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Posts Tagged ‘boosts’


Lately I find it hard to keep my eyes open while studying, and difficult to stop from yawning in the middle of work. How can a girl concentrate on anything while wishing she was snuggled up in bed falling fast asleep? She can’t! It has become clear that I need more energy, so I decided to do a little research to see what I can do to give myself a boost. Here are some of the best tips I came up with – I guarantee you’ve heard some of these before, but some of them, or the ways some of them are meant to be done, were certainly new to me.

  1. Get Enough Sleep
    We’ve all heard this one. The “you need your rest” mantra we hated as kids, but now miss oh so much. Seriously though, get at least 8 hours of sleep a night. You’d be surprised how much it helps.
  2. Eat Breakfast
    Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. Don’t skip it. Even if it’s just grabbing a granola bar as you race out the door, or grabbing an apple or banana from the break room at work. It’ll make a difference to how you get your day going.
  3. Drink Enough Water
    8 glasses a day ladies! 6 of those glasses are supposedly best to drink before 3pm because that’s when your body does most of it’s flushing out of your systems, so re-hydrating will help that process, as well as keep you ready for action AND (this is always a plus) help keep your skin looking great.
  4. Rub/Tug On Your Earlobes
    According to Chinese medicine, stimulating your earlobes also sends stimulation to the rest of your body. It also helps draw blood to your head and gets it flowing. So give your ears a little massage and a few gentle tugs when you’re feeling drowsy.
  5. Stretch
    Sitting around all day is enough to make anyone drowsy. Get up and stretch, let your body get some movement. You’ll notice that you perk up a bit.
  6. Work Out
    Working out releases endorphins, which in turn, release energy into your body. That pumped up feeling you get after working out? That would be those endorphins.
  7. Try Deep Breathing & Meditation
    Deep breathing allows more oxygen to get into your system, giving your body more to work with. Let your stomach inflate as you inhale slowly and deeply through your nose, and deflate as you exhale slowly through your mouth, pushing out the air until you can’t anymore. Meditation and visualization can help bring you to a place where you feel fresher and are ready to tackle anything at hand. Meditation however, does take practice. But don’t give up! I promise you that once you master it, it is well worth it.
  8. Take Power Naps
    No, not hour-long ones. Believe it or not, the perfect power nap lasts only 15-20 minutes. This way, your body only has time to go into the first stage of sleep, rather than going deeper and not having enough time to come out of it properly. Anything over 20 minutes can lead to waking up more exhausted than before. So set that alarm!
  9. Eat Healthy, Balanced Meals
    Making sure to eat healthy and regularly is an important life skill. It helps to nourish your body and get the right nutrients into your system as the day goes on. Choose healthy snacks as well, to ensure that you are getting your energy from the correct places, and also to help you keep up your energy longer.
  10. Play
    Remember how you could run around for hours as a kid? Well that’s because you loved it! Get out daily and play – literally. Do something fun with your kids, your pet, or a friend. Do something you enjoy. Make time for you to have some fun.
  11. Re-evaluate Your Relationships
    Relationships can easily drain you of your energy. If you constantly have to argue with someone, work hard at keeping up a relationship, or give and not get anything back, you need to take a long hard look at those relationships. There’s a fine line between putting in the effort, and being taken advantage of or being worn down. Be careful.
  12. Take Your Vitamins 
    Taking a vitamin supplement can help boost your energy (whether you have a vitamin deficiency or not) and make you healthier overall.

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This morning on my way to school I was exhausted, to say the least. I needed a boost, some energy, a revival of some sort. But what…? As I drove on I got to thinking and it hit me:

We all have those mornings where we can barely drag ourselves out of bed, or the afternoons where all we want to do is collapse when there is still a million things to be done. And I know that we all have those moments in our lives where we’re feeling down, or tired, or just plain worn out in general. Well I have the perfect pick-me-up for that!

