Wednesday, December 24, 2014

7 Ways to Improve Brain Function

1. Exercise & get your body moving – exercising doesn’t just exercise the body, it also helps to exercise your brain.  Obesity and the myriad of diseases that eventually set in as a result of being overweight can cause serious harm to the brain.  Furthermore, without regular exercise plaque starts to build up in your arteries and your blood vessels begin to lose the ability to effectively pump blood.  Plaque buildup leads to heart attacks, but it also reduces the amount of oxygen and nutrients that your blood carries to your brain.  When the nutrients don’t make it there, the brain’s ability to function is compromised.  To prevent this from happening, make sure you get moving every day, even if its just a brisk walk, it’ll help you maintain and increase your mental acuity. Brisk walking , swimming and dancing are all excellent activities.

2. Eliminate stressors and seek help for depression (if you have it).Anything that causes you major stress, like anger or anxiety, will in time begin to eat away at the parts of your brain that are responsible for memory.  Amongst the most brain-damaging stressors is depression, which is actually often misdiagnosed a a memory problem since one of its primary symptoms is the inability to concentrate.  If you can’t concentrate, then you might feel like you are constantly forgetting things. Depression increases the levels of cortisol in your bloodstream, which elevates the cortisol levels in the brain.  Doctors have found that increased cortisol diminishes certain areas of the brain, especially the hippocampus, which is where short-term memories are stored.  Prolonged depression can thus destroy your brain’s ability to remember anything new.  Seek professional help to combat your depression – your brain will thank you.

3. Get a good night’s sleep and take naps. Getting a consistent 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night will increase your memory. During sleep, the brain firms up memories of recently acquired information and getting enough sleep will help you get through the full spectrum of nocturnal cycles that are essential to optimal brain and body functioning during the waking hours.  Taking a nap throughout the day, especially after learning something new, can also help you to retain those memories as well as recharge your brain and keep it sharper longer.

4. Listen to music. Research shows that certain types of music are very helpful in recalling memories.  Information that is learned while listening to a particular song or collection can often be recalled by thinking of the song or “playing” it mentally.  Songs and music can serve as cues for pulling up particular memories.

5. Feed your brain. 50 to 60 percent of the brain’s overall weight is pure fat, which is  used to insulate its billions of nerve cells.  The better insulated a cell is, the faster it can send messages and the quicker you will be thinking.  This is precisely why parents are advised to feed their young children whole milk and to restrict dieting – their brains’ need fat to grow and work properly.  Skimping on fats can be devastating even to the adult brain.  Thus, eating foods that contain a healthy mix of fats is vital for long-term memory.  Some excellent food choices include fish (especially anchovies, mackerel and wild salmon) and dark leafy green vegetables.  Deep-fried foods obviously contain fat, but their lack of nutritional value is going to help your brain or your body, so think healthy foods and fats.

6. Visual concepts. In order to remember things, many people need to visualize the information they are studying.  Pay attention to photographers, charts and other graphics that might appear in your textbook, or if you’re not studying a book, try to pull up a mental image of what it is you are trying to remember.  It might also help to draw your own charts or figures, or utilize colors and highlighters to group related ideas in your notes.

7. Do crossword puzzles, read, or play cards. Studies have shown that doing either of these activities on a daily basis not only keep your brain active, but also help to delay memory loss, especially in those who develop dementia.  So pick up the daily newspaper and work on that crossword puzzle, read a book, or enjoy a game of solitaire.

9 Techniques to get peace of Mind

1. Awareness
This is the step most people skip. Why? Because it feels like we already know the answer. You probably already think you know what makes you anxious.
But sometimes the situations, physical signs and emotions that accompany anxiety aren’t as obvious as you might think. So try keeping a kind of ‘anxiety journal’, whether real or virtual. When do you feel anxious and what are the physical signs of anxiety?
Sometimes this stage on its own is enough to help people with their anxiety. As I never tire of saying, especially in the area of habits, self-awareness is the first step to change.

2. Breathing
If you’ve been reading PsyBlog for a while you’ll know all about how both mind and body each feed back to the other. For example, standing confidently makes people feel more confident. Mind doesn’t just affect body, body also affects mind.
It’s the same with anxiety: taking conscious control of breathing sends a message back to the mind.
So, when you’re anxious, which is often accompanied by shallow, quick breathing, try changing it to relaxed breathing, which is usually slower and deeper. You can count slowly while breathing in and out and try putting your hand on your stomach and feeling the breath moving in and out.

