Category Archives: Self Improvement

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Feel More Confident In Your Skin

Feeling a bit down about how you look… experts tell us that boosting body confidence is 90% mental and has little to do with losing weight, getting a makeover or buying a store’s worth of clothes and jewelry. Here’s what they suggest…

Prepare... don’t decide on the day of a big event what clothes and accessories you’ll wear. Pulling things together at the last minute leaves you rushed and liable to forget something or encounter some other unexpected mishap. Just a bit of extra time in planning what you’ll wear, ensuring it’s clean and pressed and ready can make a huge difference in how you look, and feel.

Remember, others are insecure too. Almost always they are so busy worrying about how they look they don’t have time to think about you. They don’t see what you hate about your hair, your clothes, your mannerisms.

Fake it. Pretending isn’t just for kids, spend five minutes each morning before you leave and picture yourself looking good, imagine how those you encounter will also think you look good. Plant a message of confidence in your mind as you begin the day and in time you’ll come to believe it.

Put the phone away. Checking it every second makes you look bad… tells everyone you’re not available to pay attention to them, or anything new. What’s more, the blue light makes you face look sickly.

A lot of how you look comes from the clothes you wear. To get help with this we’ve taken the advice of wardrobe consultant Terri Ghio who runs The Style Institute, a coaching program for personal stylists. Too many of us dress like we did in high school or from a look we saw in a magazine or catalog that isn’t at all suited to us.

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Are Your Genetics Keeping You Fat? (1 tip to change fast)

Ever heard the excuse “I’m overweight because of my genetics”?

Are several members of your family overweight and you just figured, you were stuck that way too? Well, I have great news. Recent studies reveal that being overweight has NOTHING to do with genetics and EVERYTHING to do with your lifestyle.

BUT, if you make the wrong choices… well, you know how that ends.

Click through to find out how Dr Charles can make a difference for you in just 3 to 10 days.

click here to learn the 1 thing that makes a difference…
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Feel More Confident In Your Skin Continued…

Here’s some help…

Pull out your favorite outfit, the one you wear a lot and has you feeling like you look great. Try it on and consider why it’s right… the color, cut, fabric. Use this outfit as a guide.

Shop for your body shape… your real shape. No matter how smart and elegant something is, no matter how good it looks on a mannequin, if it’s not made to suit your body shape, it won’t look good and you won’t feel good in it.

- Find the one thing you love about your body, and work to focus attention on that.
Whether it’s a haircut to frame your face, a style that hides a spare tire, look for what flatters and stick with those styles. Invest in the best quality basics you can afford.

- Stop staring in the mirror, it’s way too easy to get obsessed about looks. So check your teeth and hair, take a quick look at the full view of your outfit and then go about your day.

- Match every negative thought about your body with at least one positive one.

Exercise, even a half hour a day, will have you feeling better about your body, how it moves and how you feel. Over time, this will bring real, visible results too.

To your good health,

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Health Or Happiness…

Here is a surprise. Research has found evidence that those who are in poor health are often just as happy as those who are considered healthy. Conditions like cancer actually appear to have little impact on a person’s happiness, while others have a far different result. A recent study appearing in the Journal of Happiness Studies supports this idea, but makes an important point. Anyone whose daily life is disrupted because of their condition (urinary incontinence, severe, chronic pain) suffers a lasting negative impact on their sense of happiness.

Study lead author Erik Angner, Ph.D. from George Mason University points to this research as the first to measure the degree different health conditions disrupt daily activity. The interdisciplinary team, including researchers from the University of Chicago, the University of Alabama at Birmingham and UMass Medical School came up with a measure that was intended to assess limitations in physical activities due to the limitations of health conditions. It was dubbed the “freedom from debility score” and was based on four healthy questions designed to address restrictions to physical actions and usual role activities due to health problems.

When the team surveyed 383 older adults who had been recruited from 39 primary care practices in Alabama, they saw that health status was a key predictor of happiness. In fact, a one point increase in the freedom from debility score was associated with a 3% reduction in the odds the subject would report feelings of unhappiness.

But, after accounting for other factors related to happiness – poor health was closely associated with unhappiness only in those who also reported that their health issues interfered with their daily activities. For those who are ill, but without regular disruption of daily activity, such as cancer patients, most are able to adapt over time and come to accept even the most dangerous health problems or serious disability.

