“You have power over your mind - not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.”
― Marcus Aurelius
Practiced consistently "mindfulness brings about long-term changes in mood and levels of happiness and well-being. Scientific studies have shown that mindfulness not only prevents depression but that it also positively affects the brain patterns underlying day-to-day anxiety, stress, depression, and irritability so that when they arise, they dissolve away again more easily. Other studies have shown that regular meditators see their doctors less often and spend fewer days in the hospital. Memory improves, creativity increases and reaction times become faster." (source)
This important paper goes more in-depth on mindfulness, meditation, and their importance in mental health.
“If you are in a bad mood go for a walk. If you are still in a bad mood go for another walk.” ― Hippocrates
If the neurobiological benefits of regular physical activity were able to be derived from a pill, it would be one of the most profitable and essential drugs ever made. Something with such a sweeping list of benefits would be absolutely priceless. Well, for 30 minutes of your time a day you can experience those benefits. And that time can even be entertaining. No side effects either, although many people who have tried it reported looking much better and receiving more compliments.
We now know that the benefits of physical exercise are not just limited to your musculoskeletal system. Essentially every major biological system in your body, from your immune system to your circulatory system, is affected positively by regular physical activity. And affected above all is that most precious organ of all—the brain.
Here’s the deal: we must stop just imagining exercise as something we need to do to lose weight, and start viewing it at as something we need to do to gain access to the full potential of our mind, resulting in a longer, healthier, and happier life. When we start viewing it in that perspective and internalize that sentiment, it just might be easier to get yourself to add more physical activity to your life.
“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well." ― Virginia Woolf
Is losing weight your main priority?
Losing weight is mostly about managing your diet. While exercise is vitally important (and can help you maintain a healthy weight), substantial weight loss will only come with long-term dietary changes. Most people vastly overestimate the calories they burn when they exercise and underestimate the calories in the food they eat. For instance, eating three Oreo cookies (210 calories total), which would at most give you only two minutes of pleasure, can wipe out the energy expended in a 40-minute jog, which is usually much harder to do for people who are overweight. So start with diet to lose weight, and complement it with exercise to have a healthy mind and body. (source) (source)
Dietary advice is most effective when it considers your specific circumstances (age, weight, lifestyle, etc). Some people also need structure and like to be told exactly what steps to follow. Those that do may benefit greatly from the Guidance section of the site which takes exactly that into account.
“I love sleep. My life has the tendency to fall apart when I'm awake, you know?” ― Ernest Hemingway
Having a hard time eating healthier? Poor sleep habits might be to blame.
Numerous studies have shown the link between improper sleep and poor dietary choices. Not only does sleep deprivation interfere with "hunger and satiety hormones crucial to regulating appetite" but since it also affects impulse control, you are bound to have less self-control when deciding what to eat. You have probably already unintentionally tested this if you've ever had a late night out with some heavy drinking (which absolutely impairs healthy sleep despite knocking you out). The next day you will likely be craving some real comfort food, like pizza. (source)
Unfortunately, it goes the other way too―poor food choices can lead to improper sleep. People who are overweight are even more at risk, as that can lead to sleep apnea. This can all lead to a cruel cycle where it becomes harder and harder to have real control over your eating and sleeping habits. (source)
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