In addition, adopt whatever bodily positions you associate with being relaxed (although suddenly lying down before giving a talk in public might be a step too far!). Typically these are things like relaxing muscles, adopting an open stance to the world (unfold arms, hint of a smile).

3. Calming thoughts
It’s all very well saying: “Think calming thoughts”, but who can think of any calming thoughts when stressful situations are approaching and the heart is pumping?
The key is to get your calming thoughts ready in advance. They could be as simple as “Calm down!” but they need to be things that you personally believe in for them to be most effective. It’s about finding what form of words or thoughts is right for you.

4. Increase activity
It might seem strange to say that the answer to anxiety is more activities, as we tend to think the answer to anxiety is relaxation and that involves doing less.
But, when unoccupied, the mind wanders, often to anxieties; whereas when engaged with an activity we enjoy, we feel better. Even neutral or somewhat wearing activities, like household admin, can be better than sitting around worrying.
The problem with feeling anxious is that it makes you less likely to want to engage with distracting activities. You see the problem.
One answer is to have a list of activities that you find enjoyable ready in advance. When anxiety hits at an inactive moment, you can go off and do something to occupy your mind.
Try to have things on your list that you know you will enjoy and are easy to get started on. For example, ‘invent a time machine’ may be biting off a tiny bit more than you can chew, but ‘a walk around the block’ is do-able.

5. Sleep skills
Often when people are anxious they have problems sleeping. Sometimes when you feel anxious there’s nothing worse than lying in bed, in the dark, with only your own thoughts to occupy your attention.
And lack of sleep leads to anxiety about sleeping which can lead, paradoxically, to worse sleep.

 6.Give yourself time
Take all the time you need.  Emotional healing is a process; don’t rush yourself through it.  Don’t let others force you through it either.  Moving on doesn’t take a day; it takes lots of little steps to be able to break free of your broken past and your wounded self.
Take today breath by breath, one step at a time.  Never let trouble from the past make you feel like you have a bad life now.  Just because yesterday was painful doesn’t mean today will be too.  Our wounds are often the openings into the best and most beautiful part of us.  Today you have a choice to explore these parts of yourself.  Give yourself the needed time and permission to explore and heal.

7. Ease your expectations
Life is under no obligation to give you exactly what you expect.  Whatever it is you’re seeking will rarely ever come in the form you’re expecting.  Don’t miss the silver lining because you were expecting gold.
You must see and accept things as they are instead of as you hoped, wished, or expected them to be.  Just because it didn’t turn out like you had envisioned, doesn’t mean it isn’t exactly what you need to get to where you ultimately want to go.

8. Let go of things you don’t control
You make plans to go outside with friends. But at the last minute, it starts raining. What’s your reaction?
Some people upset and angry, and find the nearest person and start complaining to them. “It’s not FAIR that it’s raining. This _always_ happens to me!…”
That’s not going to accomplish anything – the rain won’t stop just because you throw a tantrum. *The rain doesn’t care.* So make the best of the situation. What I do in such situation is go for a quick walk in the park (because rain has its own awesomeness), or just lie in bed reading a good Terry Pratchett book, listening to the rain beating on my window.
Make the most of what you do control, and don’t worry about what you don’t.


9. Walk to a window, look outside, and take a single deep breath
I got this technique from the Zen master Mary Jaksch. Just walk to a window, look outside, and then take a single deep breath, focusing only on that breath and nothing else in the whole world. This technique sounds extremely simple, but you won’t believe how much it can instantaneously increase your peace of mind.
And because this is the last tip, you can try it immediately when you finish reading this blog post. Just walk to a window, look outside, and take a single deep breath, focusing on the air going in and out of your lungs, and nothing else.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