It seems that though we might fear a calamity, the evidence suggests human beings are highly adaptable when it comes to feelings of happiness.

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Announcing: Doctor Approved Store Cupboard Remedies that Really Work…

Do you buy over the counter drugs?

Stop right now and don’t waste any more money.
Did you know that you can easily treat illness without side effects, using only natural herbs, vitamins and nutrients?

You can eliminate the Flu virus, boost your immune system, and recover faster from colds using these doctor-approved home remedies…

As well as sleep better, look younger and treat any skin problem with your own skin care home remedies and recipes.

Click through now to discover the “hidden” kitchen cupboard cures – proven by clinical trials.
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Health Or Happiness… Continued…

Expert Bryan Bruno, MD a psychiatrist and acting chairman of the department of psychiatry at Lenox Hill Hospital, agrees that many patients adapt remarkably well to a change in health status, just so long as the decline isn’t too fast. This isn’t likely to be the case for those who have a history of either depression or anxiety. The researchers from the current work are hoping that a better understanding of the relationship between our health status and feelings of well-being may have big implications for the treatment of patients going forward.

It’s hard not to worry about the inevitable declines that go along with aging. The good news is that more often than not the changes are slow and gradual, and most of us cope fairly well even in a youth focused culture that teaches older people to be wary, that aging is a threat to our self worth and quality of living. Even under the constant bombardment of ways to keep our youthful looks… hair colours, Viagra and all manner of cosmetic procedures… we can age with grace and style.

Perhaps it’s time to start thinking about aging differently. To consider added years making us better not worse. To accept what we can’t change, while working to change what we can – our attitude and lifestyle.

To your good health,

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Improve Your IQ With These Seven Solid Ways

If you want to help your brain (and who doesn’t?), there are things you can do to help grow your grey matter and improve your IQ (Intelligence Quotient) by no less than 17 points over a single week. You’ll be able to hold your own in intellectual conversations, feel more confident and empowered by taking just a few simple steps every day.

IQ is a measure of your mental agility or comprehension speed, and that this number can be influenced by both genetic and environmental factors. An average score is 100 and this usually stays stable upon reaching the teen years. The score comes as the result of a set of standardized tests (language fluency, three dimensional thinking, etc.) that measure your thinking abilities in relation to your age.

A higher IQ is related to attainment of education, income and other socioeconomic factors that are key to success in life. Here we bring you seven scientifically proven ways to add points to your own IQ.

1. Play board games – having fluid intelligence is a big part of every IQ tests, and is tied to your working memory. In research, just 25 minutes of play each day will bring your IQ up by 4 points. Puzzles, Dual N-Back games are good choices.

2. Take supplements – taking 5g of creatine a day can give you an extra 15 IQ points over a six week time period. Creatine gives a big boost to brainpower and raises the energy levels that are available for computation in the brain.

3. Play social games – any activity that involves a diverse range of skills plus social interaction will add an IQ point to your total. You can play online on your own, or with friends, to keep on top of your game.

4. Blast some bad guys – a study at the University of Rochester confirmed a link between first person video games and better visual awareness in the real world. That’s a crucial building block for IQ and can add up to two points to your own number.

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Overweight? Shocking Proof that it may not be your fault

99% of the “professional” weight loss techniques are wrong – ending up with you actually putting on weight rather than losing it.

Find out why counting calories is bad for you and can sabotage your dieting efforts.

Click through now to discover how to drop 9lbs every 11 days…
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Improve Your IQ With These Seven Solid Ways Continued…

5. Do cardio workouts – a Swedish study proved that cardiovascular fitness can bring up your verbal intelligence by 50%. Better cardiovascular fitness was linked to better cognitive scores, an increase of 5 (or more) IQ points, while muscular strength was only weakly associated with intelligence.

6. Perform practice IQ tests – retaking IQ tests can actually up your score by as much as 2 points. This proven technique gives you a chance to prepare and be more confident during the next test.

7. Go vegetarian – like it or not, there are a number of studies that have linked higher IQ with a vegetarian diet. The lifestyle and food choices of vegetarians are linked with strong intellectual functioning and a slowed cognitive decline. Doing what you can to fix you diet could bring back 10 years of IQ age, and that isn’t anything to scoff at.

