than 25 grams of sugar per day. Instead, eat more high quality fats and protein, and add vegetables to every meal.

Main takeaways…

Too much stress in the body is highly inflammatory and is a risk factor for mental and physical disease. Keep your stress in check and make sure you are limiting the above.




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Tips To Make The Best First Impression Every Time




First impressions are very important because they can be very hard to shake – especially a negative first impression. First impressions are also often based solely on non-verbal cues rather than what is actually said.

Be sure to make the best first impression every time you meet someone new by reading the following tips:

Make eye contact, but don’t stare!

Eye contact is super important because if you are looking down or looking away this sends the message that you are not particularly interested in what the other person is saying.



Avoid crossing limbs

Crossing your arms, hands, or legs comes off as being guarded and stand-offish because you are literally blocking your body from others. Be sure to keep arms at your sides and avoid crossing your legs.

Stand up straight

Standing up straight shows confidence, while slouching is associated with insecurity. Be sure to keep your shoulders back and your back straight.



Smile with your eyes

Did you know that smiling with your eyes is just as important as smiling with your lips? A fake smile is easily detected when the eyes are not engaged so don’t forget to use them!

Work on your handshake

I’m not sure which is worse, a flat handshake or a painful handshake – try to avoid both! A firm but not too hard handshake shows confidence and that you are engaged in meeting the new person.



Lean in

Leaning slightly forward while someone is speaking to you is your body’s way of showing you are interested and engaged. The opposite is true when you lean back.



Be positive

When you first meet someone, try not to complain. Even just complaining about the weather comes off as negative and can make others associated negativity with you. It’s a good idea to be positive whenever possible, but especially important when you are first meeting someone.

Main takeaways…

Use the above tips to make the best first impression every time, whether it be at a job interview or at a party.




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Why You Need Time Alone

 

Humans are social beings by nature, we crave the sense of belonging and interaction with others. We get FOMO (fear of missing out) if a social activity is going on and we aren’t there. But if we were to look at all of the benefits of being alone, we may just get JOMO (joy of missing out) the next time we dodge a party or event.

Here are our 6 benefits of spending time in solitude!

 

1. Creates self-reliance

We love telling a joke and hearing a friend laugh, it sends endorphins running through our body and makes us feel good. But the problem is that we are relying on an external thing (friend) to give us joy. When we are alone, we must give ourselves joy. The more you can spark joy by just being with yourself, the less reliant you’ll be on others.

 

2. Improves decision making

Instead of looking for help on a decision from friends, when you are by yourself you’ll be more inclined to think through and make the best choices on your own. Sometimes opinions from friends are helpful, but a lot of the time only we know what is best for us and it’s better to think through the possibilities alone.

 

 

3. Increases productivity

Of course it’s fun to hang out with friends, but it can very easily take you away from your goals (like working out, writing a book, making videos, etc.). I find the more time I spend alone, the more personal goals I reach.

 

 

4. Helps you reflect

It’s so easy for us to go from task to task in our daily lives and never take the time to step back and reflect on what is actually going on. When you are alone and take the time to reflect, you may realize that something you’ve been doing for the last year doesn’t make you happy at all and is the cause of most of your stress. By sitting and reflecting, you’ll be able to identify and create a plan to change it.

 

 

5. Recharges you

It can be exhausting being in large groups day in and day out. At work, at dinners with friends, at parties – it can all drain us physically and emotionally. You’ve probably been exhausted before and a friend dragged you to go out with them, but you weren’t really feeling it. You likely didn’t bring much joy to yourself (or your friend for that matter). Next time, opt to stay at home and recharge.

 

 

6. More engaged

By actually spending more time alone and working on yourself, when you do take the time to spend it with friends you’ll find yourself more engaged in conversation. When you have a better handle on your personal goals, then you are able to open up and help your friends with their life.

