Category Archives: Self Improvement Tips

5 Approaches to Combat Stress Through a Healthier Mind-Body Connection

By Srini Pillay

You’re reading 5 Approaches to Combat Stress Through a Healthier Mind-Body Connection, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’re enjoying this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

To accomplish the highest level of health, it is important to know and accept that the mind and body are tightly intertwined. This concept itself is far from new, but knowing how to leverage the connection is becoming increasingly intriguing.

More than a century ago, Harvard psychologist Walter Bradford Cannon drew people’s attention to the mind-body connection when he described the physiologic changes during the fight-or-flight response to stress. Forty years later, endocrinologist Hans Selye expanded on Cannon’s work by describing the general adaptation response to stress. In doing so, he touched on the impact of stress on the physiologic system during various stages — alarm, resistance, and physical exhaustion (and even death) if the stressor exceeds the body’s capacity.

The revelations of the mind-body connection continue to surface as new studies and research bring more detailed insights about the phenomenon. In fact, enormous amounts of data corroborate the bidirectional mind-body relationship, such as the connections between anxiety and physical pain, depression and heart disease, and depression and anxiety with gut inflammation.

With clear indicators that stress infiltrates the body on the cellular level, it’s important for you to tend to your mental health now in order to see improved mental and physical outcomes in the near future.

Stress at the Cellular Level

In 2018, biologist Martin Picard and neuroendocrinologist Bruce McEwen unveiled the potential reasons behind the body’s intimate relationship with the mind that dug deep — tapping into the cellular level. They found that stress impacts the cell’s energy factories, also known as the mitochondria. These tiny organelles produce energy in almost every cell in the body (except red blood cells). And when a cell’s energy production gets hit, so does the entire body.

Because these energy factories interact intimately with one another within the cell, stress on the cellular level easily compounds. At first, the mitochondria try to correct the cellular changes caused by stress, but they can be overwhelmed and forced to surrender. With this sort of stress-induced cellular numbness, toxic free radicals accumulate and damage cellular DNA. In turn, when the mitochondria cannot produce the energy that the cell needs, a waterfall of physical ailments surface, such as fatigue, skin diseases, heart disease, accelerated aging, and more.

In my clinical practice, I have seen stress take a toll on the physical bodies of many patients. For example, after the death of her husband, a patient became increasingly stressed and precipitously developed dementia. Another patient, who always made light of his stress, developed Parkinson’s disease. It’s clear that psychological stress eventually damages the body, and the mitochondrial hypothesis explains why.

5 Steps to Improve Your Mind-Body Connection and Combat Cellular Fatigue

Consider the following techniques as ways to recalibrate your mind-body connection for better health.

1. Utilize mindfulness-based stress reduction.
When it comes to effectively managing stress and seeing results on the cellular level, mindfulness practices can be very helpful. To be mindful, close your eyes, focus your attention on your breath, and ignore your mental chatter. If your attention drifts away, gently bring it back to your breath. Studies show that mindfulness might have many effects on your biology, too. It can change your brain’s response to stress, decreasing some of the stress hormones and, therefore, protecting your mitochondria.

2. Learn about transcendental meditation.
Transcendental meditation (TM) has been shown to lessen the burden of stress. The practice of TM requires a teacher and involves repeating a mantra (a short phrase) over and over again. If your attention wavers, you gently start the repetition again. TM reduces stress, depression, and burnout. At a cellular level, this act of meditation can also decrease the oxidative stress that damages cells.

3. Change up the scenery.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, one of the most immediate steps you can take is removing yourself from the environment. Go on a short vacation — leisure and free time have the ability to distract people from stress and boost their mood. Interestingly, vacations can change gene expression in a way that improves stress regulation and immune function. Venturing out to a green space can also help reset your mind-body connection and clear your head. Higher levels of green space lower stress levels and improve cortisol levels — one of the stress hormones that impacts mitochondria.

4. Learn to unfocus.
Take a 15-minute booster break at work to recharge or use one of the unfocus methods that I describe in my recent book. Unfocusing includes such techniques as napping for up to 15 minutes, which will improve your concentration for up to three hours. Especially if you have not slept well, a nap can be considerably restorative because poor sleep negatively impacts mitochondrial DNA. Also, naps might decrease the stress-inducing impact of cortisol on mitochondria.

5. Feed your cells.

Although it might be common knowledge, don’t forget that eating well and exercising can do wonders when it comes to decreasing stress. In fact, diet-induced obesity can worsen mitochondrial health, and too much sugar causes similar effects. Appropriate calorie restriction might improve antioxidant defense and oxidative stress, thereby protecting mitochondria. Furthermore, taking an exercise break — such as a brisk walk — in the middle of your day has the power to strengthen mitochondrial health.

Think of what you might be doing to every cell in your body by not taking the initiative to combat the stressors in your life. Do you really want to jeopardize your future health by not acting today? The mind-body connection shouldn’t be underestimated. As much as it can wreak havoc when unbalanced, the same connection — when healthy — can also bring harmony to a once-stressful life.


Srini Pillay, M.D., is the CEO of NeuroBusiness Group and the award-winning author of numerous books, including “Tinker Dabble Doodle Try: Unlock the Power of the Unfocused Mind,” “Life Unlocked: 7 Revolutionary Lessons to Overcome Fear,” and “Your Brain and Business: The Neuroscience of Great Leaders.” He also serves as an assistant professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and teaches in the Executive Education Program at Harvard Business School.