You see… not so difficult. And the payoff may well be huge.

To your good health,

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Things To Know About Seasonal Affective Disorder

If you dread the shorter days and longer evenings of winter, you might think you have seasonal affective disorder (or SAD for short), but a new study finds that this condition might not be as common as experts originally thought. We know SAD exists, that it is a fact of life for an estimated 14 million Americans as well as being documented by earlier work according to study lead author David Kerr who is an assistant professor in the School of Psychological Science at Oregon State University, but this latest research suggests that what we think of as the “winter blues” doesn’t impact people nearly as much as experts might have thought.

For the current research, appearing in the Journal of Affective Disorders, Kerr and the team looked at the results from surveys taken by over 500 people in Iowa and over 200 in Oregon. They answered questions about depression over the years and the team tried to see if changes in weather (amount of sunlight) might have on mood.

There was a very small effect that appeared during the winter, but it was more modest than you might expect if SAD was as common as people think. That’s a surprise, with a sample size this large, with such precise measures of weather, the team expected to see a larger effect.

SAD is a type of depression that comes on in the fall, as the days shorten, and lifts in the spring and summer months. Just like depression, not everyone with SAD experiences the same physical, emotional or cognitive symptoms to the same extent as another patient. Anyone can get SAD, but it’s more common for those who live in areas where winter days are extremely short or there are large changes in amounts of daylight in different seasons, women, anyone between the ages of 15 to 55 (risk decreases as you get older) and those who have a close family member (parent or full sibling) diagnosed with seasonal affective disorder.

To tell the difference between SAD and other forms of depression, your doctor will ask about the timing of the symptoms and if they recur at the same of year then get better for at least 2 years in a row. You’ll undergo a physical exam to be sure everything else is okay, and your doctor will ask about symptoms that come with SAD like carb craving, gaining weight and sleeping more than is normal for you.

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How a tasty little dish eaten late at night actually boosted the most powerful fat loss hormone in our bodies while you sleep…

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Things To Know About Seasonal Affective Disorder Continued…

There are many effective treatments for this mood disorder including cognitive behavioral therapy, exposure to light (using a light box for 30 minutes, usually in the morning) and antidepressants to improve the balance of chemicals in the brain that impact mood. All work well in easing even the toughest symptoms, but only you and your doctor can decide what’s right for you.

Cognitive behavioral therapy stands out as an effective treatment because it’s been shown to keep SAD from coming back the next year. Light therapy also works well for those with SAD, and some patients even report feeling better within a week after starting. If you have felt no improvement by 3-4 weeks, chances are, light therapy isn’t right for you.

Research findings or not, if you, or someone in your life, is coping with seasonal affective disorder, don’t wait – talk with your doctor and find out just what’s happening. It’s the only way to truly feel better.

To your good health,

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9 Steps To A Better Lifestyle

If you’re searching for true happiness, here are some smart steps you can take to help get there. Interesting that the latest research finds that money can buy happiness, if you spend carefully. This is just one of many tips experts we surveyed have given on finding, and prolonging, happiness in your life.

1. Buy your bliss, just not all the mall. Research finds that people who bought intangible things like concert tickets, lessons relating to a hobby or even a dinner out were happier than those who spent money on clothes, TVs or appliances. This is likely because as human beings, we tend to get maximum pleasure from social bonding, and the anticipation of an experience can be as valuable a source of joy as the actual experience. Recalling the event keeps you feeling happy long afterward

Even if the outing didn’t go exactly as planned, the cherished memories effect is still often at work. People tend to remember things as being better than they were according to experts.

So the take home is this, while materialism is fine once in a while, it’s not the answer all the time. You might ease the pain of paying effect, and be happier, by letting more time lapse between paying for something and getting it.

2. Age gracefully as reported happiness dips for women at 40 but comes back strong by 50 according to a study of 500,000 men and women in 72 nations. Incidentally, for men, the low point is about 52. Science can’t explain it, but it may be that at this age a woman puts herself last and might feel that life is going on without her. As the kids leave the nest, the woman has more time to nurture herself.

So schedule a regular “me” day for yourself that doesn’t change for anyone, or anything except an emergency. You can also set priorities and do things that truly bring you pleasure, and drop the things you don’t enjoy.