 

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7 Benefits of Yoga for Men




It was a little over four years ago that I was quite literally “dragged” me to my very first yoga class. I can assume many of our male readers have been put in a similar situation and may or may not have obliged…this post is designed to push you to give it a try and hopefully build it into a new positive habit. And to all of the women out there reading this, let this serve as your arsenal of yoga benefits to motivate your male friends, colleagues, husbands, fathers, etc. to take up a yoga practice.
 
Here are my top 7 benefits of yoga for men:
 

1. Back pain relief

I had to put this at #1 as if it was the only benefit of yoga, it would still be worth it to me. I long suffered from low back pain, and I know many other men do too. Yoga puts an emphasis on a strong core and a lot of the poses focus on the low back region. The working out and strengthening of the back has not only gotten rid of my low back pain entirely, but also improved my posture.




 

2. Injury prevention

A lack of flexibility and “stiffness” is often the root cause of our injuries. We tend to get injured playing a pickup game of basketball or hitting the slopes because our tight bodies can’t handle any movements outside the norm. Yoga is designed to help us get to a point where our muscles and joints move in their FULL range, thus decreasing any surprising jolts to the body.




 

3. Builds muscle

Anyone who has ever done body weight exercises (push-ups, pull-ups, crunches, etc.) knows how effective they really are. Yoga is all about leveraging your body weight and introduces you to poses that sculpt everything from your triceps to calves. As someone who mostly focused on weight training in the past, I can say it’s definitely a surprise benefit of yoga.

 

4. Challenges you




Trust me on this, yoga is a challenge on both your mind and body. You’ll find some poses are easy, while others you couldn’t imagine ever being able to do. But each class, you’ll notice that you’re getting better. It’s a lifelong challenge and one that you never “win”, but instead enjoy the journey of.

 

5. Improves breathing

Breathing is not something we think about doing (by design!), but is an amazing anchor into the vitality of our lives. Yoga focuses on the breath while you are challenging the body. The type of “belly” breathing learned in class, referred to as Diaphragmatic breathing, can help you relax and lower stress outside of class in your everyday life.

 

6. Quiets the mind

With all of the breathe and body work, it’s hard (and nearly impossible) to let your mind wander and worry about things outside of class. Many people find traditional meditation to be a challenge, but get a lot of the same benefits of quieting the mind through yoga.




 

7. Improves circulation

Yoga has long been shown to promote healthy blood flow throughout the body – leading to healthy skin, positive cell growth, and improved energy / brain performance.

Bonus: It’s something you can do for your entire life and the benefits only compound. As we get older our posture and spine get worse and worse – making it even difficult to walk for some. There are several 50+ year olds in our yoga classes that are in great shape, it’s inspiring to see there flexibility and strength – it motivates me to continue it for life.

Ok men, go give it a try!
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8 Ways to Be a Great Communicator




With all of the chatter going on in today’s world, it’s incredibly important for you to be able to stand out from the crowd and communicate effectively. In fact, one of the most common traits of successful leaders is that they are great communicators. Here are 8 ways to improve your own communication skills:

 

1. Exude Confidence

Strong communicators speak with a tone of confidence and the audience sees that. If your tone and delivery is unassertive, the audience will sense that and not believe in your points.




 

2. Be Honest

Don’t try and pass half-truths off as facts, but instead be honest and build trust with your audience. It will go a long way!




 

3. Solicit Feedback

Effective communicators will ask questions throughout their discussions in order to make sure the audience is engaged and on the same page. 




4. Read Body Language

While it’s important for your own body language to exude confidence, it’s equally important to be able to read your audience’s body language. It’s easy to tell if your audience is engaged just by looking at how they are listening – if you sense negative body language / distraction, it may be time to change up your approach on the fly.




 

5. Be Present

Stop worrying about the past and the future (“what if they don’t like what I’m saying?”) and instead be fully consumed with your current communication. Your audience needs to feel like what you are communicating is the most important thing you could be doing at this very moment.




6. Know Your Audience

You don’t communicate the same with every person in the world. By knowing and understanding your audience, you can tailor your discussions to best suit them. This is especially important when giving presentations!




