Tuesday, April 19, 2011

10 tips to feeling happier now

Are you happy? It’s such an important question that British Prime Minister David Cameron recently created a national happiness index to check on how Brits feel. Even Facebook is measuring the Gross National Happiness of its members.

We’re asking because happiness has a huge impact on your health, from your arteries to your heart, from the glow in your skin to the pep in your step.

Happy feelings influence your brain and body chemistry in ways that make you better able to cope with pain and stress, and to fend off colds, flu, heart disease, even cancer. The effects of happiness on your health can be even bigger than the effect of quitting smoking. If you’re happy, you’ll likely live longer and definitely live younger!

And here’s the thing: Being happy isn’t just luck. You can make yourself happier, day in, day out. Here are 10 ways to get started:

1. Listen to music. Whether you love Bach or the Beastie Boys, music that makes you feel good increases your heart and breathing rates, and makes your brain release dopamine, a lovely feel-good neurotransmitter.

2. Hang out with upbeat friends. Your chances of happiness increase by 15 per cent if someone in your immediate social circle is happy.

3. Take a joy break. Don’t worry if you’re among the 80 per cent who say their job doesn’t thrill them. Even a few minutes of doing something you love (singing, hiking, watching a sunset) can reduce anxiety and improve your mood.

4. Talk nice to yourself. Is your inner voice quick to snap out things like: “How could you forget that, you idiot?” Trade put-downs for encouraging words; you can do this. They set you up for success.

5. Connect. Talk, really talk, to people you care about; connecting is good for you both. Get physical, too: Hugs stimulate oxytocin, the “cuddle hormone,” giving you a feel-good boost. Lovemaking does, too, in steady relationships (those couples report the highest happiness levels).

6. Keep a gratitude journal. Simply writing down what you’re thankful for makes you healthier and more optimistic.

7. Don’t sit around. Physical activity is a significant happiness booster. Get moving for 30 minutes a day.

8. Meditate. We do. It eases stress, improves sleep, strengthens immunity and measurably increases happiness (in one study, by 20 points on a scale of 100).

9. Help others. Volunteer at a soup kitchen, hospital or shelter. Giving back adds more meaning, which is essential to happiness in your life.

10. Go outside. Spending time with Mother Nature makes you feel alert, enthusiastic, full of energy and, simply, happy.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Faster Weight Loss Through Speeding Up Your Metabolism?

Tips on How to Increase your Metabolism for Better Weight Loss The internet abounds in resources on how to lose weight. Sleeping has nothing to do with weight loss. Staying awake at night is the last thing you should do if you’re trying to lose weight. Just because you’re not moving when you’re asleep, it doesn’t mean that you’re putting on weight. However, studies have shown that making sure you get a good night’s sleep every night weighed about five pounds less than those who did not. This is because staying up late at night every night or even most nights can actually slow down your metabolism. This gets in the way of your body being able to use your food for energy, so it ends up getting stored as fat.

High levels of stress can affect your thyroid gland that keeps your hormone levels where they should be.

With a slow metabolism you can gain weight and even be depressed. By relaxing and doing activities you enjoy, you will keep your weight at a healthy level. So many of us are in such a rush in the morning, that we forget to eat breakfast and many of us think that it is only extra calories anyway. A healthy breakfast will speed up your body’s system of processing food and it will also boost your much-needed energy for the day. Some people find breakfast foods unappetizing, or they’re in a hurry and skip breakfast altogether; this could be okay. An hour after waking up and not later, eat something healthy, though. This will help you to have better weight loss results and be happier as well. In your workplace, try to move around a lot if it’s possible; shake a leg, too, instead of sitting at your desk the whole day.

This will not only help you shed off some pounds, keep fresh blood pumping to your heart, but keep you in good health as well. A good practice is to take a walk on your lunch break and get up from your desk every hour or so, and stretch a few times as you take deep breaths. We feel pressured and harassed in the modern world we live in that we don’t seem to have time for taking care of ourselves. Here I have presented you with some simple tips on habits that can increase your metabolism rate in order to lose weight. These are no-sweat tips not only on how to shed off unwanted pounds but also promote a happier and healthier lifestyle for you. Always bear in mind that your weight has a lot to do with your general health.

Weight loss can be as simple as increasing your metabolism rate.