3. Forget about self-improvement and focus on what’s already incredible about you. This is far more effective in creating joy than trying to do things to “improve” on yourself. Find your own strongest qualities and nurture them. Using your signature strengths at home and at work has shown itself to leave subjects less depressed and happier than those who don’t focus on their own strengths.

4. Make tough things work, in other words, look for the “silver lining” in life’s surprises like a sudden layoff or a health setback. Even a disaster like breast cancer has been shown to bring women some positive things – new life priorities and feelings of self-confidence. It’s often the negative experiences that help us grow/ learn and be happier in the end.

5. Spend 21 minutes a year on your relationship. Researchers at Northwestern University tracked the marital bliss of 120 subject couples. Half did a 7-minute exercise three times a year in which they thought about three specific questions related to their most recent argument. Couples who evaluated their relationship had less stress related to arguments, and far higher levels of happiness and passion than those who didn’t do the exercise.

There’s research that suggests marriage quality declines over time. Being proactive in terms of your relationship is a plus for keeping that relationship strong.

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1 Quick Technique To Burn More Fat

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The 1 sneaky technique to trick our bodies to burn more fat…

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How a tasty little dish eaten late at night actually boosted the most powerful fat loss hormone in our bodies while you sleep…

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9 Steps To A Better Lifestyle Continued…

.

There’s research that suggests marriage quality declines over time. Being proactive in terms of your relationship is a plus for keeping that relationship strong.

6. Watch a sad movie. A study from Ohio State University finds that the more sadness you experience during a film or TV program, the greater their feelings of happiness when the program was over. These type of shows put us in a more thoughtful mood, and allow you to focus your attention on your own relationships, and appreciate what you have.

7. Find joy in your commute. Those who walk/bike to the office tend to be happier than those who drive or take a bus/subway according to a 2012 study of 800 subjects conducted in Portland Oregon. Commuting is a great time for introspection and reflection, for enjoying music or a book on tape. Think about what you are grateful for instead of grousing about the slow traffic.

8. Take pleasure in giving. Generosity both far away and closer to home can help you feel happier. Giving to charity brings more happiness than spending on yourself, while doing things for people in your life makes you the happiest.

9. Fake it, until you actually feel it. When you’re sad, the act of smiling can cheer you up, and while the reasons for this have yet to be pinpointed, a study at the University of Kansas finds that grinning slows down your heart rate during stress.

To your good health,

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Awareness And Well-Being

Being mindful is thought to benefit your health as well as your physical and emotional well-being… now we have research from the University of Utah to be presented at the American Psychosomatic Society annual meeting that demonstrates mindfulness brings more stable emotions and better control over mood and behavior. Mindful people also appear to have less cognitive and physiological activity going on before they sleep and this may translate into an improved quality of sleep.

What is mindfulness? It’s paying attention in a special way, on purpose and being in the present while offering no judgments. Mindfulness means living in the moment and waking up to experiences all around you. You need to slow down, do one thing at a time and bring your complete awareness to what you’re doing and your inner experience of it. Mindfulness is believed to be a formidable antidote to daily stress that can be damaging to body and mind. It can be used at any time and brings lasting results.

Often people need to be taught how to be mindful, and earlier studies in this area used subjects who’d been trained in meditation or another technique. This latest study was unique in that it looked at naturally occurring mindfulness with a rather ingenious method for gathering the data.

The work included 38 subjects who’d been recruited from the University of Utah’s undergraduate psychology classes as well as the community at large. The subjects were from 20 to 45 years old; two thirds were female, one third male. The day the study started the subjects completed a baseline assessment that included standard questionnaires, a physiological assessment while at rest and cognitive testing before they began two full days of experience sampling.

The subjects wore a cardiac monitor that was able to measure heart function and were also prompted every so often during the test days to rate both their mental functioning and emotional state. At the end of the two-day test period, the participants filled out questionnaires on their ability to regulate their behavior and emotions. They were also asked to rate their level of cognitive and physical arousal before sleep.

