by admin | May 29, 2022 | Health
Journaling 1: Benefits of Journaling and Why You Need It.
A Better Life Through Writing
“Writing is, without dispute, the best facilitator for thinking, reading, learning, understanding, and generating ideas we have.”
Everybody writes. This is most prominent in school. Your teacher, your fellow students, all of them write. Having said that, this isn’t the type of writing we’re going to be talking about. Somehow, we tend to think of writing as something tedious and an act we associate with homework, chores, and unpleasant things. Like an essay on an incredibly boring topic with a looming deadline that you have to meet.
Writing does not automatically mean writing papers or assignments. It can be a profoundly intimate act used for your self-development. Sometimes, it just means thinking. The act of writing is used to save something for future use, to solve problems, or to think about issues deliberately and mindfully. It’s a mental organization. But that’s writing in general. In today’s article, we’ll talk about one very specific form of writing – Journaling.
So What Is Journaling, Exactly?
Journaling is the act of capturing thoughts, events, ideas and is a great way to help yourself in a plethora of ways. Journaling can and will:
Your anxieties and fears are born and live in your head.
But that doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t place some boundaries between you and them and gently evict them on paper, and let them live there instead. After all, there’s only so much space in your head, and if you have an unwanted tenant that keeps giving you problems, there’s less room for the cool tenants, the ones you like to hang out with, and the ones that put a smile on your face.
The simple act of writing down something that gives you anxiety is a way of limiting the power it has over you.
You give it a frame, and you give it boundaries, so it can no longer blow itself out of proportion and fill out all the available space in your head. It has a place now, a beginning, and an end. Now, you’re free to think about how to solve it.
And when it’s there sitting on paper, it doesn’t look that intimidating after all.
It looks solvable. When you just can’t seem to get something off of your mind, try writing it down in a notebook and see for yourself.
Journaling can help you keep track of your progress in any given endeavor and moves you closer to your goals. They say ”What doesn’t get measured, doesn’t get managed” and while there are some exceptions to this, it’s mostly true. When you have a goal that you want to achieve, it’s easy to get stuck in loops inside your head where you’re just deluding yourself and mimicking progress. When you write things down, it gives you a blow-by-blow account of your true development.
Are you really moving closer towards the finish line? What did you do today that got you closer to your goal? Maybe you did something that derailed you from your mission, and that’s ok too, but writing it down will help you not repeat the same mistake again. It’s on paper now. It’s official! Thinking is unreliable and fleeting, words on paper stay.
Humans like patterns. We are creatures dictated by habit and the path of least resistance. Once you give journaling a try and dedicate yourself to doing it for a few days, you might discover insights about yourself and your behavior that have been eluding you. We lie to ourselves all the time, and sometimes, we don’t want to admit it.
However, putting pen to paper gives you a safe place to explore yourself and reflect on things about yourself you maybe don’t want to talk about or even don’t understand. Writing could be a fun journey into self-exploration. Do you know how much time you’re spending daily and on what?
Try writing down everything you do in a given day and how much time you’re spending on it. As Princeton University Psychologist Daniel Kahneman points out in his bestseller ‘’Thinking Fast and Thinking Slow’’ – Humans are not very good intuitive statisticians.
When you study how you utilize your time through journaling, you’re no longer guessing. Most probably, you’re going to see some uncomfortable truths on there. For example, you may be greatly overexaggerating how much time you’re spending on productive tasks and watering down how much time you’re really spending on social media, daydreaming, breaks, and so on.
How To Journal
Now, with all of this in mind, most of you reading this may come to quickly reach the point of grabbing the pen and paper. Before you start journaling however, allow us to give you some actionable tips!
It doesn’t have to be perfect. This isn’t a competition or a showcase of any sort. Stop being your harshest critic. Just trust the process. Everything else will come. Especially nowadays, we’re predisposed to expect some kind of instant reward and gratification for everything we do, but most benefits of journaling come with the long-term commitment.
So, stop overanalyzing and just write. Your journal is a deeply personal document, and no one will be looking at it. You owe it to yourself, to be honest, and it’s important not to be overly critical of your writings. Just start pouring your mind on paper.