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Do you worry too much? 4 Worrying Mistakes You Should Stop Making

By Marwan Jamal

Do you worry too much

You’re reading Do you worry too much? 4 Worrying Mistakes You Should Stop Making, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’re enjoying this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

Do you worry too much?

According to the Anxiety and Depression American Association (ADAA) almost 40 million American adults — one-fifth of the population— suffer from chronic worrying and other anxiety disorders which makes them the most common mental illness in the U.S.

This has lots of reasons, too much technology, insomnia and sleep deprivation, loneliness and the lack of proper communication, especially among teens. But I`m not here today to talk causes. I`m here to list the four common mistakes that people make when trying to handle worrying and anxiety, according to the experts.

Worry Mistake #1: Seeking unattainable certainty and control

Experts believe there are two things that cause anxiety more than anything else: lack of control, and uncertainty.

“Uncertainty is anxiety’s archenemy. It is the primary spring from which worry and apprehension flow, so much so that we can think of anxiety itself as a drive to eliminate uncertainty,” writes Taylor Clark in Nerve: Poise Under Pressure, Serenity Under Stress, and the Brave New Science of Fear and Cool.

More certainty = Less worrying

However, there`s one pitfall to this… It`s called the excessive strive for certainty.

You may think that the key to reducing worrying is to seek more certainty about the thing you`re afraid of. This is correct to a certain degree. If your son isn`t home yet and he`s not responding to your calls then you may seek certainty by calling one of his friends. But if the voice in your head keeps telling you that you`re gonna have cancer trying to fake certainty over something in the future will make you worry even more.

Here`s what Michael J. Dugas, the Professor of Psychology at the University of Quebec says about this topic: “Most of the problems that chronic worriers deal with are caused by their refusal to accept the possibility of a negative event happening in the future.”

And here`s what Clark also says, “Certainty and control, then, are something of a mixed blessing. We’re less anxious when we feel we have them, yet seeking them when they’re not feasible —trying to control the uncontrollable or find total certainty in an uncertain world —will only make things worse.”

Worry Mistake #2: Suppressing your worries

“Worrying actually mutes emotional expression, which makes it tougher for us to overcome a fear. It seems to act as a mental buffer against facing what troubles you” says Clark.

Studies found that our bodily arousal level drops as we begin to worry so it makes sense that you communicate your worries to other people, or even to yourself instead of keeping them under the hood. Call somebody, keep a journal or simply talk loudly to yourself.

According to several Navy studies, talking loudly to themselves is what SEALS use to overcome stress, tough missions and, of course, fear.

Worry Mistake #3: Thinking rather than doing

“Fear springs from the subconscious amygdala, not the thinking cortex, so trying to think your way out of feeling afraid is like using a hammer to twist in a screw,” says the New York University neuroscientist Joseph LeDoux.

The best possible way to reduce your worries is to move from thinking to doing to stop the thinking loop. Easier said than done, I know. But there are some useful techniques you can use to think less about what bothers you…

  • Procrastinate on your worries

Make a decision that you`ll think about your worries later and you`ll instantly better. This is a famous technique called the Worry Vault used by the NYT bestselling author Ramit Sethi. You throw your worries in an imaginary vault at the back of your head and say, “I`ll think about it tomorrow.” Most of the time you`ll feel better tomorrow, and if not, you can again delay thinking about it to another day.

  • Responsibility transfer

Having faith in a higher entity is what the bestselling author Olivia Fox Cabane uses when teaching her clients the art of charisma. You simply trust that God, Fate, or any entity you believe in, has your best interest at heart.”

Once you pick that entity, according to Cabane, imagine lifting the weight of everything you‘re concerned about—this meeting, this interaction, this day—off your shoulders and placing it on the shoulders of whichever entity you‘ve chosen.

  • Cut fear out of energy

This is what Grant Cardone the author of The 10X Rule: The Only Difference Between Success and Failure believes you should do to bash through any worries. It`s all about taking more action than you think you should to almost guarantee to win. It`s the difference between talking to one girl and worrying she won`t call you back and talking to 10 girls to make sure that you`ll have at least one date on Valentine`s Day.

  • Meditate

Meditate no matter how busy you are.

I like to call it “the wise man`s sport.” Meditation has so many health benefits that will improve not just your mood but also your health. And The best thing about it, you can do it anywhere with zero equipment. Just sit down there and take and concentrate on the air coming in and going out of your system.

  • Do yoga

Like meditation, yoga is also known to improve focus and elasticity and elevate one`s mood. There are so many poses in yoga but if you`re both super anxious, and in a hurry, you can stick to the famous stress-relieving ones.

  • Exercise or play some sport

Run, pump some iron or just play your favorite sport. These things can distract your attention from what worries you and improve your mood at the same time. Also, it`s critical, if you have kids, to encourage them to play sports early on.

According to Tonje Zahl, M.S.C., of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology “Physical activity, and particularly moderate-to-vigorous physical activity has a positive effect on reducing future depressive symptoms in middle childhood.”

Another study by Merrimack College, children with ADHD, anxiety and mood disorders showed up to 51 percent less disruptive behaviors when assigned to two weekly 30-minute sessions of cyber cycling.

Worry Mistake #4: Not Understanding the real stats

“Another thing we know from having people fill out worry diaries is that ninety-five percent of worries never come true,” says Professor Evelyn Behar from the University of Illinois. “And with the things that do come true, they end up coping much better than they ever expected.” She added.

What Behar says simply means:

  • Shit rarely happens
  • Even if it does, you`ll deal with it much better than you think.

If you begin to see things from this perspective, you`ll feel less anxious as a result.