Rules: This can be done alone or with any number of friends or family members – in a car, kitchen, park, room – just about anywhere safe – BUT the key is to ONLY do it in an environment in which YOU are COMPLETELY COMFORTABLE.

Step 1: Find your favorite song.

Step 2: Find a music player of some sort.

Step 3: Turn volume up high – preferably loud enough to where you can’t hear yourself sing, or you can only hear your voice in sync with the singer(s). (This may best be done once the music has started to avoid hurting your ears.

Step 4: Sing your heart out. And I mean it. Sing loud, sing from your stomach, sing with feeling and passion and give it all you’ve got.

Step 5: If you feel like it, dance.

Step 6: Continue to rock out until your mood has improved. :)

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By Stephanie Schorow, Special to Lifescript
Published March 03, 2010

It’s 4 p.m. and you’ve hit the wall. You can’t concentrate and your zip is zapped. But hold off on that Snickers fix. Find out what’s draining your energy and learn how to put more pep in your step…

You haven’t been getting enough sleep lately, but could that be all that’s zapping your energy?

Constant weariness may stem from more than a few late-night parties. Some culprits? Disease or heavy bleeding, for example. Or it could be your couch-potato habits and poor diet.

Whatever its cause, ongoing fatigue can leave you vulnerable to infections, according to a Carnegie Mellon University study published in 2009 in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Of 153 healthy men and women aged 21-55, those who got less than seven hours of sleep were almost three times more likely to catch a cold than those who slept eight hours or more.

But fatigue isn’t just triggered by physical causes, says Lilian Cheung, R.D., a Harvard University lecturer and director of health promotion and communication at the Harvard School of Public Health’s Department of Nutrition. It’s mental too.

Being stressed out or working too hard – even thinking too much – saps energy levels, she says. “The mind needs to rest.”

Sometimes an underlying medical condition – diabetes, chronic fatigue syndrome, lupus, fibromyalgia – drains your get-up-and-go and you’ll need a doctor’s help to treat or manage symptoms.

But we can be our own energy-sapping enemies. Here are 8 ways you may be depleting your pep. Plus, learn new ways to get from slow to go:

Energy Zapper #1: A sugar- and fat-filled breakfast
Mom always told you to eat breakfast. But wolfing down a bagel or muffin as you sprint out the door isn’t the nutrition she had in mind.

That carbohydrate-rich meal tastes great, but you’ll be crashing in a few hours.

Sugar-and-starch combos boost energy temporarily because of the way our bodies process glucose (sugar), says Stuart Fischer, M.D., founder of the Park Avenue Diet and author of Dr. Fischer’s Little Book of Big Medical Emergencies.

Eating stimulates the pancreas to release the hormone insulin, which helps glucose enter your cells and gives you an energy burst.

A typical sugar-loaded breakfast puts too much glucose too quickly into the bloodstream. The cells can’t absorb it all, so excess glucose is converted to the molecule glycogen, which is stored in the liver and muscle tissue. That’s when blood sugar levels drop and you start to drag.

If glucose levels drop too much, “your brain can get a little fuzzy,” Cheung says. “Some people have trouble concentrating.”

Re-energize: Start the day with whole grains and/or lean protein, which take longer to convert into glucose and can sustain energy levels for longer periods.

Fisher’s breakfast Rx? A bowl of oatmeal or two boiled or poached eggs with tomato and lettuce.

Energy Zapper #2: Not exercising
Too tired to work out? Whatever you do, don’t skip it. Exercise will put spring back in your step.

People who regularly complained of fatigue increased energy levels by 20% with regular, low-intensity exercise, according to a 2008 University of Georgia study.

You don’t have to run marathons either. The study found that those who did low-intensity exercises, such as walking, cut fatigue levels more than those who ran or did high-impact aerobics.

Re-energize: Exercise every day, even for as little as 10 minutes.

If you’re in a time crunch, just “take a walk around the hallway,” Cheung says.

If possible, work out first thing in the morning, Fischer says. “It can be as stimulating as an espresso [for] waking you up.”