Don’t Force The Outcome
As mentioned, your wiring for instant gratification and some sort of outcome will be breathing down your neck. The trick is to enter a state of flow and let your feelings, anxieties, and ideas pour down and be released from your head onto the page. Do journaling just for the sake of doing it – Don’t try to force and don’t even focus on the outcome. Just focus on the task at hand, pun intended!
Find What Works For You
There are plenty of different methods and tools you can utilize for journaling. The most basic would be a dedicated notebook, some people prefer typing on a computer, and others like to record their thoughts on voice memos. It doesn’t matter, don’t get hyper-fixated on what method you’re going to use.
You can always switch, and you can keep experimenting until you find what gets the job done for you.
Writing and journaling are acts used for deliberate thinking. It’s not something reserved for aristocrats or 20th-century writers gently lit by candlelight. Use writing to think. Use journaling to get to know yourself, develop habits, negate anxieties and track progress. Most importantly, focus on the process, not the outcome. Like everything, the outcome is a byproduct of consistency and process.
So, get to writing, will ya?
by admin | May 25, 2022 | Health
Magnesium – The Most Beneficial Mineral?
There are multiple types of vitamins and minerals that our bodies need to function healthily. Vitamins and minerals are referred to as “micronutrients” and each of them has a different function inside of the body. Some micronutrients for example act as coenzymes, meaning that they help carry chemicals between enzymes, while others just serve as catalysts for certain chemical reactions.
Magnesium is one of the most important micronutrients for the body, as it helps catalyze a variety of processes in the body. As a matter of fact, more than 300 biochemical reactions require magnesium! For this reason, it is important to derive sufficient magnesium from your food and supplements.
Because the modern-day diet is deprived of many vitamins and minerals, magnesium deficiency is a very common thing nowadays. And though magnesium deficiency isn’t likely to lead to bad side effects in the short term, it is definitely not something to overlook, as the long-term may speak otherwise!
Some of the first symptoms of magnesium deficiency one can notice, are the following:
- Loss of appetite
- General exhaustion
- Lack of appetite
- Muscle cramps
- Mood swings
Now, the thing is that there are a multitude of reasons for the occurrence of a magnesium deficiency. If you are generally healthy however, the most likely cause of a deficiency, would be your diet! So let’s have a look at the best magnesium-rich foods one can find nearby!
Magnesium Food Sources
Luckily, unless your deficiency is severe, you can solve your problem by just picking out the right food sources. Magnesium can be found in a variety of food sources, with the most abundant ones being plant sources. Here are the foods that contain the highest amounts of magnesium:
Now, a thing to consider is that thermic preparation of some of these foods may lead to depletion of its magnesium contents, so don’t overcook these foods!
If you find it hard to meet your body’s magnesium needs from food alone, supplements can be a viable alternative! Before you go on to buy a tub of pills however, you have to know a thing or two. Firstly, the amount of magnesium you take in is NOT the only thing – You have to also consider its bioavailability, or, in other words, how much of it is absorbed.
This bioavailability depends massively on the type of magnesium supplement you are getting. Magnesium oxide & magnesium carbonate are two of the magnesium supplements with a lower bioavailability. Instead of getting those, opt for magnesium supplements binded with organic compounds like salts and amino acids, such as:
- Magnesium citrate
- Magnesium glycinate
- Magnesium lactate
These are some of the most bioavailable forms of magnesium that have been shown to be optimally absorbed.
Recommended Daily Intake
Alright, we’ve been talking about deriving sufficient magnesium from food and supplements, but… How much of it is enough, actually? Well, the recommended intake varies, depending on factors like age and gender. Here’s how the recommendations go:
- 14-18 years old – 410 mg for males, 360 mg for females
- 19-30 years old – 400 mg for males, 310 mg for females
- 31-50 years old – 420 mg for males, 320 mg for females
- 51+ years – 420 mg for males, 320 mg for females
Note that this is the recommended COMBINED intake, meaning you should calculate the amount from both food and supplement sources.
Your nutrition plan is not just about meeting your caloric & macronutrient goals for the day. It is also about understanding that there are micro elements that your body needs for proper functioning. Magnesium is one of the more important ones, that plays key roles in hundreds of functions in the body and for this reason, you should make sure to
by admin | May 25, 2022 | Health
Make Bread, Not War
Feeling stressed out? Feeling a bit under the weather? Feeling like everything is going south and you’re in the front rows just watching?
