Scientists argue that a few hours of silence dramatically help to the rejuvenation of brain cells just the way sleep does.

From the old times, people who appreciated silence a little more than the ordinary were confronted by their social community with suspicion or “burdened” with the label of “monotonous” and “peculiar”. Now, however, it is time for the supporters of silence and generally all those who don’t appreciate the bustle, the noisy spaces, and the endless talking, to celebrate.

But, let’s get things right: in 2011 the Finnish Ministry of Tourism launched a campaign that used silence as an exportable product(!). This campaign called for tourists to visit Finland and discover the healing properties and beauty of the tranquil landscapes of the country.

In fact, they had gone on to publish promotional material, in particular, a series of wonderful photos that their main slogan was “Quiet, please” and was accompanied by a few more words: “No more talk, actions!”

Eva Kiviranta, who manages the social media of VisitFinland.com, said:

We decided, instead of saying that it’s really empty and really quiet and nobody is talking about anything here, let’s embrace it and make it a good thing.

Probably, she ignored a scientific project that was conducted on the beneficial properties of silence.

How Silence Benefits the Brain?

In particular, on the basis of studies carried out from 2013 until today at Oregon and Duke universities, both in newborn mice and humans, it has been found that two minutes of absolute silence benefits the brain; it can be as relaxing as if we were sleeping for 15 minutes or if we listened to our favorite music for 5 minutes.

The study titled Brain, Structure and Function revealed a truly amazing finding: 2 hours of absolute silence were enough to create new cells in the hippocampus, the brain region involved in the transfer of information from short-term memory to long-term and to better containment of this information.

In this sense, scientists have argued that silence helps in the development and proper functioning of our brain. They explain that noise and talking affect the functioning of our brain, causing it to produce high levels of stress hormones.

Sound waves affect the brain, which perceives them even when we sleep. So, either by looking for a two-hour pause in the day or by sleeping in a completely quiet environment, you will benefit your brain.

H/T: LIFO

References:

Looking for ways to reduce stress? Why not engaging in a hobby?

Stress is an unavoidable part of daily life for adults. Whether stress arises from work, finances, or relationships, it can be detrimental to your emotional and physical health. There are many ways to reduce stress, but studies show engaging in hobbies has a consistent and lasting effect on stress levels.

The Importance of Entertainment

The Mayo Clinic recognizes stress as a factor in many physical and mental ailments. While some concerns, such as a headache, are temporary, stress can also play a part in long-term concerns like heart disease. Finding ways to reduce stress can also reduce health issues.

2007 study from Indiana University stated: “leisure can help people to successfully manage their stress, thereby preventing illness.” Continued research has increased the understanding of the roles that hobbies can play in health. Study results published in The Society of Behavioral Medicine showed that participants reported feeling less stress and experienced a lower heart rate while engaging in a variety of leisure activities. Those health benefits continued for about an hour after each activity concluded. The study also showed that the stress-reduction benefits of recreation can be achieved whether you have fun with others or on your own – whatever form your downtime activity takes, you can enjoy less stress.

Engaging Mindfulness

Mindfulness is the practice of focusing on the present time and your current actions, without allowing your mind to wander to the past or the future. Mindfulness has been linked to a multitude of positive mental, physical, and social health effects, with even the American Psychological Association touting its benefits. Stressful thoughts, such as worrying about a problem at work, can be cleared away by mindful focus.

Engaging mindfulness practices can be done at any time, as they don’t require any equipment or money. Although it takes practice to have a successful mindfulness experience, getting started is easy. Visual Meditation has a great video to help you to increase mindfulness.

Find the Right Hobby

A successful hobby is one you enjoy. Each person’s tastes and talents will affect the hobbies they can enjoy. Forcing yourself to participate in an activity you don’t enjoy can have the opposite of the desired stress-releasing effects.

Here are some ideas to help you discover the hobby that is right for you:

1. Stamp Collecting

Stamp collecting is a hobby that anyone can enjoy. There is almost no physical activity, making it great for all ages and ability levels. The cost to begin collecting is very low, there is very little special equipment required, and the weather has no effect on this hobby. The American Philatelic Society has all of the information required to start your own collection.

