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Accelerate your Happiness with these 14 Steps

You’re reading Accelerate your Happiness with these 14 Steps, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’re enjoying this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

Happiness in the Sunset

1. Message Your Family and Friends Often

It’s so easy to let our social and familial lives slide down into a small corner of our lives in favor of our work lives. Because of our goals and “responsibilities” we’ve been taught that it’s okay to focus on staying “busy”.

Yet, strong relationships have been shown in numerous studies, to be the strongest predictors of life satisfaction. When you express yourself with a couple of different friends every week, you give yourself the best chance of being happy.

Life then doesn’t seem like it’s all about this solitary pursuit, but more like an experience, you’re cultivating to the benefit of everyone around you.

Based on the longest study on happiness by a group of Harvard researchers, a major finding was that the quality of your relationships — determine the quality of your happiness. According to positive psychology, that means you’re likelier to move in the right direction in every other area of your life.

2. Laugh Whenever You Can 

Based on a whole library of research documented by Shawn Achor, author of The Happiness Advantage, people who laugh often are happier, and likelier to achieve more in their lifetimes. As children, we used to laugh hundreds of times per day. As adults, that number got whittled down significantly.

Humour is our primordial philosophy, but we only cultivate it through being mindful of the looking-glass we navigate our lives with.

3. Love More of What You Do 

Each day is precious, finite, and fleeting. Yet, because it is given to us freely, it’s easy to forget that. It should be our aim to suck the marrow out of each day, quietly embellishing ourselves in its full possibilities.

A day spent in drudgery is a day that hasn’t been lived fully. While a day that’s been experienced with an underlying sense of play can make the most seemingly ordinary days an adventure.

In the myriad responsibilities of work and life, you can make the most out of your day by imbuing as much of what you do with a sense of love. And you can go further by cultivating your creativity through an art form each day.

4. Make Yourself Feel Good Every Morning

Your daily morning routine is the foundation for your life. If you start off each day by cultivating the mental, spiritual, physical, and emotional areas of your life you’ll head into your day with a spring in your step.

Whether you read, exercise, journal, meditate, take a cold shower, or else — a sign that you’re moving in the right direction is that you practice what puts you in peak mental and physical state each day.

5. Travel Somewhere Every Year

While life may partly be about the hustle, it’s also about having a holistic life that makes you feel energized to be the best person you can be. Going away allows you to come back home renewed, ready to fire on all cylinders.

Travelling is about much more than taking the time to have some fun and relax. It’s about going on adventures that disconnect you from your existing culture — so that you see yourself with a little more clarity.

It’s about enriching your life, with unique, memorable experiences. If you’re not able to travel abroad due to circumstances, even trips to different cities in your country can have the same sort of positive effect. A change in the environment creates a change in perspective.

6. Realize That Everyone is your Teacher

Everyone you meet knows something you don’t. Every person you come across is a potential teacher or mentor.

Marcus Aurelius, the famous Roman Emperor, in his book, Meditations wrote:

“the span we live is small — small as the corner of the earth in which we live it.”

To make your view of the world clearer, and life larger, you have to: be open, ask the right questions, and continually test out new ideas. You need to reach out to potential teachers, and look for the gems in what they share with you.

7. Read Books that Broaden your Horizon

If you realize that everyone is your teacher, you’ll naturally gravitate to books. Reading them will shape and mold your character. They’ll make you consider possibilities you would have never otherwise considered. And they’ll allow you to lead a more intentional and aware life.

Sometimes, the most profound insights you have in your life will come through reading one sentence, one quote, in one book.

8. Invest in Yourself

Countless people similar to you have made mistakes and often pass on their decades of experience — so that you don’t have to always learn things the hard way.

Warren Buffett, the world renowned investor, once said:

“It’s good to learn from your mistakes. But it’s better to learn from other people’s mistakes.”

Having the willingness to let go of your ego, by investing in yourself through education, will cut your learning curve. Just because you’ve finished your degree doesn’t mean your life education is over. In fact, it’s always just getting started.

If you don’t invest in yourself, then who will?

9. Reflect on the Direction you’re taking

You only ever have so much energy to give, and every once in a while; you need to take a pit-stop to reflect. You can do this by writing a journal, or simply calling a friend or family member to reflect on your year so far.

Your reflections will give you the clarity needed to act on hard truths — so that you can make huge strides in your development.

10. Save Money Every Month

If you don’t have money under control, you don’t live as freely as you can — and you’re not preparing for the future. Brian Tracy, one of the most prominent self-improvement authors, in his book, the 21 Secrets of Millionaires, wrote:

“If you don’t save money, the seeds of greatness aren’t within you.”

Making a saving plan doesn’t have to be complicated. You just need to calculate how much you automatically spend every month, and then set a monthly saving goal that you can easily commit to.

11. Mostly Eat Healthily

Anyone can eat a couple of fruits and vegetables per day. Anyone can eat one protein-rich meal per day. Anyone can skip the soda and make sure they drink enough water.

Eating healthy is not a pursuit of perfection, it’s just about feeding your body more of what it needs, and less of what it doesn’t.

Yet, in a world where companies are spending billions of dollars on marketing processed foods, it’s okay to slip up on occasion. But by feeding your body more nutritious foods most of the time, you’ll down-regulate part of the lure processed foods have over you.

12. Exercise Daily

Exercise isn’t just about accelerating your physiques development; it’s also a way to improve your physiology. Similarly to fine-tuning a car, your body needs the right intervention to operate at its best.