Well, I don’t want this to sound like an infomercial, but have you tried cooking? Just think about it – you’re coming home from a busy day in the office, and all you want to do is eat something and face dive on your heavenly-looking pillow. But because you’re hungry, you take some frozen meal, stick it in the microwave and start to contemplate life…
If this sounds familiar, well … don’t do that. Making a meal yourself instead can be extremely beneficial to your mental state, not to mention that it can be used as a way of handling any small state of depression. Think about it, cooking is simply taking all the right things in the right amounts and making something amazing… Much like life.
What Does Science Have To Say, Though?
A study, portrayed in the Wall Street Journal, marks several clinics around the world that use cooking as a therapy to handle mental health issues and it works for most of the patients.
If that is so then imagine what it can do for you after a long day. I’m not saying that only people with busy and exhausting lifestyles should embark and embrace the idea, it works for everyone and everywhere. The main objective of cooking therapy is to have fun. That’s what it is all about – letting go of all the built-up emotions and focusing on the stress reliever.
Here’s How It Works…
For one thing, cooking is an art. Art projects are strongly considered to be great for shutting down your mind for a while and keeping your hands busy.
Think of it not as a task or chore, but a way to express yourself, experiment, be spontaneous, add any weird and inedible thing that you love in there, create the thing that would say ‘this is me’. It doesn’t matter that you’re a terrible cook, or have no understanding of what the palette wants, you can still experiment as much as you like.
Let’s Not Forget… Herbs
You may be surprised what herbs can and could do for your well-being. There is a huge variety of plants that you can mix, use fresh, dry out, marinate, and so on, and so on. The second the aroma of the herbs makes its way thru your nose canal can help you relax like you’ve never relaxed before.
You can also grow your own herbs, that way you learn to be more persistent and committed to something without having to feel bad about killing yet another goldfish.
Food Isn’t Just Survival
If you think of cooking as a project or a hobby you may very well be more concentrated and productive in real life. Creating a daily routine that consists of food preparation, preserving, reading about, and talking about food can help you live a more stress-free life. Not to mention that it’s a pretty neat conversation piece if you want to impress the person you like.
Most people love food, why not make them happy? It is a certainty that we, as social animals, take pleasure in seeing someone we like show us his/her wide and bright smile. It shows that you have successfully made someone’s day better and you would feel good because of that. Saved for last is probably the most obvious reason to do it – it’s healthier!
Your body will treat you like a king if you take care of it, learn its likes and dislikes, and treat it accordingly.
After a couple of home-prepared meals, you will soon feel like a changed person with more energy, with higher motivation to take over the world, take out a girl or a guy you like on a date, stand up to your parents, because ‘no’ they don’t know everything, or, if you’re in the mood, crush your enemies – whatever floats your boat.
I know that many of you don’t have the time and patience to go through all the work, but, man, it feels so good to have a routine that works and is good for your mind and body, so don’t knock it, until you’ve tried it.
by admin | May 25, 2022 | Health
Metabolic Training | How To Increase Your Metabolism
When it comes to being in shape, many people use their metabolism as a type of excuse.
“I can’t gain/lose weight because my metabolism is too fast/slow…” This is something you hear very often but then again, people who usually say this, know NOTHING about the metabolism of humans. In this article, we’ll tell you what your metabolism is and how different types of training affect it.
What Is The Metabolism, Really?
In simple terms, metabolism can be defined as the set amount of energy & life-sustaining chemical reactions in the organism. Think about it – Your body is always on the run because there’s always some sort of a chemical reaction going on. Even if you are at complete rest, your body still needs energy just to stay alive and still runs a myriad of physiological processes.
Training is without a doubt one of the best tools to “speed up” your metabolism, simply because it demands quite a bit of energy and therefore, makes more chemical reactions occur in the body. The more chemical processes occur, the more efficient the body strives to become, and thus, your metabolism increases – Both in the number of chemical reactions & the speed of those reactions.
Now let’s have a look at how different types of training affect your metabolism
#1 Resistance training
When people hear “training”, what usually comes to mind is the treadmill… And though cardio activity is good, resistance training is what you really want to focus on, whether your goal is to lose fat or gain weight.