 

7. Be Relatable

This goes hand in hand with knowing your audience. Once you know and understand your audience, you can try and relate to them. By finding common ground first, your message will often be “heard” more.




 

8. Stop and Listen

Oddly enough, you can communicate better by sometimes not even speaking at all. Let other people share their own knowledge so you can understand more about where they are coming from. This helps people feel that what they say truly matters, and you aren’t trying to just push your agenda.




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12 Foods to Buy to Eat Healthy on a Budget




As a full-time college student for about eight years, I had to learn how to eat healthy on a tight budget – especially when living in New York City where prices seemed to be exponentially higher for everything!

Below I’ve listed the cheapest and healthiest foods that you can find in the market to help you to put together simple, healthy, and cheap meals.



1. Nut butter

Nut butter is extremely cost effective and also very delicious and versatile! You can eat it alone as a snack, or add it to fruit or toast, it goes good with basically everything and adds a good dose of healthy fats and vitamins as well.

The cheapest nut butters tends to be peanut butter and almond butter. You should be able to find a nut butter under $10 and you definitely don’t need to buy the fanciest jar of nut butter to be healthy! Just check the ingredients and ideally the only ingredient listed will be nuts and maybe some type of oil – steer clear if sugar is listed as an ingredient.

Personal experience:

I lived on peanut butter and almond butter in college. I would make nut butter toast, nut butter pita, nut butter banana, or just eat it alone as a healthy snack.

Cost: around $0.50 per serving

2. Frozen vegetables

Frozen vegetables are an awesome budget friendly food because not only are they much cheaper than fresh produce, but they may be higher in nutrients! This is because frozen vegetables were flash frozen at their prime, while fresh produce was likely picked early and may have been sitting around for a while past their prime.

Personal experience:

Almost every single night for dinner I would steam, roast, or stir fry a bag of frozen vegetables and it was super low cost, healthy, and tasted great! I would usually add spices and maybe some hummus and small amount of sauce (see more below on this).

Cost: about $1.25 to $2.50 per bag



3. Frozen berries

Rather than buying an expensive or unhealthy dessert, go for frozen berries. They are also great for adding natural and healthy sweetness to different meals.

Personal experience: 

I would add a few frozen berries to my oatmeal to add some sweetness and to cool it down. 

Cost: about $0.50 per serving

4. Oats

Rolled oats are a great grain to have on hand because they’re cheap and a natural food with no sugar or other preservatives. Always go for anything other than quick oats or instant oats because these quick cooking oats have been heavily processed, meaning you will not get the same health benefits compared to longer cooking oats. Plus instant oats ten to have sugar and artificial flavorings added and are more expensive.

Personal experience:

I made oatmeal most mornings while in college because it was super easy to make and it was cheap. I would make overnight oatmeal to have ready in the morning before “overnight oatmeal” was even a thing. The great thing about oatmeal is that it is like a blank canvas that you can add things to to make it taste great.

Cost: less than $0.25 per serving



5. Hummus 

Hummus or any other similar type of dip is a great way to add flavor to savory meals. Hummus is a good source of healthy carbs and also healthy fat, making it a much healthier choice than highly processed salad dressings.

Personal experience:

I used a serving of hummus in my veggies for dinner and it really added great flavor to my meal. I would make sure to measure out a serving of hummus because it can be easy to use too much and then go through the entire container in two sittings!

Cost: about $0.50 to $1.00 per serving

6. Nuts

Nuts are a great snack because they keep you full and are inexpensive. Nuts are packed with vitamins and nutrients and are a good source of healthy fat.

Personal experience:

I always carried a bag of almonds with me in case I got hungry throughout the day. I bought them in bulk and then I would measure out servings and put them into baggies.

Cost: about $0.50 per serving



7. Quinoa

Quinoa is one of the healthiest grains you can eat because it is considered a complete protein and is naturally gluten-free. If you love grains, go for quinoa.