Marwan Jamal is a soccer-playing, food-loving, joke-cracking New York-based wellness writer. You can say hi to me here

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5 Productivity Apps to Help Skyrocket your Focus

By Marija Kojic

man focusing on work

You’re reading 5 Productivity Apps to Help Skyrocket your Focus, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’re enjoying this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

Whether you’re working from home, or in a typical office setting, your main aim is to be productive – which can be quite the challenge if you take into account all the usual distractions ruining your focus:

  • YouTube videos – you keep telling yourself you’ll only watch one more, but it’s never really just one, is it?
  • Social Media feeds – Instagram photos, Facebook posts, Twitter wisdoms, they all may take their toll on your dedicated work time
  • Your phone – it rarely rings when you’re free, but it seems to have a tendency to blow up during work hours
  • Background noises – chatty colleagues, construction noises coming from the outside, neighbours mowing their lawns at the worst possible time, and similar plights

We can conclude that the list of possible distractions is endless, but, if you want to improve your alertness and focus, you can turn to these 5 trusty apps to help you:

screenshot of Noisli app

Noisli

Noisli – the noise generator

This app is the ideal noise generator – once you put your headphones on, just select the sounds you like, and they’ll drown out all background noises and help you focus.

The possible choices include the sound of the wind, the waves, running water, train tracks, coffee shop chatter, as well as the ever-popular rain and thunder, among other sounds.

The sounds are realistic, and you can choose only one, or a combination of various sounds – the custom mix of failing rain, coupled with the sound of distant thunder and crickets is only one of the effective combos you can try.

screenshot of clockify time tracker app

Clockify

Clockify – the time tracker

This free time tracking app lets you track the time you spend on activities – you’ll get data showing how long it takes you to finish your tasks, projects and assignments, which is a great motivator to help keep you accountable. As you watch the seconds count up, you’ll aim to finish your tasks faster and dedicate your full attention to them while the timer is ruining.

The app also lets you generate reports on the time you’ve tracked for your activities. So, you’ll also get answers on whether you procrastinate online too much – learning the exact number of minutes you spend on YouTube and Social Media per day may be the push you need to minimize such online activities.

screenshot of Hocus Focus

Hocus Focus

Hocus Focus – the declutter app

Do you ever open a large number of windows in your browser, and then loose track of the windows that actually matter to your work? Well, this app is designed to help you single out your most important windows, by simply closing all the windows you’re not working on.

In the settings, you can choose the amount of time after which you want the inactive windows to automatically close. Or, you can choose to have windows close immediately once you stop using them. As a third option, if there are windows you always need for your work, you can indicate that as well, so they won’t disappear.

screenshot of Freedom app

Freedom

Freedom – the website and app blocker

Unplugging the Internet manually, in order to help you remain on track with your work, will help you avoid popular news websites, but there is a better alternative. This website and app blocker will ensure you stay away from harmful online distractions during work hours.

With it, you can block individual websites, or create your own blocklists, and fill them with websites you procrastinate on the most. Also, the settings of this app allow you to block the entire internet directly from the app, so you won’t ever have to unplug it manually, in a last effort to keep your focus.

screenshot of Siempo app

Siempo

Siempo – the remover of phone distractions

Your phone addiction can take away a lot of precious time you should be working, but this app is rather efficient in helping you overcome your need to check your phone every few minutes. Namely, it minimizes your phone alerts – you can select the phone apps that distract you the most, and then set the only time(s) when they’ll be allowed to sound.

Also, this app transforms your Android interface into a less distracting environment – your most distracting apps are no longer in the forefront, so you’ll have to spend more time looking for them. And, when it takes too long to find your Facebook and Instagram icons, you’ll likely be discouraged from looking for them in the first place.

Conclusion

Maintaining focus is vital when you want to remain productive with your work, but it’s also hard to achieve at times. But, if you block out distracting noises, declutter your browser, address distracting websites and phone apps, as well as compete against a running timer, you’re bound to maximize your focus. And, once you maximize your focus, no task or assignment will present an undefeatable challenge.

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The Power of Befriending the Exile Within

By katmeggers

You’re reading The Power of Befriending the Exile Within, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’re enjoying this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.


Exiles in the Psyche

I had a dream that there was someone else living in my apartment when I wasn’t there. A friend turned to me and said, “Hey, did you know there is another woman living here with you?” I shook my head. If it was true, how was it that I had never encountered her? Gazing around my messy apartment, I realized it explained a lot.

When we are young, we all learn how to exile parts of ourselves. Life demands things of us before we are ready, before we know how to show up to them. So, we show up the best we can. We improvise. Spontaneously and instinctually we adapt, and because of this, we survive. It’s brilliant really, a testament to the genius latent in every person. Then, we grow up, and we find that the same set of tools that were so successful once, don’t work anymore. Perhaps we find that our relationships never last, or that we choose to stay in abusive ones to avoid being alone. We find the same pattern happening over and over again and feel helpless to do anything about it. But we aren’t helpless. There is a way forward.

Rejection as a Coping Mechanism

When our unconscious coping patterns make life difficult for us, it is really the exiled parts of ourselves that are trying to get our attention. They are making life difficult because they don’t want to be exiled anymore. But, because rejecting those parts was so successful initially, our automatic response when they show up in our adult lives is to reject them again. It is important to understand that these parts were never worthy of rejection to begin with. There was merely no room in whatever situation we found ourselves in for them to be nurtured and loved.