Resistance training activates your fast-twitch muscle fibers & primarily leads to progress in terms of strength, muscle tone & strength endurance. (1) This brings along a flurry of nurturing hormonal reactions, which in turn improve mood, digestion, recovery, along with regulating many other internal processes.
Resistance training can help you gain weight, but also maintain a healthy body composition during a weight-loss period. (2)
#2 Cardio training
Aerobic (cardio) training is one of the most relaxing activities you can do when you’re not in the gym. Besides being a great stress reliever, cardio can help you burn off some calories too, making it a great way to give your metabolism a boost. (3)
This type of training mainly leads to more efficient work of the heart & lungs, improving endurance. Cardio is best done after resistance training, as it may deplete you of energy for a proper strength workout if you do it beforehand.
#3 Functional training
Being able to run & lift weights but it’s a whole other thing to actually use more of the functions that your body has. It seems that many other physical properties like balance, agility, dexterity & coordination, have been long forgotten.
The chemical reactions in your brain are also a part of your metabolism, so doing other types of training that engage the body & brain to a higher extent, can be useful! After all, the goal of “having a faster metabolism” is to look, feel and perform better.
Frequently Asked Questions
Now before we close this off, let’s have a look at some of the most frequently asked questions about metabolism fine-tuning.
#1 What Else Can I Do For My Metabolism?
Besides training & your non-training physical activities, there are other factors that impact the chemistry in your body. (4)
- Toxic habits (smoking, drinking)
- Stress levels
Work on those. Establish good habits, put yourself in a good environment and try to manage your stress.
#2 Do I Really HAVE TO train?
You don’t “have to” do anything, but really, if you look at the complexity of your body, it was made to MOVE. Plus, modern-day life ROBS YOU of movement… So why not move to make your body happy? If you had a 600 horsepower car that can do 330 km/h, would you hold it in first gear?
You’d likely want to at least see what 2nd gear is like… So, yes, you don’t really have to train, but it is a fact that your body is your most valuable project.
#3 How Often Should I Train With Weights?
If you’re a beginner, you can reap good benefits from weight training if you train 3-4 times a week. And then again, training frequency depends on other factors like training volume (total amount of weight lifted). Ultimately, beginners would be looking at 5-10 challenging working sets, per muscle group, per week.
As you advance that number grows until you reach 15-20+ challenging working sets per muscle group, per week Cardio training sessions can be included after weight training and should be done for no more than 30-50 minutes if your goal is optimal muscular development.
Boosting your metabolism is all about nurturing and giving opportunities for more chemical reactions to occur in the body. Including different types of physical activities is one of your best bets when this is your task at hand.
Pretty much any type of movement will boost your metabolism, but if you want amazing results quickly, really just focus on resistance training & some cardio!
by admin | May 22, 2022 | Fitness, Health, Massage
Nature Therapy – What Exactly Is It?
What Is It And Why Do So Many Psychologists Recommend It Nowadays, as you may have learned in a previous article of ours, going to therapy is quite common. Psychology, in general, is one of the areas of study with the most development in the last few decades. Due to the growing interest in the subject, we constantly find newer ways our brain is connected to different aspects of life.
One of the connections which we started exploring in recent years is that between humans and nature. Although we all know that we are entangled with our environment, we started understanding and using its benefits only recently, which is how nature therapy was born.
So What Is Nature Therapy?
The definition of nature therapy is relatively simple – it’s the practice of being in a natural environment in order to boost your mental health.
There are a few different types such as:
- Adventure therapy – rafting, skiing, climbing, and more similar activities done outside
- Meditation – meditating in parks, gardens, beaches, etc.
- Animal-assisted therapy – playing with dogs, cats, rabbits, etc. looking at birds, squirrels, and other wildlife
- Art therapy – drawing landscapes, sculpting wood, decorating leaves, rocks, and more
- Green exercise – running, doing yoga, cycling – outdoors, in parks, gardens, yards, etc.
- Horticulture – gardening, planting, and harvesting fruits and vegetables, trimming leaves, etc.
- Wilderness – camping, hiking, climbing mountains, visiting waterfalls, etc.
Many people try different approaches to find the one that fits them the best.
All of these can be done with the professional therapist that recommended them (if they’re willing to participate), with an organized group, or as a planned trip by the patient themselves. There are many more ideas that can be done as nature therapy, but these are the most common ones.