2. Knitting

Over the last decades, knitting has seen a resurgence in popularity. Many people are taking up needles and creating blankets, clothes, kitchen materials, and more. With so much demand for the craft, stores that carry knitting supplies, like Jo-Ann Fabrics, offer classes for beginners and more skilled crafters. Not only do these classes make learning easier, they’re a great way to make new friends. If you don’t feel like taking a class, YouTube has numerous tutorials to get you started.

3. Running

Exercise has been repeatedly shown to reduce stress, and it has the added benefit of helping you stay in shape. It may seem daunting to begin running, but apps like Couch to 5K can help you get started in a healthy and effective way.

4. Gardening

Gardening is often seen as an outdoor activity. You don’t need to own a home or even have a plot of land to have a green thumb! Plenty of plants can be grown indoors. Herbs, flowers, and small selections of fruits and vegetables can easily be grown in window boxes or indoor pots, and in the case of herbs or produce, your hobby can supply you with both relaxation and a meal.

5. Reading

Books can transport the reader to another world, away from their daily stressors. With the innumerable genres and authors to choose from, everyone can find a book they enjoy. Bookstore employees are quick to make suggestions for good books, and e-readers make nearly any book available in a manner of seconds. Reading can also be a free hobby thanks to public libraries; just be sure to return your books on time to avoid late fees.

Stress Release for Everyone

Hobbies are a simple way to reduce occasional and chronic stress. Whether you choose to participate in a solo hobby or get together with a group of friends, there are plenty of different pastimes for you to try out. Finding a hobby you enjoy and combining it with the practice of mindfulness will reduce stress, clear your mind, and have lasting effects on physical and mental health.

About the author:

Elliott Garrick is a passionate blogger and crafts addict. In her spare time, she likes to collect stamps and turn them into beautiful art. She is also a regular contributor to PostageStamps101.com.

10 natural ways to increase dopamine levels in the brain.

Did you know that we have chemicals in our brain that make us feel good? One of the most important is Dopamine (also known as the ‘feel good chemical’). Having reduced levels of dopamine can lead to adverse effects like depression and negativity.

But don’t worry, there are natural ways to increase your dopamine so you can experience a more constant level of happiness. Best of all, the following techniques don’t involve medications.

1. Exercise

Exercise can boost your levels of endorphins, serotonin and dopamine, which will not only strengthen your muscles, but will help reduce your stress. The best bit? It works with any kind of exercise – just as long as you get moving!

2. Avoid Addictions

While addictions may provide an instant boost of pleasure, it isn’t long-lasting. What eventually happens is that your base levels of dopamine will actually decrease and you will need your addiction more often. Therefore, it can be beneficial to avoid addictions and focus on things that give you calm and peace.

3. Detoxification

Toxins and unhealthy bacteria can halt your body producing dopamine, so make sure to consistently detoxify your body.

4. Increase Tyrosine

This amino acid is one of the most important for the production of dopamine. Make sure to consume almonds, bananas, dark chocolate and green tea.

5. Music

Music actually increases your feel good chemicals, so make sure to regularly listen to music you enjoy.

6. Organize your life

When you complete a goal, dopamine levels are increased. Therefore, write down your tasks, even small ones, and tick them off once you complete them. Every time you finish a task, you’ll experience a small rush of dopamine for completing your goal.

7. Creativity

Being creative releases dopamine. The great thing is creativity can be found in a whole range of tasks from writng to singing to dancing.

8. Get a streak going

This is a visual display of the number of times you achieve something. Again, by displaying things you achieve, your brain will recognize that you’re completing goals which will increase dopamine.

9. Supplementation

These are the supplements that can boost dopamine levels:

  • Curcumin – found in turmeric
  • Ginkgo Biloba
  • Acetl-l-tyrosine
  • L-theanine, which is found in green tea

10. Meditation

This works differently compared to exercise. It will make you more calm and relaxed, which will enable you to reduce stress.

Credits: This article was originally created and published by Truth Inside Of You and re-posted here with permission.

References:

Worrying is an unnecessary evil when it comes to your mental health.

Some consider it simply a bad habit that can be unlearned with practice. Some think that worrying may serve a purpose for the brain by helping us to learn from past experiences and prepare for new ones. Whether good or bad, worrying occupies our brain by focusing on an uncertain future that we can’t control.