Personal experience:

I had a massive bags of quinoa that my mom got me from Costco that literally had a countless amount of servings. I often added quinoa to vegetables either for lunch or dinner.

Cost: about $ 0.25 per serving

8. Eggs

Eggs are one of the very best foods you can buy because not only are they super cheap, but they are also packed with essential nutrients, fat, and protein. There are so many great ways to prepare eggs – hard boil, scramble, poach, fry, etc – making them one of the most versatile foods if not the most versatile.

Personal experience:

I actually didn’t utilize eggs to their full potential in college, but I would eat one or two every day by stirring them into my oatmeal! It made the oatmeal super fluffy and also added a good amount of protein. If I could go back I would have hard boiled eggs and used them as an easy snack.

Cost: about $0.30 for one organic egg



9. Spices

Instead of costly condiments that add up in price, go for budget friendly spices which add a ton of flavor with zero calories and zero sugar. Experiment with different spices and discover for yourself which spices you like because they add great value to meals.

Personal experience:

I always had a big container of cinnamon on hand for oatmeal and for adding to my banana sandwiches, as well as paprika and turmeric for my savory meals.

Cost: Less than $0.25 per serving

10. Raw protein

Meat and fish will probably be the biggest expense when it comes to groceries, but getting enough protein is definitely important and animal products are the very best source of protein. The cheapest way to get high quality protein is buying it non-cooked. This means a little more prep work on your part, but it will definitely cut costs.

Personal experience:

I actually didn’t eat much meat or fish in college because I didn’t want to prepare it myself, and so I was basically a vegan without trying to be – with the exception of eggs. But now I almost always will buy fish, turkey, and chicken unprepared and cook it on the stove and it tastes great! I also like how when you cook at home you have control over what ingredients are added to it as well.

Cost: varies greatly, but for organic meat and wild fish the average cost per serving is around $4.00



11. Bananas

I found bananas to be one of the cheapest and healthiest fruits you could buy. This is in part because unlike most fruits, you don’t have to buy bananas organic because they have the outer peel that tends to keep the banana itself free from pesticides and other chemicals. Bananas are packed with vitamins and nutrients making them a super healthy and affordable food as a snack on its own or to add to meals.

Personal experience:

I ate at least one or two bananas per day in college and I would mix it in with my oatmeal or make a banana nut butter sandwich. I loved how in Manhattan there were fruit vendors everywhere and I could buy four or five bananas for a dollar.

Cost: $0.20 to $0.35

12. Sauce

A strong sauce that you don’t need to use much of, such as teriyaki sauce or soy sauce, is super cost effective and adds a tone of flavor to your meals! Plus these strong sauces don’t have many calories or sugar making them a MUCH healthier alternative compared to conventional salad dressing.

Personal experience:

I always added a little bit of teriyaki sauce or soy sauce to my vegetables to add flavor! That plus spices and hummus made for the perfect dinner.

Cost: around $0.10 per serving

Main takeaways…

With a little planning you can definitely find cheap and healthy foods. Use the above as a guide the next time you take a trip to the market.



 

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Simple Ways To Unplug From Your Phone – Without Fully Unplugging




How many times a day do you check your phone? How about how many times per hour? Probably way too many times right?!

If just thinking about unplugging from your phone makes you feel anxious, don’t worry, you don’t have to fully detach from your phone to get the same benefits! Starting with just small steps to being on your phone less can be very beneficial, you just need a plan of action. Below lists the best minimally invasive ways to decrease your time on the internet and more time in the present.



1. Put your phone on silent

This is an easy step from detaching from your phone. A notification on your screen is one thing, but to constantly being dinged and alerted to a new message can be overwhelming and cause you to feel anxious. Silent at least cuts the sound cue from letting your know you have a new message.



2. Turn off alerts

Unless the alert is something positive (such as a motivational quote from MotivateBot) Do you really need to know every single time you get a “like” on a picture or that your best friend just posted another picture of his cat? Probably not. Instead of constantly getting bombarded with alerts and notifications, turn these off in the notification settings.