If you’re drooping after lunch, take a 10- to 20-minute walk. Even just standing up while working instead of sitting in front of a computer helps loosen the body.

“That’s why I love the speakerphone,” Cheung says. “I don’t have to hold it or bend my neck in a way that drains me.”

Energy Zapper #3: The bottomless coffee cup
Heading to the java joint around the corner for your fifth cup of the day? Not only will the caffeine keep you tossing all night, it also does a number on your hormones. Coffee stimulates production of adrenaline and cortisol, two hormones that increase alertness.

But that effect doesn’t last, so you pour another mugful. Trouble is, after the third cup, the caffeine stops working. “It’s like squeezing a sponge,” Fischer says. After a while, you only get a few drops.

People who keep chugging cups throughout the day may over-stimulate adrenaline production. That stresses and slows the adrenaline gland, causing hormone depletion, Fischer says.

Re-energize: Cut back – but don’t necessarily give up – coffee. One to three cups a day may make you sharper, Cheung says, noting studies have shown that java improves cognitive function in the elderly.

Researchers found that midlife coffee drinkers had a lower risk for dementia and Alzheimer’s as they age compared to those drinking little or no coffee, according to a long-term Finnish study published in 2009 in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.

Check out 9 Caffeine Myths Explained.

Energy Zapper #4: Carb-loaded snacks
It’s 4 p.m. and you need a wake-up call. A trip to the snack-room vending machine might perk you up, right? Wrong that’s where you get burned.

“A candy bar actually depletes [energy] in the long term,” Fischer says.

Remember what happened with your sugar-coated breakfast? Candy, too, provides the boost but it’s quickly followed by a slump. So goes for high-energy drinks, such as Red Bull.

Energy drinks are particularly bad for overweight people “like poison,” Fischer says.

Obese people are already overproducing insulin from the excess sugars they consume. A candy bar sends another huge jolt of sugar into their systems, he says.

Eventually it leads to insulin resistance, a condition in which the body produces but does not process insulin correctly, and type 2 diabetes.

Watch out for “healthy” juices too, because they’re often loaded with sugar, Cheung says. About 12 ounces of orange juice has 10 spoonfuls of sugar – the same as in 12 ounces of cola.

Re-energize: Choose high-fiber or protein snacks, like a slice of turkey wrapped around a carrot stick or celery stalk, Fischer says.

For a refreshing low-sugar sip, drink seltzer water with a splash of juice, Cheung advises.

Edamame (green soy beans) are an excellent source of soy and protein – and healthy for women because they contain phyto-estrogen, a plant-based form of the hormone, Fischer says. Microwave them for a quick snack.

Nuts, such as pistachios, raw almonds and walnuts, are another energy-booster.

“I love nuts,” says Keri Glassman, R.D., author of The O2 Diet. “They’re filled with antioxidants and have fiber, healthy fat and protein.”

An added bonus: They keep your ticker healthy. People who ate nuts several times a week reduced their risk of heart attack, sudden cardiac death or cardiovascular disease by 30%-50%, according to three recent studies.

Just don’t mindlessly munch handfuls all day because nuts are high in calories. If you’re on a diet, practice portion control – an ounce or so a day, Cheung says.

Energy Zapper #5: You’re not getting enough magnesium
Nodding off at your desk? Sleepiness and muscle weakness are symptoms of magnesium deficiency.

Many Americans consume less magnesium than the recommended amounts. “The good news is that it’s widely available” in a lot of foods, says Jill Weisenberger, R.D., C.D.E, Lifescript’s Nutritionist.

The mineral is crucial to keep your body functioning – it plays a role in more than 300 of its biochemical reactions, according to the National Institutes of Health. It maintains muscle and nerve functions, keeps the heart ticking steadily and your immune system strong and promotes bone strength.

Plus, “blood pressure creeps up as we age and diets rich in magnesium help keep it in check,” Weisenberger says.