It is said that depression is focusing on past events that you wish you could change, and that worrying is focusing on future events that you have no control over. It could also be said about worrying that you only think you have no control over the future when you can actually choose to take action to help prepare for whatever it is you are worried about. In this article, we will look at active ways that can help you train your brain to stop worrying.

How to train your brain to stop worrying:

1. Stop your brain from worrying by writing it down

When you are training your brain to stop worrying, this one technique is said to be the most valuable. If your brain is keeping you up at night by thinking about something, put it down on paper or electronic format. Doing so lets your brain breathe a mental sigh of relief by no longer having to spend energy trying to remember these details. If you’re worrying about what to serve for a gathering of friends, write down ‘What to serve?’

Writing it down also is a way for you to put your brain on notice and tell your brain ‘This is important enough to write down.’ Your brain has now been alerted to put resources toward solving this problem rather than being worried or having to remember the important thing to worry about.

Why write it down? Researchers now have evidence that chronic worriers may be chronic problem avoiders too. Scientists in the journal Anxiety, Stress & Coping gave worriers an opportunity to write down three possible outcomes for the situation they were worried about, then they analyzed their answers for practical solutions. The scientists say

When participants’ problem elaborations were rated for concreteness, both studies showed an inverse relationship between degree of worry and concreteness: The more participants worried about a given topic, the less concrete was the content of their elaboration. The results challenge the view that worry may promote better problem analyses. Instead, they conform to the view that worry is a cognitive avoidance response.

2. Meditate for a worry free brain

Meditation can help train your brain to stop worrying. Researchers in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine studied the effects of meditation and found that meditation is particularly good for reducing cognitive anxiety, or worrying. Although some people believe that they do not have time to meditate, meditation is as easy as choosing to close your eyes right now for 30 seconds or longer. The act of choosing to tune out other sources of stress is an active step to train your brain to stop worrying.

Related: One-Moment Meditation: How to Meditate in a Moment

A few moments where you consciously choose to avoid any non-natural noise in your life will allow you to get centered around what is most important to you, now and in the future. Worrisome thoughts may come to you while you meditate, and this is normal. Those who have mastered the art of brain training to stop worrying recommend observing worrisome thoughts as they enter the mind and simply watching them pass like clouds on a breezy day.

3. Exercise to train your body and your brain to stop worrying

Worry is how your brain learns to survive by deciding to activate the fight or flight system. If a cougar jumps out at you, you instantly feel a rush of adrenaline, and this fear response is the same thing that is happening to your body when you worry, just at a much lower level over a longer period of time.

The same study in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine found that exercise, on the other hand, is good for when your body feels the symptoms of anxiety, like jitteriness. If your body feels less of the physical symptoms of stress, your mind will interpret that there must be less to worry about because the body is not in a state of heightened arousal.

Exercise seems to give the body a secondary reason for the rapid heart rate and perspiration that we may feel on a small level when we worry. Exercise can help lower blood pressure, which is another physical symptom of stress in the body. If you can identify that you are worrying, go for a 5-10 minute walk, outside if possible. Appreciate the sights and sounds of nature while focusing on the motion of your limbs and the breaths that you take.

This article was originally created and published by Power of Positivity.

Feeling a bit peckish? Check out 2017’s wellness trends for a healthier You!

This year, most buzzy bites will be greener and healthier; plant-based foods will be central ingredients of every meal. From seaweed and algae to ancient grains – the lower the number of calories, the better. Just like any other veggies that are already a part of your diet, these roasted snacks are low in fat and full of essential nutrients.

However, eating right is only half the fight; to find out what other weapons you should have in your arsenal, check out the wellness trends we’ve listed for you below.

Winning the battle against inflammation

According to Deborah Barrington, a senior editor at Industry Dive, inflammation-fighting foods are going to experience a breakthrough in 2017. We are about to see new product announcements on a regular basis, as well as continued research and development since inflammation is linked to… Well, everything. Acne, bloating, life-threatening diseases – you name it, and gluten, grains, and dairy products are bound to be the cause of it. For this reason, we can see zucchini noodles, cauliflower rice, nut milk and vegan cheese gaining in popularity, and with Starbucks planting its flag with its Chile Mocha, more and more bloggers will promote these anti-inflammatory drinks as the new IT treat.

It’s all about that collagen

Do you know what the secret to Jennifer Aniston’s timeless beauty is? A daily dose of collagen smoothie.