3. Make it difficult to access apps

Move the apps you frequently find yourself checking into one group that causes you to have to click a few times before getting too, or move them to a far page on the app screen. The act of moving your apps away from what you first see when you check your phone will stop you from just going on autopilot and checking your mail and social media.

For the dock section where you can put apps that stay put, I recommend using apps that have nothing to do with messaging or social media. For example, I have a music app, notes, pictures, and calendar.



4. Use “airplane mode”

When you put your phone on airplane mode, this makes it so that you can’t access the internet or wifi, and you won’t get messages, calls, or emails. It’s important to note that anyone can still call, tex, or email you, but you won’t be notified of this until you turn airplane mode off.

Great for bedtime

I always put my phone on airplane mode when I get into bed so that I won’t be tempted to surf the internet or check social media, and so that I won’t be notified of a text, call, or email. The worst is waking up in the middle of the night to see you got a text or missed call from someone, and then not being able to go back to sleep because you are thinking about your response to the message.

Important note:

Your alarms should still work even when on airplane mode, so don’t worry about your alarm not going off in the morning.



5. Use “Do Not Disturb”

This is a great mode option if you don’t want to fully disconnect from the internet, but you do want to silence texts and calls. The notification will still show on the app, but if you are reading something on the internet you won’t be notified that someone tried to reach you.

This is a good one to use if you still want to be able to be reached by certain people or person, because you can choose to put “do not disturb” except for (blank person).

6. Set timers for when can check your phone

Instead of checking your phone every time you get a free moment, add an alarm on your phone to notify you it’s been at least an hour or however long you want to wait to check your phone.

This is an especially good idea if you are waiting on an email and you can’t seem to stop pushing refresh on your email app every minute.



7. Turn off badge icon on email

This is one thing I recently did and I am SO happy that I did. Instead of seeing that new emails have popped up in your inbox, turn that symbol off so that you won’t be tempted to check your email every time a new one pops up.

You can turn off the badge icon for any of your apps that you want. For example, if it makes you anxious to see a text message waiting for you, turn off the notification for that app.



8. Wait at least an hour from waking to check your phone

What you do first thing in the morning greatly influences the tone for the day. Instead of scrolling through social media or checking your email first thing, instead get up and get some exercise or practice meditation. Being bombarded with demanding emails first thing in the morning starts your day on an anxious note.




9. Put your phone away at meal time

Focus all of your attention on your food increases mindful eating, meaning you enjoy your meal more and will feel more satisfied. If you are constantly distracting your tastebuds by scrolling through your phone, this leads to not only overeating but also decreased enjoyment of your meal.

Next time you sit to eat, put your phone away across the room so that you won’t be tempted to play with it while you eat.

Main takeaways…

There are many different ways to detach from your phone. The first step is just realizing that you probably use your phone too much and that you are more aware of your cellphone use.




 

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Simple Mindfulness Practices for Children

 

Mindfulness has been shown to improve the quality of our adult lives in many ways, but children too can join in on the amazing benefits. Specifically, mindfulness has been shown to: improve a child’s social skills, boost focus, lower attention problems, and even limit the negative effects of bullying.

Here are 6 ways you can practice mindfulness with children and start their journey to a mindful life at an early age:

 

1. Body Scans

Identifying with the body is one of the oldest forms of mindfulness, and easy for children of all ages to grasp. Start with your children lying on their back on a cozy surface and close their eyes. Have them tighten their muscles throughout their entire body (making fists, closing toes, etc.) and hold them like that for 5 seconds. Then tell them to “release” the hold – ask them to tell you to explain that feeling to you.

 

2. Heartbeat Tracking

Have your kids engage in a physical activity (like jumping jacks, push ups, run) – once they have finished have them gently place their hand over their heart and tell them to only focus on their heartbeat. This will help them improve focus and also become more aware of their own body.