Certain drugs, such as some diuretics (Lasix, Bumex and hydrochlorothiazide) and antibiotics (Gentamicin, tetracycline and Amphotericin), can cause a magnesium deficiency. So can some disorders, such as Crohn’s disease, a serious chronic inflammation of the intestines, and poorly controlled diabetes.

Re-energize: Head for the salad bar: Dark-green leafy vegetables, such as spinach, are the best source of magnesium. Same goes for certain fish, like halibut, which has 90 milligrams (mg) in a 3-ounce serving.

“Eat a variety of whole grains, nuts, beans like pintos and kidney beans and dark-green vegetables,” Weisenberger says.

Women need 310-320 mg of magnesium a day – more if you’re pregnant (350-400 mg) or breastfeeding (310-360 mg). You can take supplements, but first get your doctor’s OK.

Energy Zapper #6: Heavy periods
Do you drag during heavy menstrual periods? You could have iron-deficiency anemia, a condition where you don’t have enough iron in your blood. The mineral is crucial to making hemoglobin, the protein in red blood cells which carries oxygen throughout the body.

Women are particularly susceptible to iron-deficiency anemia because of heavy bleeding, long periods and uterine fibroids. Tiredness is one hallmark; other symptoms include shortness of breath, dizziness and weakness.

“Anemia from a heavy period produces fatigue that can’t be helped by exercise, coffee or anything else,” Fischer says. “It’s as if the person isn’t breathing as much.”

Re-energize: Women need 18 mg of iron a day; less (8 mg) if you’re 51 and older.

See a doctor for a blood test to diagnose anemia. Don’t take iron supplements on your own, Fischer warns, because the supplements can cause upset stomach, constipation and other digestive problems.

Plus, it’s best to get the mineral from iron-rich foods, including clams, organ meats, eggs, green leafy vegetables, dried beans and legumes.

Energy Zapper #7: Not enough zzz’s
It almost goes without saying: If you don’t get enough sleep, you’ll be tired – and gain weight. Too many late nights spark cravings for sweets and high-carb treats, Fischer says.

Re-energize: Women need at least 7-9 hours of sleep a night. If you’re not getting that, take short “power naps” of 10-20 minutes if you can, Glassman says.

Or meditate for 10-15 minutes to clear your mind and refresh your body.

It’s like rebooting your brain, just like you do with your computer, says Hawaii-based psychologist Matthew B. James, Ph.D. The goal is to ease your brain temporarily from an active beta wave state to an alpha wave state, the state that precedes sleep.

His suggested meditation:

Step 1: Stare out the window or at a pleasant picture and slow down your thoughts.

Step 2: Take long breaths through your nose and out your mouth with a “ha” sound.

It doesn’t have to take much time. You can meditate anywhere and almost any time, says Cheung, who has written the soon-to-be-published book Savor – Mindful Eating, Mindful Life with Buddhist master Thich Nhat Hahn.

“People think you meditate only on a cushion,” she says. “You can be standing in an airport security line.”

Energy Zapper #8: Stress
The brain doesn’t distinguish between the anxiety of being late for work or being chased by a saber-tooth tiger. Either way, our “fight-or-flight” system releases hormones, including adrenaline, to give us a burst of speed or action.

But unless you’re actually running from a huge hungry cat, the hormones build up in your body and eventually wear you out. It may be in your head, but psychological stress can cause physical problems such as lower energy levels, chronic pain, digestive problems and illnesses like heart disease and diabetes.

Re-energize: There’s one stress management tool that women carry with them everywhere, Cheung says: Their breath.

“All they need to do is focus on the breath, following their ‘in breath’ and their ‘out breath,’ ” Cheung says.

Even simpler? Just smile, she says. This relaxes facial muscles and releases tension.

Are You A Stress Case?
Jobs, bosses, colleagues, family, money, and time… stress creeps into life from all angles. Do you ever wonder if you’re a stress case? Take this stress quiz to find out.