Continues below…


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1 Quick Technique To Burn More Fat

Here’s Your Free Presentation To Discover:

The 1 sneaky technique to trick our bodies to burn more fat…

How a unique, simple and quick NEW way of moving eliminates fat – Hint: it’s the exact opposite of boring cardio, but with no cardio at all…

How a tasty little dish eaten late at night actually boosted the most powerful fat loss hormone in our bodies while you sleep…

Click through here now to discover how to burn more fat quicker today…
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Awareness And Well-Being Continued…

The team saw that emotional stability, better control of emotions and behavior and lower pre-sleep activity were all significantly linked to higher mindfulness. Mindfulness may be an important part of self-regulation that is meant to happen all through the day, contributing to better physical and emotional well-being.

The mindfulness research gives experts a better picture of how the state affects stress responses all during the day according to graduate student Holly Rau, who is a part of the research team. Those who reported higher levels of mindfulness also felt they had better control over behavior and emotions during the day. The lower activation at bedtime could certainly have benefits when it comes to falling asleep, the quality of that sleep and efforts to manage stress.

Going forward research will look at the link between all three, mindfulness, physiological markers of stress and quality of sleep to see if there’s an association and learn more about it. In the meantime, you can easily incorporate mindfulness into your own daily life and see if you notice a difference in how you feel. There is certainly no downside to trying this, and there many way to be a wonderful upside.

To your good health,

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Stress Management To Prevent Chronic Pain

If you’re dealing with chronic pain, your search for relief probably seems endless, perhaps hopeless. You doctor will tell you that being anxious or stressed can make pain worse, and set in motion a vicious cycle as the pain causes more anxiety and stress. It seems that avoiding the affects of stress might play an important part in managing pain according to work that appears in the journal Brain. This finding is particularly important for those with a smaller than typical hippocampus as these people seem to be more vulnerable to the effects of stress than the rest of us.

The research by Dr. Pierre Rainville, Ph.D. of the Research Centre of the Institut universitaire de gériatrie de Montréal (IUGM) and his team included 16 subjects who had chronic back pain and a control group of 16 healthy participants. The team was looking for relationships between 1) cortisol levels, 2) assessment of clinical pain reported by subjects before their brain scan, 3) hippocampus volumes measured using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and 4) brain activations using functional MRI that followed thermal pain stimulation. The subjects with chronic pain generally had higher cortisol levels than healthy people.

Cortisol is a hormone that’s made by the adrenal glands (sometimes known as the stress hormone) and the study shows that having a small hippocampus volume is linked to higher cortisol levels. This makes you more vulnerable to pain and having that pain become chronic.

Looking more closely at the data, the team saw that those with a smaller hippocampus had higher cortisol levels and stronger reactions to acute pain in a part of the brain involved with anticipatory anxiety that relates to pain. The response of the brain to the pain during the scan reflected, in part, the intensity of the patient’s current pain levels. This supports the idea that those with a smaller hippocampus end up with a stronger response to stress, and this in turn increases their pain and the risk of having that pain become chronic.

The research sheds more light onto the neurobiological mechanisms involved in stress and pain. No matter the reason, pain is often associated with high levels of stress, and there is value to be found in managing stress to help in treatments for those who are dealing with pain that lasts. Add stress management to your medical treatment plan by talking with a counselor, using relaxation techniques or practicing meditation.

Stress management won’t take away the pain, but it will help you get it under your control, help muscles release, while both breathing and heart rate slow down. When you relax, the mind slows and focuses on other things… becoming distracted from pain sensations so that they drop into the background.

Here are some simple stress management techniques to try…

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Fact: Poor Sleep Increases The Risk of Death/ Disease

Ever lain awake at night and counted the hours till dawn? Isn’t frustrating to be in bed and be unable to sleep?

With around 18 million prescriptions written every year for expensive sleeping pills…

…it’s clear that there’s a national epidemic.

So, what do doctors do when they can’t sleep?

Here’s the answer.

Click through today to discover the 7 mistakes that are killing your sleep, and how overcome them…
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Stress Management To Prevent Chronic Pain Continued…

- Breathe deeply, inhale and hold the breath for a few seconds, and then exhale.
Do this at least three times in a row while you close your eyes and focus only on the sound of your breath.

- Distract yourself by bringing to mind an image that is peaceful and relaxing.
Imagine doing something you enjoy that’s calming, like taking a bath, walking along the beach, resting in a hammock or just relaxing in a peaceful garden… visualize this place as vividly as possible with all sights, sounds, smells you can and take yourself there any time you need to escape.