We continue to reject these exiles as adults because we haven’t gotten the memo that the situation that required their exile is over. By continuing the pattern of rejection we feed the need of those parts to be seen and heard, and they get even louder. Instead of continuing the cycle of rejection, what if we get quiet and listen? What if we give those parts of ourselves permission to be here instead of struggling to make them go away?

Getting to Know Your Exiles

Recently, during a bad night of insomnia I met one of my exiles. I wanted desperately to sleep, but there was some part of me that categorically refused. Since I couldn’t sleep, I decided to meditate. I focused on my breath, dropped back into witness consciousness, and created space for the part of me that refused to sleep. That part of me was very anxious, and I was very uncomfortable being present with her.

Staying with my breath, I allowed whatever was showing up to simply be. I didn’t try to change what came up or to make it go away. After a while I sat face to face with the part of myself that had been secretly living in the metaphorical apartment of my life. A young, terrified woman who, of course, was me. A part I had minimized, ignored and denied.

I looked at my life, at the episodes of debilitating anxiety and of emotional volatility, of despair and loneliness, at the moments of wanting to give up and wanting it all just to end. I saw how I had done my best to pretend it was no big deal. All of those behaviors were the exiled part of me struggling to get my attention, struggling for life, and every time I had paid no attention.

The Woman Behind the Mask

The behavior of minimizing was modeled for me, growing up in a home where my mother’s own patterns of anxiety and emotional volatility were normalized and never acknowledged. My parents’ story was that we were a perfect family. We lived in an affluent community where good grades were a must, college was a given, and a lack of success was shameful. There was no space for my anxiety, a thing I had an enormous amount of, so that part of me was exiled. There was no space to live the soul centered life I craved.

I learned that the way to survive was to be tough, to be accommodating and to pretend at all costs, that everything was ok. The result was a belief that if I’m charismatic enough, productive enough, talented enough, funny enough, then I will have convinced people that I’m worthy of love. If I can do that, then I don’t have to acknowledge how anxiety rules my life and affects those around me.

The fear of people seeing through my facade runs deep. In all of my interactions with people I spend the majority of my energy trying to hold the finely crafted pieces of my mask in place. If I feel tired or not interested in spending that kind of energy, I avoid engaging with people. The idea that I must not let people see what’s behind my mask is so ingrained that I never even considered it an option to take the mask off. During that sleepless night, when I finally acknowledged myself as I truly am, I realized that though taking off the mask would take courage, it was at least an option.

Letting the Exiles be Seen

The next day I showed up to yoga class with my mask in pieces. I did my best to go with it, and without much effort settled into the flow of the class. As I spoke the cues, moving through the poses, parts of my own practice that I usually don’t share because I’m afraid people won’t like it, spilled in. It was the most authentic class I have ever taught. After the class, instead of the rejection I feared, the response I got was joy, connection, and encouragement.

I went to a meeting later about scheduling more yoga classes. I mentioned that I liked to pile things on my plate and then get overwhelmed that I had made so many commitments. The facilitator, instead of being impatient with me, gave me complete permission to do things at my own pace and to only commit to what I felt comfortable with. It seemed incredible. The world had embraced me without the mask. I had been oppressing myself for so long for no reason.

I went home thinking, this must be what grace feels like. Then, I cried deep tears of regret as the realization settled in. I had set such unrealistic standards for myself, had put on so much pressure, had kept myself locked up. Who had actually benefitted from me doing that?

The Hoʻoponopono prayer came to me then, and I whispered to my inner exile,

I’m sorry.

Please forgive me.

I love you.

Thank you.

Welcome Yourself Home

What I am beginning to understand is that the point is not to fix anything. There is nothing to fix. We are already complete. When our unconscious patterns show up and make life challenging for us we have an opportunity to identify our exiles, to invite them in, and to listen to their stories. As Clarissa Pinkola Estes says, every time we welcome our exiles home we make the world holy, by making it whole.

We need to imagine our exiles as having creative lives of their own and to support them in developing their gifts. These gifts aren’t just for us, they are for sharing with the world. For as Bill Plotkin tells us, “nature depends on us to embody our souls. The world cannot fully express itself without each of us fully expressing ourselves.”

Next time you are feeling helpless you might stop a moment to wonder about your exiles. Meeting them for the first time can be challenging, because by their very nature they are unconscious to us. There are infinite ways that these meetings come about. Knowing that the exiles are there in the first place can be very helpful in those moments when you are brought face to face with one. If you are able to recognize the exile as yourself, then you can begin the work of welcoming yourself back home.


Katherine is a yogi, writer and herbalist. She lives in the Pacific Northwest where she teaches classes and workshops.

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5 Ways to Resolve Your Ranking Drop On Google

By scottjack

You’re reading 5 Ways to Resolve Your Ranking Drop On Google, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’re enjoying this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

If you’ve experienced a recent ranking drop, no need panicking. Firstly, you need to investigate the cause of ranking drop, so that you can avoid similar problem in future. A ranking drop can occur any time and depends upon the following factors.

  1. Observe the Structure of Competitor’s Website

Well, nobody denies reaching the top of Google search pages, but not everyone considers what to do. Copying what competitors have has often been the route, but it’s not an ultimate solution. Your competitor must have other tools to get to the top – link structures and content. Both of them make your website structure.

Tip: The only way you can reach the top is by incorporating high-quality content compared to others. Make sure your web pages contain authoritative links and they’re better than your competitors’.

  1. Your Website Must Have Gone Through Changes

As the webmasters make updates on web pages quite regularly, and most of them are minimal changes. However, they need to be cautious while periodic redesign phase. In case of an entirely new page, search engine will re-assess and makes adjustments in rankings.