Check out Health Bistro for more healthy food for thought. See what Lifescript editors are talking about and get the skinny on latest news. Share it with your friends (it’s free to sign up!), and bookmark it so you don’t miss a single juicy post!

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One of the biggest secrets to achieving what you want in life is letting go of certain destructive thoughts so ingrained, you don’t realize they’re in your head.

By Colleen Rush

source: www.cosmopolitan.com

It’s normal to have doubts in life. Things don’t always pan out, and you are bound to make mistakes in, say, love or a job interview . But there’s a problem with regularly assuming the worst outcome. Out of ego protection or a dip in self-assurance, you prepare for possible failure and, thus, inadvertently sabotage your chances.

How do you get out of this rut? You need to become cognizant of any pessimistic phrases you habitually feed yourself and switch your thinking to make it more cooperative with your ambitions. Kind of faking optimism. Here, six harmful thoughts and the instant trick to boost your confidence.

DESTRUCTIVE THOUGHT #1: “I’m Not a People Person.”

Many chicks resort to this spin to explain why they don’t effortlessly attract tons of attention at parties or keep people spellbound with witty conversation. But for the most part, it’s just an escape clause to avoid the awkwardness almost everyone feels when it comes to chatting and mingling.

“By ascribing it to your personality, you convince yourself that it’s something you can’t change and it isn’t your fault that you’re not a social butterfly,” explains life coach Judith Wright, author of The One Decision.

But the more you repeat this to yourself, the more it causes your social life to fester…leaving you less likely to connect with potential dates and pals. And this reinforces the idea that you’re just not good with people, trapping you in a negative cycle.

Mental flip: First, understand that pretty much everyone gets anxious when it comes to striking up conversations with strangers. Once you realize that this is very common, you won’t be so hard on yourself if you don’t leave an event with a bunch of new phone numbers, says Wright. Then redefine people person so that the new definition more realistically reflects your personality. For example, you might not be a natural party girl who meets dozens of guys or career contacts at every function, but you may be someone who’s really good at connecting with one or two interesting men or a potential boss.

“This is a much more positive way of thinking, so you’re more likely to succeed,” says Wright.

DESTRUCTIVE THOUGHT #2: “If I Get Too Excited, I’ll Jinx Things.”

By some strange act of mental voodoo, you truly believe you’ll ruin a career move, a date with a new dude, or other awesome event by getting keyed up about it. “It’s a protective move: The only way not to be disappointed if things don’t work out is to keep your excitement muffled,” explains Lisa Firestone, PhD, coauthor of Conquer Your Critical Inner Voice.

Problem is, when you stifle your enthusiasm, you’re subconsciously telling yourself that you don’t expect a happy ending…which affects your drive and, thus, becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Also, others are likely to be influenced by your underlying negativity — say you’re going for a promotion but your boss senses a lack of passion, so you may not land the gig.

Mental flip: While it’s wise not to get so wound up that you put all of your eggs in one basket, you’ll increase your odds of success if you let yourself fully feel your excitement, says Firestone. In other words, daydream about that new guy becoming your boyfriend…but hold off on assuming he’s The One.

“When you allow yourself to imagine good things, the exhilaration fuels you and improves your chances of success,” says Firestone. “Even if things fail, your excitement makes you feel more alive and up for another try.”

DESTRUCTIVE THOUGHT #3: “I Hope I Don’t Make Anyone Uncomfortable.”

Often a chick will be so afraid of upsetting or imposing on another person that she never stretches her boundaries and makes waves in the world.

“When you become fearful of inconveniencing or offending others, it locks you in place,” says Wright. A few examples: not going after a guy you like be cause a buddy has a crush on him or never coming clean to your parents that you’d rather skip the home-for-the- holidays ritual this year in favor of a dream vacation to Hawaii.

Mental flip: Next time you find yourself worrying how something you want will affect others, ask yourself: This might make someone uncomfortable, but is their discomfort a valid reason for me not to go for what I want? As long as you’re not lying, cheating, or carelessly causing someone pain, you owe it to yourself to pursue your goals.