- Sing or listen to music you find pleasant. Singing helps release tension.

- Walk away as taking a little break from a tense environment can be all you need to ease the tension building in you. Grab a water, or get some fresh air. Count to ten before you go back inside.

If these aren’t enough, you might want to look into more regular stress management techniques like practicing yoga, getting a massage, daily mediation or just schedule some down time for yourself, doing something you enjoy.

To your good health,

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Improves Your Learning Speed By Remembering Error

Truly fascinating findings on how we learn. Researchers from Johns Hopkins Medicine believe they’ve uncovered why we learn an identical task at a faster speed on subsequent attempts – our memories of mistakes are the key to learning faster. Imagine you’re doing something like opening a door; your brain will make comparisons of how the door moved to how it expected the door to move. The details are then absorbed in such a way that you can open the door more efficiently the next time.

The name for the small differences between what we expect out of an action and the reality of the action is “prediction errors”. Here’s how it works. Based on your experience and response patterns, your brain is able to make a prediction about what will happen given a particular stimulus or situation. When the signal you get is different from what you expect, a prediction error results. This is then used to teach the brain to respond better.

To understand more about learning and prediction errors a researchers team, led by David Herzfeld a graduate student in professor of biomedical engineering Reza Shadmehr’s, lab, came up with an ingenious experiment that involved a joystick and a pair of dots on a screen. Participants were told to guide a blue dot (the joystick, unseen by the subjects) to a red dot (target) on the screen with the joystick. As the volunteers moved the blue dot, it could be programmed to move off kilter from where it had been aimed. This caused an error. Participants had to make adjustments to compensate.

It took a few attempts before they could smoothly control the blue dot and guide it to the target, red dot. Here’s the interesting finding – the team saw that the subjects responded more quickly to small errors that pushed them consistently in one direction rather than larger errors that were not as consistent. They learned to give the frequent errors more weight in learning, discounting the flukes.

Turns out, ven the errors that come from a completely different task can provide an opportunity for the brain to refine learning.

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Fact: Poor Sleep Increases The Risk of Death/ Disease

Ever lain awake at night and counted the hours till dawn? Isn’t frustrating to be in bed and be unable to sleep?

With around 18 million prescriptions written every year for expensive sleeping pills…

…it’s clear that there’s a national epidemic.

So, what do doctors do when they can’t sleep?

Here’s the answer.

Click through today to discover the 7 mistakes that are killing your sleep, and how overcome them…
*Disclosure: compensated affiliate*


Improves Your Learning Speed By Remembering Error Continued…

When we learn a new motor skill, there seems to be two processes going on at the same time. One is the learning of the commands and the other is critiquing the learning experience. Think of the way a coach acts, and you have the idea. Learning a similar task goes faster because the “coach” knows what mistakes are truly worthy of attention. These findings are a big step in understanding how motor skills may be learned.

Think about this… a tennis player often finds that he/she is much better in the second five minutes of play than the first. Why? It may not be a result of muscle warming up, but rather a chance for the brain to re-experience mistakes. This has become a big [part of how science understands reward learning, and how the experience of discrepancy between the expected and the actual can make the brain better at predicting going forward.

This research on learning has been published in in the journal Science Express and may result in improved movement rehab strategies for those who have had a stroke or are suffering from another neuromotor condition. The next step is to examine which region of the brain is responsible for the coaching role in assigning different weights to different types of error.

To your good health,

geralt / Pixabay

Get Things Done With These 5 Tips

In today’s busy, over-scheduled world, any strategies for getting more done, at home or one the job are valuable. We’ve all tried working harder, drinking more coffee, staying up later to finish up that “To Do” list… and still been behind, struggling to catch up. The good news is that everyone, no matter how many demands they have, can experience that incredible feeling of a productive day… here are five sure-fire strategies to help you do just that.

1. Make things automatic; work to build routines (habits) so you don’t have to make decisions, you simply do. By making certain things automatic, you’ll actually get more done because you’ll be expending less mental energy. Making decisions all day long is exhausting, which is why making routine things automatic is so effective. As it happens we only have one reservoir of discipline and willpower, and it gets depleted by any action of conscious self-regulation during our day. So if you resist the chocolate cake at lunchtime, you end up later on with less mental energy to tackle a challenging problem.