Although most of our body is collagen – our skin and our bones, after the age of 25, the overall production is simply less efficient. As it is the key ingredient for shiny hair, glowing skin, strong nails and healthy digestion, it is only natural to see many women opt for collagen-rich supplements and powders. More and more health enthusiasts are educating themselves on the long-term results and the importance of nourishing the body from within, ultimately rejecting topicals which only provide short-term results.

Mother Nature knows best

Need an energy boost? Wish to improve your focus? There’s an ultra-healthy drink for that. Medicinal beverages and organic blends are, literally, flooding the market. Not only will you find them on the rack in every supermarket out there, but in hotel mini bars as well. Up until now, Dirty Lemon’s detox and energy drinks were everyone’s first choice, and in the future, we’ll see even more people turning to natural remedies for their modern-age maladies.

By introducing these healthy beverages to your diet, you’ll raise your metabolism; not only will you feel better, you’ll also look better – in a few weeks you’ll notice a slight weight loss, and if you use a body measurement app to track the progress, you’ll get even more motivated to continue with this new regime.

Still, we understand nothing can substitute that first cup of hot coffee in the morning. It’s a stimulant; that’s why we enjoy it so much, and with just the right ingredients, it can turn into one of the healthiest beverages. Steer away from sugar, all artificial sweeteners, and low-fat creamers; instead, opt for cinnamon, which not only adds flavor but lowers cholesterol, triglycerides and blood glucose. Oh, and it helps get rid of fats!

Natural beauty’s the fairest of them all

Week after week we see a different celebrity snap a #wokeuplikethis #nomakeup selfie, promoting natural beauty. But let’s face it: we’ll never completely get rid of all makeup products from our kits. What we can do is read the fine print on labels. We see a multitude of new organic products filling the shelves, and more and more women emptying them by the hour. Everyone from Target and Urban Outfitters to Sephora are working on expanding their clean beauty offering to accommodate this growing trend.

Workleisure for increased productivity

In recent years, we’ve seen athleisure giving new meaning to sports elegance. In 2017, it’s going to be all about the comfort in the workplace; we are seeing brands like Aday, Kit and Ace, Lululemon and Under Armour conquering the fashion industry with their athletic, yet work-appropriate and stylish clothing pieces.

Honestly, we were all a bit skeptic about it in the beginning, but if you think about it, running from one meeting to another is becoming our substitute for cardio. It’s a rat race out there; we are living hectic, active lives, so it’s only natural that today, dressing for every occasion means being ready to transition from the bicycle to boardroom in a matter of seconds.

Pick your vacation destination carefully

Let’s face it, every single holiday trip you took went the same (at least fitness-wise): you either decided to take a few days off and make every meal a cheat meal, or you tried staying loyal to your exercises routine and diet, but it didn’t last.

With this in mind, leading wellness insiders and most reputable fitness instructors joined hands in order to develop next-generation retreats that won’t take you away from your healthy approach to life. And don’t think these only involve one hour of morning yoga; wellness travel includes a number of fitness experts offering custom workouts, natural beauty treatments, massages and healthy daily menus. Whether it’s going to be Botswana, Cuba or the Dominican Republic, one thing is certain – without daily distractions and endless to-do lists, you’ll get the chance to meet your true, healthier self.

Bottom Line

Everything from the food on your plate, clothes in your wardrobe, cosmetic products you regularly use and vacation destinations you pick for your next getaway will play an important role in your transformation.

So, which of these wellness trends is going to be first?

Lose Weight with Subliminal Messages

Weight Loss and Physical Fitness - Subliminal Meditation

Weight loss and maintaining of ideal weight many times is difficult to achieve. How can you lose weight and maintain a good physical condition?

It all starts with the mind, the inner impulse to eat healthily, keep the diet and practice regularly, are the necessary factors to achieve a high metabolic rate, burn fat and maintain the desired weight.

The video Weight Loss & Physical Fitnessis designed to plant” in your subconscious the idea that you eat healthy foods, exercise regularly, burn fat and maintain your ideal weight.

It contains positive affirmations and subliminal commands (visual and spoken) that will enhance your desire for weight loss, being fit, have energy, well-being, and a healthy and shapely body. Try it here.

This article was originally created and published by Visual Meditation. It may be re-posted freely with proper attribution (active link to this article) and author bio.