“Start to truly believe that it isn’t necessarily your problem if someone else becomes upset,” says Wright. You don’t want to be a thoughtless jerk, but you can’t always put other people’s happiness before your own.

DESTRUCTIVE THOUGHT #4: “I’m in Way Over My Head.”

When life gets tough — like if you have started a new job and are sweating under the pressure — it’s a common knee-jerk reaction to conclude that you don’t have what it takes to deal.

“Many women view a challenge as something that magnifies their flaws, and they withdraw rather than fight because they don’t want to look foolish or incompetent,” says Wright. The result: When you reflexively think that you can’t handle something, you never find out what you’re truly capable of.

Mental flip: Whenever you encounter this kind of difficulty, don’t look at it as an automatic roadblock but rather as an opportunity to prove yourself. Get your mojo pumping by imagining how amazing you’ll feel after you successfully tackle the job. “Visualize yourself after the pressure is over, when you’re satisfied and proud of what you’ve accomplished,” says Wright.

Another way to change your thinking is to pretend that the little voice telling you that you aren’t up for the challenge is coming from someone who wants to see you falter, like a nasty coworker or ex-friend. “This is a great motivator in pushing you out of a comfort zone because you’ll show that voice that it’s wrong,” says Wright.

DESTRUCTIVE THOUGHT #5: “They Know I Want It, So They’ll Come to Me.”

This is what you tell yourself when you’re waiting for your boss to offer you a raise or for your guy to bring you flowers for no reason. “It’s a way of avoiding speaking up for yourself or asking for what you want,” explains Dan Neuharth, PhD, author of Secrets You Keep from Yourself.

So why do so many women think this way? Maybe you have a sense of entitlement — you believe that you deserve the raise and, therefore, shouldn’t have to ask. Or perhaps you think asking for it sucks the integrity out of getting what you want. So when you’re bypassed for the job or your guy brings home a six-pack instead of a dozen roses, you get angry or annoyed.

Mental flip: Consider this: The temporary discomfort of asking for what you want is way less painful than not getting it. “If you want something badly enough, the rewards of speaking up outweigh any awkwardness,” says Neuharth.

Doing this also puts you in charge of your own happiness so you don’t end up waiting around for someone else to make things happen for you…nor are you sitting around assuming that people can read your mind. “Your unspoken expectations may not be on the other person’s radar at all,” says Neuharth. “It’s perfectly okay to remind them.”

DESTRUCTIVE THOUGHT #6: “It’ll Happen if It’s Meant to Be.”

This mantra makes you think that cosmic forces will miraculously drop opportunities in your lap…without your having to do any heavy lifting. “By convincing yourself something is out of your control, what you’re really saying is that you’re afraid to make the first move,” says Wright. So when a job opening you hear about through the grapevine doesn’t seem to materialize or the fabulous apartment you applied for goes to someone else, you conclude that it wasn’t in the cards.

Mental flip: You can affect fate…by taking action. Often it’s a matter of making a few tiny moves to get the ball rolling. “One or two small steps give you momentum to take others until you’ve made progress achieving your goal,” says Firestone.

If you follow up on the job lead or dial up the landlord of the apartment you’re after and make it clear that you’re the right person to sign the lease, at least you’ll be able to take credit for your success, says Firestone, instead of leaving it to slippery concepts like karma or luck.

Why Being Overly Confident Isn’t Smart Either
These rah-rah statements actually undermine your goals.

  • “It’s my destiny.”Thinking that you’re fated to do something makes you forgo the work it really takes.
  • “I’ve been waiting for this my whole life.” Pinning your hopes on one scenario can be devastating if it fails.
  • “I’m a natural at it.” When your “natural” gift backfires on you, it’s a major blow to your self-esteem.
  • “There’s nothing to worry about.” If you believe this, then you’re practically asking to be blindsided.

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