2. Get enough sleep. Not being well rested deprives you of energy you need to function at peak efficiency. At the end of a two week period, those who slept six hours a night each night were found to be as impaired as those who’d been up for 24-hours in a row. You are likely sleep deprived even now, and should make a regular effort to get from 7 to 9 hours of quality sleep each night.

3. Use checklists on a regular basis. Sure you might start out doing this, but the habit falters after a time. Don’t let it go. Making your own checklist for what should be done is a key strategy to improving how much you get done, and how effective you are. Research in a hospital ICU has proven the point. Be sure to keep your own checklists as specific as possible, listing only tasks that can be done right away and finished soon. Be sure to include a realistic time estimate for getting the activity done and integrate your checklist into your calendar or schedule so you have enough time to finish everything.

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4. Beat procrastination with dashes and precommitment devices. A dash is a short burst of action where you force yourself to do nothing but work on the procrastinated item, but for just a short time period. Precommitment devices are things like paying a family member or friend $100 that they must return if you get the action you’ve been putting off completed, they keep it if you fail. Now that’s a motivator to be sure.

5. Mood has an impact too. Feelings of happiness increase your productivity and help you be more successful. Optimistic salespeople outsell their pessimistic coworkers by 56%. It appears our brains are hardwired to do their best when they are positive, rather than in either the neutral or negative state. Overconfidence also has been known to increase productivity.

Give these five tips a try on the job or at home to help you be more productive, successful and satisfied. Let us know how it goes.

To your good health,

Up-Free / Pixabay

How A Spouse Can Influence Your Career

You’ve heard the saying, “Behind every great man there’s a great woman.” Today the reverse is also true. In 2011 Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg made headlines when she pointed out that who you choose to marry is one of the most important career decisions a you will ever make. Some recent research has confirmed this remarkable idea, the work appearing in Psychological Science finding that the personality of your spouse has a great deal to do with how fast, and far, you climb, on the corporate ladder.

Study author Joshua Jackson, who is an assistant professor of psychology at Washington University in St. Louse likens this to a “lean on” movement – leaning on a spouse to help advance your career. We all agree that home life has a big impact on work, a phenomenon known as the “crossover effect”. The thing is, the work/home connection has only been studied in the short term, this team wanted to take a broader look at the link between work and home. More specifically, how does your spouse’s personality impact your success in the workplace.

To find out, the researchers tracked the career progress of 4,544 married subjects over 5 years and examined the couples’ division of household chores, how they spent free time together and their levels of satisfaction in the relationship. The subjects also took a personality test to assess what psycho9logists call the “big 5″ traits – openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness and neuroticism. It’s these five constructs that are thought to define most of human differences in terms of personality.

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How A Spouse Can Influence Your Career Continued…

What was intriguing was that only one spouse personality trait could be said to be a significant predictor of career success – conscientiousness. People who work hard, follow the rules, are organized, responsible and reliable, who are able to control impulses and delay gratification. These types are less prone to procrastination as a result. In the study, those employees who had a conscientious partner tended to be better paid and got more promotions – regardless of employment status.

Being married to a reliable person gave the spouse’s career a boost. The other spouse didn’t have to stay home, and gender was not a factor. Both men and women saw a benefit from a conscientious spouse. It may well be that reliability wears off on the other spouse – psychologists agree that married couples tend to take on each other’s traits, especially the good ones. After years of living with someone who is conscientious, you may become that as well, and this leads to more success at work.

Another theory is that career success in one spouse may be the result of having someone reliable in your life who allows you to focus more on work, assured the rest is under control. This leaves you with more mental energy, more time, while also making it more likely you get the rest you need to tackle work the next day. You may even be able to take work home, because your spouse is handling the at home duties, and this allows for even harder work, more chance to get ahead.

Remember that even working spouses can make this happen. You can still share tasks like managing finances, juggling appointments, hiring help – any number of things that can help ease the home stress so that both of you can focus more at work. Try dividing responsibilities based on strengths instead of the traditional roles – this helps you feel as though you’re doing a specialty, not a tedious chore. The key is to make a joint effort at tackling the tasks that must get done.

To your good health,