 

3. Emotion Validation

Kids are full of a wide range of emotions. Though often adults will try and downplay them when a child expresses themselves (saying “it’s fine” when they are expressing pain). When trying to instill mindfulness it’s important to let them feel their feelings without us judging them. This will help them as they grow and learn how to deal, not suppress feelings and emotions – something many adults do on a daily basis.

 

4. Taste Tests

This is a fun one that your kids are sure to love. Pick out 5 foods that you know your kids will enjoy. Cover your child’s eyes and give them a bite of each one and tell them to first guess what it is, then have them try to describe to you what it tastes like.

 
 

5. Guided Meditation

It’s never too early to start teaching meditation to a child – I wish I would have learned earlier (it’s hard!). Most of the meditation apps out there offer meditations for kids, but it could be as simple as sitting with them, playing soft music in the background, and having them close their eyes and counting each breath. Meditation is something that works better as it compounds over time – so try and create a routine of daily meditation.

 

6. Follow the Leader

This one is actually more on you as the adult then on the child. We’ve all heard (and likely seen) that kids pick up on everything adults do – from how we speak to act. That said, it’s important to act in a mindful way yourself and practice what you preach.

 

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7 Simple Tips to Help You Achieve Your Goals


We all have goals we’d love to achieve in our personal and professional lives. They say the difference between a “goal” and a “dream” is ACTION. Here are 7 ways to help put you in action and help you achieve your life goals.

 

1. Write them down

Whether you create a new notes section on your phone for your goals, or write them down on a piece of paper and tape them to your bathroom mirror, the point is to solidify them and constantly have them on your mind.


 

2. Track your progress

Regular check-ins with yourself and your goals is just as important as writing them down. Setup calendar reminders on a daily or weekly basis to check-in and evaluate your progress.


 

3. Tell somebody

Family, friends, or colleagues are great for holding you accountable in reaching your goals. Perhaps you can even help them with their own goals and ultimately foster a deeper bond.

P.S. Join our Facebook Group “Live Your Best Life with The Mindful Tech Lab” to share your goals and get support!


 

4. Stay positive

Your ambitious goals will not be easy to accomplish. But big goals are what will set you apart from others just passing through life. Keep a positive mindset and know that you are in control of the work you put in to achieve great things.



 

5. Revisit and evolve

Be open to evolving your goals as you continue to work on them. It’s common that you’ll gain new information throughout your pursuit that you likely wouldn’t have known before starting – so be flexible!



 

6. Celebrate along the way

It’s important to celebrate the “little wins” on your way to achieving your big goals. This keeps you in a positive mindset when your ambitious goals may seem far away.



 

7. Stay focused

Don’t let life’s distractions derail you from reaching your goals. They will surely come, but it’s important to keep your eyes on the prize.


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10 Signs You Have High Emotional Intelligence



Emotional intelligence is often thought of as a “super power” that helps us recognize, understand, and manage our emotions. People with a high emotional intelligence (EQ) have learned how to manage their emotions to drive positivity in their life.

Here are 10 signs that you have a high emotional intelligence:

 

1. You are aware of your strengths and weaknesses

Knowing how to leverage your strengths, and work on your weaknesses is something that high EQ people are great at.



 

2. You don’t get offended easily

When you know who you are, it doesn’t bother you when others project their thoughts about you.



 

3. You don’t hold grudges

Holding grudges does no good and brings stress into your life. High EQ people know that adding stress is always a bad idea.




 

4. You don’t interact with negative people

Those that don’t reflect a positive outlook on life deserve none of your time. Instead those with a high EQ surround themselves with only the best.



 

5. You enjoy the journey

Reaching goals don’t happen overnight, and it’s often the journey of obtaining those goals that drive positive change in life. Those with a high EQ enjoy the ups and downs as they pursue their goals, knowing that each hurdle makes them stronger.



 

6. You block out negative self talk

The mind has a funny way of reverting to negativity when it has time to itself. High EQ individuals are able to take a step back and replace those thoughts with positive ones. Over time their brain realizes that there is no place for negativity, and those thoughts begin to slow.