Benefits And Popularity
Being in nature is known to have a calming effect for pretty much everyone, especially right now, because of the urbanized environment we all live in. Looking at trees and flowers, enjoying the quiet vistas, landscapes, birdsong forests, or beaches is therapeutic to kids just like it is to the elderly.
Nature therapy is shown to help people battling anxiety, depression, ADHD, and many more mental conditions. Even though it’s not all-powerful and shouldn’t be used instead of medication, being in nature has a positive effect on these illnesses because it releases tension, reminds the person of compassion while managing to stay engaging for people with attention problems.
Many people with depression have stated that most of the nature therapy practices make them feel connected, which brightens up their day every time. Some share that walking barefoot is maybe the easiest way to get in the right headspace and start enjoying the different practices of nature therapy.
Another reason why it helps is that some practices are calming for people that are anxious, stressed or tired (art therapy, horticulture, and meditation for example), while others are engaging for people with attention problems or those who are restless (like adventure, green exercise and wilderness).
Nature therapy is a non-medicinal practice for relieving stress and managing different problems regarding the mental health of an individual. It is valuable and enjoyable for pretty much every person regardless of age, gender, or background and can be practiced all around the globe. Its benefits stem from our biological upbringing and the underlying causes of some of our troubles.
Nature therapy can help with sleep, emotional connection, anxiety, attention problems, and many more, and it does so while also providing a new and exciting experience. Nature therapy seems to be something that more and more people try and end up loving so much it ends up being a part of their lives they look forward to, and with all its positive sides, we completely agree with them.
Do YOU do nature therapy? If yes, what is your favorite? Comment below!
by admin | May 18, 2022 | Health
How Does Caffeine Work & Training Performance
In a world broadly influenced by fitness and nutrition, the search for ingredients that improve performance is something that will never stop. But even though many new companies can try and sell you on new, promising products, there are a handful of substances that have been proven to work time and again.
When it comes to improving athletic performance, caffeine has been one of the most used ingredients.
But How Does Caffeine Work?
Globally, caffeine is one of the most consumed stimulants, due to its innate ability to boost mood and energy levels. However, oftentimes this stimulant is used in all the wrong ways, as the modern-day way of life is unnatural and you need energy when you’re supposed to sleep.
There is a compound called “adenosine” that builds up throughout the day and when it binds to certain receptors, it has a unique effect – The mind & the body relax, leading to a feeling of drowsiness. And well, if you want to avoid that in a situation where you need to be active and alert, coffee seems to be the answer!
In the brain, caffeine blocks the adenosine receptors which makes you feel more alert, making it a perfect choice. Now, though the mental fog will fall off when caffeine starts peaking in your blood, this clear focus is just one aspect of training performance. Additionally, caffeine ramps up your central nervous system which is perhaps why it is proven to enhance both strength & endurance performance.
If you’ve had a good cup of coffee followed by a workout, you know what we’re talking about when we say that caffeine really is effective at enhancing athletic performance.
However, due to its nature, you can easily go overboard and experience unpleasant side effects, such as:
- High blood pressure
For this reason, you should stay away or at least be careful with products that contain high concentrations of caffeine and always stay below the maximum recommended daily intake.
For most individuals, 200-350 mg of caffeine per day would be normal and would not lead to any side effects – This is the equivalent of about 3 cups of coffee, or 1 dose of a stim-based pre-workout supplement.
Which Products Contain Caffeine?
Though caffeine is mostly associated with coffee, it can actually be found in a variety of other natural products, such as:
- Yerba mate
- Tea leaves
Nevertheless, coffee is one of the most accessible and abundant sources of caffeine, so you can primarily focus on finding quality grains! If you don’t do that, well, someone else will and then you’ll see an advertisement for the newest, most effective stimulant-based supplements!
This is due to the fact that caffeine is put at the core of many stimulant-based fitness supplements, such as:
- Energy drinks
- Pre-workout products
- Isolated caffeine tablets
These are the products that can make it more likely for you to go overboard with the intake, so don’t abuse these supplements and stay safe! Ultimately, your best bet would be to have a solid cup of coffee, at least an hour before your workout.
That way, blood caffeine levels will peak right in the middle of your workout, granting energy and focus for superhuman performance!
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