Many designers and webmasters believe Google filters these pages and down-rank them temporarily, just to make sure they are not any kind of spam.

Tip: While changing your premium web pages consisting important keywords, you need to be extra careful. The pages must be in accordance with the topic and all the keywords of your website.

  1. Complicated/Bad Link Structure

If you change an old website to new one, complicated link structure may pose a few problems. Changing links that were automatically generated or paid may cause Google’s penalties.

TIP: It often happens because of low-quality links and those link building tools. Always include relevant and resourceful links for better user experience; otherwise, prepare yourself for penalties from Google.

  1. Unreliable Web Server

Another factor that may cause a ranking drop is your web server. Your website was down due to server, and search spiders didn’t get access to it. As a result, your page wasn’t indexed. How can you expect ranking then?

Similarly, when your website was working efficiently, but the web server displayed error message. This is again a factor causing drop in your page ranking.

TIP: That’s as simple as switching to a server with minimal down-time. To get a good ranking, you need reliable server; otherwise, all efforts of local SEO Toronto will be wasted. You can also use online audit tools and find out the real cause of ranking drops.

  1. Your Website Must Have Spam Elements

Spam elements such as, hidden text, cloaking, doorways and other techniques are not legitimized by search engines. If your website comprises of spam elements, better remove them before getting penalized by Google.

What to do: Cheating Google is like playing with fire. Why should you spoil years of efforts establishing a business, through bad techniques? If you’re not get caught, you’re very lucky. But, you don’t know for how long.

Conclusion

Google ranking drops may be caused by issues on your website; any technical flaw, a sudden change; bad link structure; or it may be due to instant updates from Google. You can resolve this issue only with proper and legitimate tools and guidelines given by Google.

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Best Hoverboards to Buy in 2018

By scottjack

You’re reading Best Hoverboards to Buy in 2018, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’re enjoying this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

Not very long ago was the time when people zoomed around in roller blades and basic skateboards. These gadgets are till date deemed to be cool and trendy by a large portion of the youth. However, with a dynamic transition taking place in the field of mobility, old-styled youth toys are facing some serious competition from modern age, battery operated much cooler gizmos.

Popularity of Hoverboards has been on the rise over the last few years, it is important to do some research in order to make sure that you buy the best as well as the safest hoverboard that best fits in you budget. Therefore, review of the Best Hoverboards in 2018 by Definite point aims to help readers make a much more informed choice.

The article does an in-depth analysis of the top rated hoverboards, reviewing them against the key areas which prove to be most critical considerations while buying the self-balancing scooters. Definite Point’s review gives a brief of some of the distinguishing factors that each of these hoverboards are equipped with. For instance, Swagtron T380, and T6 Off-Road Hoverboard have Bluetooth speakers, LED lights and multiple riding modes, along with an additional carry handle in the T380 model. Or that the GOTRAX Hoverfly Eco has a unique feature of gyroscopic sensors.

In addition to these, another self-balancing scooter that is creating a sensation in the market is the Halo Rover All-Terrain hoverboard, which has the highest ratings as per customer reviews in the industry majorly because of its features like high density aluminum fender wings, all-terrain large tires, and weight capacity of about 264 lbs. An additional feature that makes it stand out is the No Fall Technology present in the scooter in the form of Ride Assist. This is responsible for the balance it maintains and stays upright whenever it is switched on, and is thus, a great equipment to be used by starters who want to learn the balancing act on such a scooter by avoiding the falls. Other significant attributes like a smartphone app, Bluetooth compatibility, safety certification of its batteries and a Free Bag to carry it around, many reviewing websites have unanimously ranked it as the number one hoverboard of 2018.

Before buying a hoverboard, it is very important that you know about the restrictions affiliated with each of the products under consideration. Like the wheels on the Swagtron T380 are not rugged enough to ride on rough topographies, or that the Gyroor Warrior 2018 does not support a companion app implying that modes cannot be changed and battery cannot be seen from your smartphone.

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Happiness is Just a Choice

By Gary Douglas

You’re reading Happiness is Just a Choice, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’re enjoying this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

Happiness is a choice that most people don’t know, or want to know, that they have. If we admit that happiness is a choice, then we have to act and take responsibility. Sadly, many people are so used to, and some even addicted to the drama and trauma in their lives, that if they were actually happy, they wouldn’t know what to do with themselves. As a result, people are choosing pain and suffering over happiness.

If happiness was always a choice that was available to you, would you choose it?

Happiness is not the manic craziness you see people showing on television, where everyone is pretending and living in a false reality. True happiness comes a sense of ease, peace and possibilities. When you are truly happy no one can take it away from you – you’re like a firmly placed rock in a stream whereby the unhappy people just float on by you. Often times, a happy individual makes others uncomfortable, some mad even, because they can no longer stay stuck in their fixed point of view, i.e. the unhappiness they are choosing.

If you looked at your life as a series of choices that have created who you are today, you will see that there isn’t anything showing up in your life that you haven’t chosen. The good, the bad and the ugly – it’s all just a choice.

Most of the choices we have made that have not worked well for us are those where we have chosen to be unaware of what that choice will create. Choice, however, is not predictable, so one must choose to gain an awareness of what that choice creates. If the choices you have been making has created who you are today, what choices could you make now that would create something different? Could you choose to be happy?

So, is happiness just a choice?