 

7. You know how to say no

Whether it’s an invitation to an event, meet up with friends, or a coffee meeting – high EQ people know that their time is valuable and should try and do nothing out of obligation. A “hell yes” or a “no” is how they respond to opportunities.



 

8. You enjoy time alone

High EQ people don’t need external stimulation to enjoy themselves. Whether it’s getting lost in thought, or reading a book, they enjoy and value their time alone.



 

9. You understand people are different

Not everyone has the same life circumstances and those with a high EQ can see how their own life perspective may differ from others. This allows them to better see the world through someone else’s eyes.



 

10. You don’t seek perfection

Those with a high EQ know that perfection is impossible and trying to reach it is a fools game. Instead they focus on reaching their goals and enjoy the journey as it comes.


 

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Top 10 Inflammatory Foods You Need to Avoid




Inflammation is the root of basically every disease and disorder, which is why we want to minimize inflammation in our body as much as possible. Inflammation can also cause weight gain and water retention, which can make you look bloated all over – who wants that?! Foods are a big culprit when it comes to inflammation, and there are certain foods that are known to be highly inflammatory that you should definitely keep to a minimum or avoid all together.

Below lists the top 10 inflammatory foods:

1. Sugar

Sugar is highly inflammatory for the body, and is the cause for diabetes as well as a main factor for many other preventable chronic diseases. Most individuals take in way too much sugar. Aim to get less than 20 grams of sugar per day.



2. Refined carbohydrates

Refined carbs include white bread, white rice, and food products made with white flour. These foods have been stripped of all their beneficials nutrients. When you eat these products they turn to sugar in your bloodstream almost immediately, leading to rapid blood sugar changes and spiking insulin, which is highly inflammatory to the body.

Does this mean you can never eat a croissant again?! Heck no! If you do enjoy pastries, just limit them to special occasions and don’t make them a daily habit.

3. Trans-fats

Man-made trans-fats are one of the worst things you can put into your body. In addition to being highly inflammatory, trans-fats are also linked to heart disease, infertility, diabetes, and obesity. Read more about trans-fats here.




4. Vegetable oils

Vegetable oils are high in pro-inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids and very low in anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids. Vegetable oils to avoid include corn and safflower oils. Unfortunately many food manufacturers have started adding these fats to their products when taking out trans fats – basically swapping one terrible fat for a lesser terrible fat.

Good oils to use include olive oil and coconut oil.

5. Fried food

Fried foods are inflammatory mostly due to what they are fried in – vegetable oils as discussed above. The high temperatures that fried foods are cooked at also contribute to inflammatory by products in the food.

6. Soda

Soda is liquid sugar with a bunch of chemicals added to it – soda literally might be the worst thing you can put into your body. This includes diet soda as well, because diet soda has even more chemicals added to it to make it taste better.



 

7. Artificial additives

This includes artificial flavorings and colorings, which have shown to be pro-inflammatory in the body and even disrupt normal hormone function.



8. Grain-fed meat

Grain-fed beef is why meat gets a bad wrap. These commercially feed meats are fed grains that are high in omega-6 fatty acids which are pro-inflammatory. Grain-fed beef also tend to be injected with hormones and antibiotics, and you can be sure they aren’t organic.

Instead go for grass-fed beef which is a good source of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids.



9. Gluten

Gluten is a name for a group of proteins found in wheat products. Gluten can wreak havoc on the body, especially the gut, because gluten is highly inflammatory. 

Try cutting out gluten for a couple of weeks and see how you feel.

10. Fast-food

Fast-food is one of the most inflammatory foods you can eat because the majority of fast-food is highly processed with tons of chemicals, preservatives and unnatural flavorings added to it. You can be sure that the majority of fast-food (if not all) is not organic, grass-fed, or used without harmful oils. If a taco or a burger costs you a dollar, really question how the restaurant was able to get that price so low..