11 Easy Ways To Meditate -Try it to Believe It

when people think of doing meditation they always think of spending hours in a peaceful & isolated space, chanting some mantra or doing some special things/postures. But meditation is far easy ten we think. specially when you begin to add more mindfulness into your life—when you stop and smell the roses, so to speak—you'll find that the stress of the future and the regrets of the past simply melt away. It’s a practice, to be sure. But it can be simple, and automatic, and oh-so beautiful.
The trick is to do one thing a day with absolute mindfulness. Dwell completely in that moment. Feel everything, every physical sensation, and every subtle emotion that swells up inside. Breathe slowly, and smile at the stillness. And once you’ve mastered one thing, add another, and another ...
Here are 11 of my favorite things to do mindfully:
1. Listen to music.
Try to hear every instrument in the band. Separate the lyrics from the melody—listen to something instrumental, if you can. Sing along, and feel your body vibrate with the hum of sound.
2. Drink tea. Or coffee. Or hot water. Or whatever.
I imagine that, like me, you drink something every morning. Instead of just tossing it down like a shot at the bar, drink it slowly. Dedicate 5 minutes every morning to this act alone. Close your eyes, and feel the warm liquid roll over your tongue. Enjoy it – right now, this tea is all that matters!
3. Do yoga.
The practice alone will bring about a beautiful sense of presence in your life. Even one class or hour of home-practice a week is great!
4. Drive to work.
Your morning commute can be spent in absolute mindfulness. Turn off the loud music, tone down your road rage, and enjoy the quiet time to yourself.
5. Take a walk.
A slow one. Like, really slow. Inhale and lift your foot, exhale and plant it. Repeat.
6. Create art.
The practice of painting, or drawing, or sewing, or gluing magazine strips to paper is incredibly meditative. Set aside a bit of time for art, and as you work, make sure that you’re truly there with your project.
7. Journal.
Each morning, spill out a page of junk that’s been on your mind. Notice the pressure of the pen on the paper. The sound of the tip scraping along the page. The way the ink bleeds. After writing for a bit about your day, and your shopping lists, and the cute boy in yoga class, you’ll find that you don’t have anything left to write. This is when you take a deep breath, and allow mindfulness to permeate. Go deeper. Soon, you’ll be writing with complete presence, as if another voice is writing through you.
8. Cook.
This is one of my favorites. Cooking can be an incredibly powerful act of meditation. Grind your own spices, chop vegetables with a smile, and put love into your pot.
9. Eat.
Not only is eating mindfully a simple and delightful act, but it’s much healthier than shoveling food down while you’re running to your next meeting. Take time to feel the temperature of your food with your fingers, feel the texture, smell all of the ingredients. Be there with your food before you eat.
10. Give a massage.
Touch is a powerful thing. For a moment, give all of yourself to someone in the act of massage. Be there with them: receptive, open, and loving.
11. Breathe.
The easiest of all! Breathing truly is the difference between feeling anxious and feeling relaxed. Try adding a few rounds of 4, 4, 8 count breath into your daily routine. Inhale for 4 counts, retain for 4 counts, and exhale for 8. Close your eyes. Be slow. Repeat.



Monday, July 29, 2013

Deep Breathing


Breathing is process very hardly notice, its going on continuously whether we are aware of it or not. Deep breathing is Conscious breathing where we are fully aware of our breathing. Nowadays more & more people are becoming aware of the Health benefits of Deep breathing.

Breathing is the only bodily function that we do both voluntarily and involuntarily. We can consciously use breathing to influence the involuntary (sympathetic nervous system) that regulates blood pressure, heart rate, circulation, digestion and many other bodily functions. Breathing exercises can act as a bridge into those functions of the body of which we generally do not have conscious control

When we are under stress our breathing pattern changes, it becomes rapid. That directly affects the working of our different body parts. Over a period of time frequent increase in heart rate takes toll of our overall health.


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Relaxation in just 10 minutes!


Relaxation is everyone is looking for. In today's highly challenging & demanding, stressful life everyone wants some time for relaxation. but one seldom get time to relax completely due to tight schedules. 

whenever one thinks of relaxation first thing come in the mind is vacation in an exotic location, a spa or simple meditation retreat. many people find relaxation in Nature, nearby river or countryside. Some people find relaxation in soothing music. but the prime question remain how to get the daily dose of relaxation in the very stretchable urban lifestyle?

here i suggest a very simple yet effective exercise for relaxation which can be done anywhere at anytime without much efforts.so here we go

1) find a place where you are not disturbed for a while. it can be meeting room in your office.

2) close your eyes & start deep breathing

3) as you breathe deeply put focus on your nostrils, tip of your nose where you can feel the air moving in & going out

4) be alert & aware of your breathe movement. breathe is coming inside, then there is a little pause, then breathe is moving out then again there is a little pause then the breathe is again moving in.....

5) Now being aware of your breathe tell your self that : "I dont need anything" " I am complete" "I am whole"

6) after repeating these words to yourself again be aware of your breathe.





you will notice instant relaxation in your mind as you become aware of your breathe, So as mind becomes calm your body also gets relaxation.

Initially you will find difficult to remain aware of your breathe even for 5-10 seconds but later on with practise it will become easier for you.

repeat this exercise whenever you feel tired or exhausted.

Get relaxed get connected to yourself! All the best!