Let’s look at what you are choosing right now. Are you choosing to be annoyed at a co-worker? Or, are you thinking about what you will make for dinner? Or, are you basking in glorious radiant happiness? By looking at what you are currently choosing, you can start to acknowledge what your choices are creating in your life and you can start to see other possible choices that are available to you.

Happiness is not about finding the ‘one choice to rule them all’ and that you will be happy forever. It’s about continuous choices that create the happiness you are and can be.

You are the source of the happiness you have been looking for. You don’t have to look deep within to find happiness – it’s the choice that is always available to you in every moment of everyday, and no one can take that away from you.

When you walk into a room where people have just been fighting and no one says anything, but you can sense the energy in the room, that’s called awareness. It’s the same with the unhappiness most people walk around with every day. You are aware of the mindsets people are functioning from and you can sense their unhappiness. Would you start fighting people just because you walked into a room where people had been fighting? No. So, why do you buy the unhappiness that people live by, as yours? Just because you are aware of it, it doesn’t mean you have to choose it. You have many other choices available to you that you have probably not yet acknowledged.

What choices do you have available to choose?

Choosing happiness is like going to gym – the first time you go, it might be hard and seem impossible. But the more you use choice to create your life, the easier it gets. Happiness is one of the least sought-after states of being on planet Earth. If this wasn’t so, there would be many more happy people. If you would like to truly choose happiness for you, it’s going to take courage and the willingness to go where few have gone before you. But it’s worth the ride!


Gary Douglas is an investor, a business owner, and a multi-millionaire. He’s also a psychologist, and a sought-after international speaker who empowers people to know that they are the source for creating a life that goes beyond the limitations of popular beliefs and conditioning. Gary founded Access Consciousness® 25 years ago – a $10M+ global movement which is now practiced in over 173 countries, which advocates a more human focus to business life as the only way to sustainable financial success. He’s written several best-selling books on finance and business including, Rich Riches for You, Beyond the Utopian Ideal, and Money Isn’t the Problem, You Are. Follow on Twitter at @garymdouglas.

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Listen To Your Gut – What Stress Is Doing To Your Digestive Health

By Kevin Jones

You’re reading Listen To Your Gut – What Stress Is Doing To Your Digestive Health, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’re enjoying this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

Stress can wreak havoc on your digestive system, with common—and uncommonly uncomfortable—symptoms including stomach-ache, constipation, diarrhea, cramps, nausea and acid indigestion.

Left unchecked, stress can lead to serious gastrointestinal issues. Chronic upset and anxiety may also exacerbate pre-existing ailments like celiac and Crohn’s diseases, stomach ulcers and inflammatory bowel disease.

The State Of The Stomach

The ancient Greek physician Hippocrates, known as the father of modern medicine, insisted “all disease comes from the gut.” More than 2,000 years later, scientists and physicians continue to learn more about gastrointestinal health. As they do, it becomes clear just how strong the correlation is between belly and brain.

It should come as little surprise. After all, this connection can be heard throughout our language.

When you’re feeling nervous, you have “butterflies in your stomach.” When something is wrong, you feel it “in your gut” or “in the pit of your stomach.” If you encounter something troubling enough, you may not even “be able to stomach it” at all.

There are some interesting mechanics involved in the mind-gut connection. Strong emotions like fear, sadness and even joy can activate the fight-or-flight response. Adrenaline and other stress hormones flood the body. This distress signal is picked up by nerve endings in the stomach, which can prompt a number of possible physiological changes. These include gastrointestinal contractions, esophageal spasms and stomach inflammation. It can also make us more susceptible to infection.

Fat Chance

In the face of ongoing stress, the metabolism can be seriously weakened. One reason is that in fight-or-flight mode, digestion is suppressed as blood is diverted from the stomach to help us deal with the perceived threat. Stress also causes us to produce cortisol and insulin, hormones that direct the body to store fat rather than build muscle.

“Stress can affect every part of the digestive system,” Dr. Kenneth Koch—medical director of the Digestive Health Center at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center—told EverydayHealth.

How Do You Spell Relief?

If you’re overstressed and your stomach is feeling the wrath, there are steps you can take to improve your situation.

It’s always good to speak with a doctor who can detect if you have any serious stomach ailments. You may also want to go straight to the source and de-stress. If you’re having trouble turning off your anxiety, you may want to see a mental health professional or speak with a therapist.

There are also a number of gentle and mindful activities that can help you unwind. You might practice yoga, meditation and conscious breathing, or spend time in nature. Some people find comfort by journaling or spending time with friends.

Engaging in moderate exercise, both cardio and weight-bearing, is another important way to foster calm. You might schedule regular walks outside or on the treadmill, give water aerobics a try, or commit to something more challenging to burn off mental energy on a regular basis. You can determine which type of physical activity would suit you best, depending on your fitness goals. The Mayo Clinic recommends you exercise for at least 30 minutes a day.

Eating A Balanced Diet Can Do Wonders For Combatting Stress

In times of worry, some people tend to binge-eat, looking for relief in fatty, salty or sugary snacks. This will do nothing but make the symptoms of stress worse, especially in your gut, adding nausea, constipation, and diarrhea to the list. This can also be referred to as “stress-eating,” which will only make matters worse as stress levels continue to rise. There are other foods, though, that offer a mood-stabilizing effect, which is ultimately more salutary than the temporary high—and subsequent crash—derived from junk food.