Main takeaways…

Anything that is highly processed, overcooked, and unnatural is inflammatory for the body. Stick to natural whole foods and you will be good to go!




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How To Be Happier and Stress Less Everyday




 

Your entire outlook on life changes when you feel good. When you feel happy you don’t let stress get to you as much, and you feel better about yourself and your life. There are many things you can do on a daily basis to keep stress low and feel happier.

Below lists things to do daily to be happy and keep stress low:




Meditate

Practicing meditation is one of the best ways to combat stress and to get your mind to a healthy and happy mindset. It helps to shift your focus to the meditation rather than on the stressor you have encountered. Check out our chatbot MeditateBot on Facebook Messenger which gives you all different types of meditations to follow. Individuals who take time to meditate daily report feeling happier in their life and less stressed.



Start coloring

Adult coloring has been around for a while and has been used by psychologists and psychiatrists as a treatment modality for years, but only recently has it become more mainstream. It focuses your attention on the picture you are coloring and prevents your mind from ruminating over stress and worry.




 

Break a sweat daily

If exercise came as a pill, it would be the most prescribed medication out there! That’s because exercise helps with just about everything. It is especially beneficial for keeping stress low and making you feel happy. Exercise makes you feel happy and less stressed because it activates hormones that boost your mood and decreases the hormones that cause stress. Make a point to break a sweat daily with exercise – you will feel the effects immediately!



Read fiction

Reading is an excellent way to decrease stress, boost creativity, and make you feel good. Reading is a way to distract your mind from worrying about the past or future, and helps for you to focus on the present. Start a book club with your friends or partner and make a point to read everyday.



Listen to music

Listening to your favorite music (and even dancing to it) is a great mood booster. Try listening to music on your commute or even at work to keep your mood up and your stress levels low.



Phone a friend

Keeping in touch with friends and family – who are positive and make you happy –  is a great way to keep your stress levels low. Make a point of calling a friend or family member daily or most days of the week to increase the feel good hormones and decrease stress hormones in your body from building up.



Walk more

Make a point to walk more throughout the day. Walking is one of the easiest and best ways to relieve stress because it gets you breathing deeper and the physical activity helps to decrease stress hormones and increase the feel good hormones in your body. I advise walking for at least ten minutes in the morning before work, at lunch time, and  after dinner. Walking at different points of the day allows for a boost in feel good hormones each time, while at the same time decreasing stress hormones.



Get a good sleep

It seems like we are always writing about the benefits of sleep, and that’s because sleep is so important for just about everything! Sleep is especially important for keeping your stress low and keeping your mood good because hormones are regulated during sleep and they can go haywire if they don’t have time to reset. Make a point of going to bed at a reasonable hour so that you are able to get enough sleep. Read more about how to get a good sleep here



Smile more

The simple act of smiling can make you feel happier instantly – pretty cool right! Studies have shown that the physical act of smiling causes changes in the brain that make you feel better. Read more about the benefits of smiling here and here. One more note, a smile is contagious and if you smile at your colleague, partner, or even a stranger, it is almost a guarantee that you will get a smile back 🙂



Avoid sugar

Avoiding sugar helps to keep your mood stable, preventing anxiety and stress in your brain and body. Sugar causes highs and lows of blood sugar, and when your blood sugar goes low this causes irritability, fatigue, extreme hunger, dizziness, and anxiousness. Prevent this from happening by keeping your total sugar for the day under 25 grams, and sticking with whole foods such as vegetables, fish, nuts, and seeds – your mind and body will thank you!




Main takeaway…

Life’s too short to not be happy. Try incorporating one or more of the above to be happier and to live your best life.



References

  1. http://www.apa.org/action/resources/research-in-action/sleep-deprivation.aspx
  2. https://academic.oup.com/scan/article/10/10/1316/1646200
  3. https://www.psychologicalscience.org/observer/the-psychological-study-of-smiling
  4. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/smile-it-could-make-you-happier/




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