If you’re exercising in some form every day (even if it’s just taking a long walk), then you’re also leveraging all the areas of your life closer to their full potential.

13. Be Mindful of your Media Consumption

Be the director — by being mindful of the quality and quantity of information you allow to flow into your life. You decide whether you want to experience the better part of the thrills you seek, through a screen, or your life.

With a flick of your fingers, you can get access to a whole variety of entertainment on streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime. Based on a 2015 International Communications market report, the average person in America consumes an average of five hours of Television per day!

Zig Ziglar, in his book, How to Stay Motivated, mentions that the average Chairman of a board only consumes four to eight hours of television per week. Even if you’re not chairman of a board, you can apply the same principle.

14. Put Yourself out of your Comfort Zone Each Day

The Stoics practiced a form of voluntary discomfort in their routines. They would take fasts on occasions, wear “the scantiest of fare”, and sleep on the floor — to absolve themselves of everything they feared from being taken away. Ryan Holiday, in his book, the Daily Stoic, mentions:

 “We must fight our biases and preconceptions: because they are a liability.”

Doing what may seem unfathomable to the average person, whether it’s part of your routine or something that you muster up the courage for, will open you to up to a new dimension of gratitude and fulfillment.

Summary

There’s this underlying sentiment, subtly propagated through media that we first need to achieve something notable, to prove that we’re enough.

But the biggest breakthrough we could ever make in our lives is to cultivate the habits, which allow us to move deeper into embracing the present.

It’s only then, that we’ll be in a better position to experience great breakthroughs.

Are you Ready to Upgrade?

I’ve created a short guide to help you create your best week ever, right now.

Click here to get the guide!

You’ve read Accelerate your Happiness with these 14 Steps, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’ve enjoyed this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

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About Darren Webb

Hello & Welcome to my blog. My name is Darren Webb and i'm on a magical successful journey and also helping others have a more stress free relaxed life. I truly hope that you find a lot of useful information on my blog and that it helps you through your life. Please feel free to contact me at any time.

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Scientific Studies Show How Nutrition Influences Our Creativity

You're reading Scientific Studies Show How Nutrition Influences Our Creativity, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you're enjoying this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

 

It is widely known that eating a healthy diet benefits our physical health. But less is acknowledged about the psychological benefits. We have all tried exotic ingredients or foods that make us feel happy. But, how is our mood actually affected by what we eat? And, how can it end up influencing our creative thinking?

Pay attention to your body and your mind right now. Are you working at your maximum potential? Now recall what you had for lunch or breakfast and how it may be affecting your productivity. Now put this into perspective. Because this is something that is happening over an extended period of time and not instantly.

The role of glucose as our brain's fuel

The award-winning psychologist, Ron Friedman, explains in one of his articles for Harvard Business Review how "food has a direct impact on our cognitive performance, which is why a poor decision at lunch can derail an entire afternoon."

And this happens because "about everything we eat is converted by our body into glucose, which provides the energy our brains need to stay alert. When we’re running low on glucose, we have a tough time staying focused and our attention drifts. This explains why it’s hard to concentrate on an empty stomach".

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Turning fruits and vegetables into well-being

Research conducted by the University of Otago in New Zealand recruited 400 people aged between 17 and 25 years old, to try to define the association between fruit, veg and well-being. For 13 days, participants reported their consumption levels of fruit, vegetables, sweets, and chips, as well as their well-being, curiosity, and creativity. Researchers discovered a correlation between higher fruit and vegetable intake and higher average well-being, curiosity, and creativity levels among the participants. But what is more interesting, is that their fruit and vegetable consumption on one day, didn’t improve their well-being the following day. This therefore emphasizes the need to eat a healthy and well-balanced diet consistently.

Foods that boost creativity

The studies mentioned before, prove that foods that are rich in vitamins and minerals promote well-being, curiosity, and creativity. But what specific foods should we consume to improve our productivity and consequently our creative thinking?

Vitamin C is an essential factor in the production of dopamine, the neurotransmitter that underlies motivation and promotes engagement. Foods with vitamin C are not only oranges but also strawberries, pineapple, mango, kiwis, papayas, brussel sprouts, bell peppers, and broccoli.

B vitamins influence feelings of vitality and engagement. You will find a source of vitamin B in tuna, Swiss and cottage cheese, shrimp, sardines, mussels, oysters, clams, salmon, crab, trout, herring, beef, chicken, turkey, whole-grain oats, and milk.

Antioxidants such as vitamins E help reduce bodily inflammation, improve memory, enhance mood, and may help prevent depression. Ingredients with vitamins E include almonds, spinach, sweet potato, avocado, wheat germ, sunflower seeds, butternut squash and olive oil, among others.

Finally, spices are such an important part of our daily diet. Cinnamon, for instance, makes your neurons stronger for a longer period of time. Research from the University of California at Santa Barbara shows that a sprinkle of cinnamon in your meal can help blood flow and stabilize proteins in the brain, improving blood glucose.

In conclusion, our creative thinking is affected by a number of external elements, but the food we eat is such an important part of it. Choosing a diet with ingredients that are gradually processed by our body are crucial to staying productive. At the same time, our diet will also affect mental energy and positivity, and the combination of these factors will determine our levels of creativity.

 

You've read Scientific Studies Show How Nutrition Influences Our Creativity, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you've enjoyed this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

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