Stress-busters include:

  • blueberries
  • pistachios
  • dark chocolate
  • milk
  • salmon
  • turkey
  • green, leafy vegetables

It’s news that gives credence to another of Hippocrates favorite sayings: “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”


Kevin Jones has mastered a busy lifestyle with work and fitness combined with family life. He writes offering solutions for personal fitness and time management as well as keeping families fit together by utilizing activities and diet.

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How I Uplevelled My Life With My Passions

By Sibylle

You’re reading How I Uplevelled My Life With My Passions, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’re enjoying this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

archery passion

Doing archery at my club’s range

“If you can’t figure out your purpose, figure out your passion. For your passion will lead you right into your purpose.” -T.D. Jakes

I spent several years of my life as a hermit. Not the cool kind, on a remote island like Luke Skywalker, but an outwardly functioning member of society with an office job. I’d got really good at presenting a normal facade to my co-workers, while I was actually completely isolated.

What nobody knew was that I was paying back a fairly substantial debt by huge installments each month. This left me unable to spend money on pretty much anything other than rent and food. It narrowed my horizon considerably, and I didn’t notice how I was slipping into a constant light depression. I kicked my friends out of my life and told myself I was happy. At the same time, I ate junk food for comfort and convenience and hardly ever moved. I gained weight and grew more tired and listless by the day.

Thankfully, I’ve the best friends in the world, who never gave up on me. When the debt was paid off and I finally found myself ready to return to life, they were there to pick up right where we’d left it and were a huge help when I undertook the laborious task of pulling myself out of my self-chosen isolation.

Disclaimer: This is not one of those articles that claim you just need to “be positive” to get out of depression, or some such idiocy. If you’re depressed, get help from a qualified professional. Just like cancer can sometimes go into remission spontaneously, depression can disappear. It did in my case, but usually, it needs treatment. We clear on that? Okay.

Simplify, simplify

I downsized my life. I quit the soul-destroying job I was in, moved to the country and got a much nicer work-from-home job.

Next, I threw myself into doing things I’d denied myself for years. I travelled to see those friends who live further away, I took up traditional archery and historical swordfighting and started dancing again. It may sound a little hedonistic, but after all the self-denial, seeking joy and passion became a huge part of healing myself.

I found out which foods make me want to go to sleep, and avoided those. Without trying, just by eating gorgeous, whole foods I enjoyed, the extra weight started dropping off, and the more I lost, the more active I became. Before, I’d spent my days sitting down – now I could barely sit still for more than half an hour.

Processing emotions

Pursuing my passions, I proved to myself that I had escaped the numbing bubble of depression. I could feel again, and it was bliss.

Then the other emotions bubbled up. Everything I had suppressed for so long – anger, sadness, feelings of isolation – stirred up like a dark cloud of slick from the bottom of a lake. I painfully remembered the way I hadn’t been there for my best friend when she needed me, the way I’d abused and weakened my body, years and years of utter isolation.

I spent weeks in pitch darkness. There were floods of tears, but at the same time, I was grateful just for feeling again. I vowed I’d never allow myself to suppress my emotions, ever again.

It took some time, but there was no way I could have hurried this. There was a lot of processing all the sadness and the regret over losing years of my precious life-time. Eventually, my life started to settle into a path, albeit a colourful one! I’m a multi-passionate, which means I have lots of different interests.

Oh, I know. “Passion” has become such an overused word for almost anything. I’ve been trying to re-claim the expression to return to what it originally meant: Something which truly lights me up.

Lessons learned from my passions

In fact, I believe I’ve stumbled upon the most foolproof way of finding one’s purpose in life: By giving emotions and the pleasure principle free reign. Here’s what I learned.

  1. I realised that I wasn’t put on this planet to pay bills and die. Of course, theoretically I’d known this all along, but my reality simply didn’t align with this insight. When I finally understood, I began to ask what the main thing in life should be, and the answer was “joy”.
  2. The fastest shortcut to joy that I know of is passion – in the aforementioned definition of “something which truly lights me up”. Finding and pursuing my passions made me overflow with happiness.
  3. The logical conclusion of 1. and 2. is to reverse the accepted priorities of modern life. Most people focus on making a living and performing chores, and their passions get half an hour on a Sunday, if that. In contrast, I began to radically prioritise my passions and put them front and centre in my life.

I believe being joyful is our natural state of being. Once you show the universe that you’re serious about centering your life around joy, the rest tends to fall into place around them.

People often tell me they “don’t have time” for their passion, that they have a job and family and other obligations. Everybody’s situation is individual, of course. However, I haven’t seen a single case where someone didn’t manage to still earn money and have enough – often more – time for their loved ones than before once they dared to focus on what lights them up first.

Make a decision, then get the support you need and create your own life of joy. It’s your birthright.


Sibylle is a joy-seeker and professional Life Coach at http://www.wildspiritscoaching.com who helps clients break out of the tyranny of “work, pay bills, buy things and consume” and instead prioritise doing what lights them up. She lives in the beautiful West of Ireland.

You’ve read How I Uplevelled My Life With My Passions, 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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Money and Spirituality: Why We Have Always Been Wrong About Their Relationship

By Clarisselee

You’re reading Money and Spirituality: Why We Have Always Been Wrong About Their Relationship, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’re enjoying this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

Almost all of us grew up with a skewed perception of money.

We either blame money as the source of all our problems

or we think money is the solution to all our problems.

For those who think that money is the solution to all their problems, you’ve probably heard them enviously complain about how easy rich people have it. The people who disagree are probably lying.

However, as much as it’s easy believe wealthy people cheated their way into success overnight, it is often a false and counterproductive attitude.

What Happens When You’re Not Ready For Money

Some wealthy people inherit their money and a few others win the lottery. Many of us consider them “lucky”; we think they have it easier. While that may be true in some aspects, that doesn’t exclude them from the universal laws of human behavior and consequence.

You and I have seen it in the news or heard stories. If these people are not conscious enough and ready to handle the responsibility of money, the wealth will leave–often in the form of short-lived pleasures which lead to future regrets.

Take for example the 70% of lottery winners who go completely broke within 7 years, or even the wealthy who lose everything they earn because they don’t keep their egos in check.

Growth in relation to confidence.

Money is a form of power or energy. It can be a powerful tool if in the hands of a capable person. If you lack confidence and ability, you won’t be able to wield it. Too confident and you may lose control and do more harm than good.

What does it mean, then, to become a person capable of wielding money well?

It means we must undergo a comprehensive and systematic transformation of ourselves.

Sounds simple, but it is quite difficult in application.

Why Most People Struggle

I will use fitness–specifically weight loss–as an example. It is a great analogy for money issues, because it is a problem that most people struggle with and, coincidentally, also requires the same solution to resolve.

We often think that if we make enough money, we will finally be happy and secure. Our ability to live a wholesome and worry-free life rests solely on how many dollars we make.

That is equivalent to saying becoming fit rests solely on how much broccoli one eats. Yes, eating greens is an important part of becoming healthier. However, that action alone won’t lose you 30lbs or build your stamina.

Becoming wealthy isn’t the result of one action but, rather, a series of habits and mindset changes over time.

Getting and growing money is a side effect of becoming a more developed, capable, and conscious version of you.

Conversely, you won’t become a significantly better or happier person if you are just handed money.

When we change our entire selves, we inevitably change our “financial” selves as well.

The only difference between the current “you” with debt and the financially free “you” is the fact that the latter has taken repeated action, made mistakes, and made progress to transform.

“The master has failed more times than the beginner has even tried.” -Stephen McCranie

How to Win

Here is the formula to getting there:Mindset + Repeated Action + Time = Change of Behavior Over time = Change in Identity

Mindset

It’s cliche because it’s true. All significant and long-term changes are made and sustained by a fundamental shift in mindset. If you don’t think you will earn money because you lack self-belief, you can bet your bottom dollar that you won’t be making many.

Fortunately, in today’s world there are a plethora of resources to help you build an abundant mindset. Here are three pillars of creating a positive abundance mindset:

  • Self-Educate: When you stop learning, you stop growing. Whether it’s motivational YouTube videos, self-help books, online courses, personal financial podcasts, or even starting a meditation practice, everyone has different ways of filling their mind with empowering information and beliefs. Find the ones that work best for you.
  • Surround Yourself With People Who Make You Better: “You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.” You don’t have to stop loving your old friends. However, if you want to grow, it’s best to spend most of your time with people who challenge you to be a better version of yourself.
  • Don’t Neglect Spiritual Growth: One of my favorite Tony Robbins quotes is “Success without fulfillment is the ultimate failure.” There are plenty of rich and famous people who are empty inside. Financial success is great, but fulfillment and love–ironically the two things money can’t buy–are ultimately what validates our experience as human beings. Always check with yourself: are you doing what you’re doing for the right reasons?

Repeated Action

Tom Bilyeu, founder of million-dollar company Quest Nutrition, said “Taking action is the best information stream.” You can contemplate, plan, and procrastinate all day, but there’s no faster way of knowing whether you’re on the right path or not than by doing. Here are things to keep in mind when you’re taking action:

  • Failure and Success Are One: Failure is to success as cream is to pastries. No matter whether the cream is on the outside or the inside, you know your tongue is going to meet that creamy goodness at some point of the pastry-eating process. It’s not a matter of “if” but “when.”
  • Action > Mindset: I am a huge believer in mindset, but action is what physically carves out the path, not your thoughts. More often than not it is by taking action first that you are able to get a reality check on your current mindset and skill set, which then allows you to make the necessary improvements.
  • Once It’s Habit, It’s Effortless: It takes an average of 66 days to create a habit, but once it’s built, it requires no willpower to be kick*ss. If you change your mindset and behavior long enough, you actually become a new person: the better, more capable and confident You 2.0.

Time

In a world where instant gratification is as rampant as low-quality hookups or social media depression, we are tempted to go for the fastest and easiest option even if it doesn’t leave us any happier. Likewise, people who attempt get-rich-quick schemes always return empty handed or even worse off.

Becoming somebody who is truly capable of earning and growing money takes time. It requires building a positive relationship with money, creating the confidence to save and spend well, and developing the courage to try new but necessary things like investing.

It is our loss that society taught us to separate money and personal finance from spirituality and emotions.

Upon deeper analysis, they are simply different sides of the same coin. Money allows us to afford a healthy and wholesome lifestyle; spirituality guides us how to think and act for living a fulfilling life.

Being able to afford educational materials and courses enhances our spirituality, while mastery of our minds allows us to become people who make more money.

Personal finance and personal development: different paths that ultimately lead us to the same destination.

Now, it’s your turn to share.

What is your opinion on the relationship between money and spirituality?

What is your current relationship with money?

— — —

Clarisse Lee has spent the last two years on an avid quest for self-mastery which has allowed her live a life she never imagined: creating art and providing inspiration for others from her home abroad. That’s why she created {Insert Your Greatest Joy}–an email list where she provides weekly resources for creatives, sensitives, and people who want to make money doing what they love most.

Website: https://mailchi.mp/3fd2edda8441/insertyourgreatestjoy

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