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:

The fast-paced world we live in has lead us to obtain certain unhealthy and toxic habits which affect our physical, as well as mental health. Somehow, our desire to achieve more has contributed to a reduced work productivity. Over time, we develop bad habits like smoking, unhealthy diet, and many other we were not even aware of. Why? Because we create an illusion that these habits keep us in balance.

Working mothers are in the worst position since they are required to juggle their personal and professional lives. The solution to this problem is rather simple – focusing on one task at a time. It is a common misconception that multitasking is vital for business success. Many are those who believe that the ability to single-task, i.e. work until a certain goal is achieved, is what leads to accomplishing long-lasting results. And what’s the key? One word – Flow.

The Theory of Flow

Flow represents the state of mind in which a person is fully focused on the task at hand; completely immersing themselves in it, losing track of time. When in the state of flow, you forget about everything; yourself, others, the entire world around you; at the same time, you are overwhelmed by the feeling of happiness; you become creative, motivated and highly productive. You no longer allow yourself to get easily interrupted by minor things but stay engaged with the challenging task you are working on.

How can you turn your entire (work) life around? According to Sonja Lyubomirsky, researcher at the University of California, “40% of our capacity for happiness is within our power to change.” So, what are some of the things we can actually do today, to avoid going back to our old habits tomorrow?

1. Start healthy

First off, don’t wake up with the regret of what you could have, or should have done yesterday; focus on what you can do today. To get the most of your day, start it with a positive attitude and a torrent of energy. Furthermore, substitute your first cup of coffee for the first glass of lemon water. It will help you rehydrate your body and flush your digestive system. You will balance your metabolism, and as a result, get a leaner figure. If you lead a hectic lifestyle, developing healthy habits may be difficult as you probably don’t have much time to prepare your own healthy food and work out. Fortunately, you can get protein drinks and other supplements to help with your nutrition and make baby steps when it comes to your fitness routine.  Also, don’t forget to drink a lot of fluids later during the day to avoid dehydration, dizziness and, ultimately, lowered productivity.

Dry brushing before showering is also advisable as a regular part of a morning routine, as it increases circulation, providing you with more energy. Starting with your feet and hands, the skin is commonly brushed towards the chest, that is – the heart.

2. Start strong

It is essential to organize your time around your body’s natural rhythm. When it comes to any kind of cognitive work, a greater number of adults proved to perform better in the morning. For this reason, more challenging tasks should be dealt with earlier in a day, as concentration and alertness tend to descend as time passes.

3. Define your goals

Setting personal goals provides you with a long-term vision, as well as a short-term motivation. They help you get a clearer vision of where you want to go in life and on what you should concentrate your efforts. Ensure you set a SMART goal; and by that, we mean Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound. If they feel a bit abstract – write them down, plan the steps and cross off one after the other as you complete them.

4. Concentrate on self-comparison

The reason certain people struggle with insecurity is that they compare themselves to others, thus keeping themselves reserved and self-conscious. The biggest issue here is that we are never fully familiar with someone else’s story, and we are only presented with fragments of it. Only jealousy and resentment can come of it. Instead, focus on your journey; we all carry a unique footprint no one else possesses and we can utilize it to create something exceptional.

5. Limit the decision-making

By placing a time limit on decision-making, you will yield higher quality choices. By setting deadlines, you force yourself to spring into action. This technique proved to be extremely useful when conducting team meetings and brainstorming sessions. This way, everyone knows that there will be a vote at a specific time and it won’t lead to an endless and pointless debate.

It was Aristotle who said “We are what we repeatedly do; that excellence is not an act, but a force of habit,” so how long do you want to continue to live with the bad ones? Are they really beneficial? No. And today is a good day to quit your bad habits and focus only on what’s going to build your confidence from the ground up.

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.

Do you want to be more productive? In this article you will find out what highly productive people do differently and enjoy life to the fullest.

No matter what numerous roles you have in life, and what your profession is, the daunting task of becoming more productive usually inspires images of the Shiva goddess with her four hands, because how else would you manage to do more in the same amount of time, when you are undoubtedly already doing your best?

However, there are mere mortals around you who seem to get everything done in a fraction of the time it takes you, with a rich social life and a soaring career. Let’s take a look at some of the traits they share and that you can start nurturing in your own mindset in order to become more productive and enjoy your life to the fullest!

1. Take the reins of your life

Instead of leaving your decision to others and allowing everybody else to guide you, be your own Northern Star, and your key decision-maker. It all starts with having enough faith in yourself to make all those calls and acknowledge the power you have over your own life journey.

2. Stop the unhealthy comparison

Highly successful and productive people only overcome their own limitations and aim to become better in comparison to their previous actions and beliefs, and not to others and their achievements. By comparing you with you, there’s a greater likelihood of progress and you will be able to build high self-esteem and grow your confidence.

3. Start goal-setting and problem-solving

An important skill is your ability to set short, mid and long-term goals, decide on milestones, measuring your progress and focus on ways to overcome obstacles and find solutions to problems. This is one of the key qualities of people who take action, enjoy challenges and perceive every problem as an opportunity to grow and advance.

4. Practice visualization and meditation

By incorporating meditation and visualization into your daily life, you will be able to tap into cognitive and emotional abilities you never knew existed. You will increase your focus, emotional stability, and mental acuity, among many other important abilities, while visualizing your goals will guide you towards them, empowered by positive thoughts.

Just like the awareness of the big picture is an important perspective to have in life, it’s equally essential to be able to anchor yourself into the present moment, clear your mind, and let go of negative thought patterns.

5. Stay realistic

Having faith in yourself is one thing, but getting carried away and losing your head in the clouds over a possibility is completely another. Highly productive people know how to stay firmly on the ground while keeping their confidence and self-esteem intact.

Staying realistic means that even the negative events in your life have meaning, and you know how to use them to advance, without losing your enthusiasm for achieving your goals.

6. Be an early bird

Not only is it important to start your day early, but also to have a healthy sleeping pattern, from going to bed at a reasonable hour, to rising after eight hours of quality sleep. Productive people know how to balance their daily responsibilities without resorting to late-night work or study sessions.

Sleep deprivation is a major cause of cognitive dysfunction, immune system problems, among many other issues, so it’s essential to sleep well in order to stay sharp.

7. Be health-conscious

A healthy life is based on numerous healthy habits, such as rising early, balanced nutrition, physical activity and stress-reducing techniques. Little things such as starting your morning with a freshly squeezed lemon in lukewarm water, packed and ready fitness clothes for your workout, a prepared meal and a bottle of water will help you build a healthy routine.

Taking care of your health should not be a chore, but a foundation of a healthy lifestyle which is an important segment that promotes your productivity and fulfillment.

8. Surround yourself with inspiration

If you take control of your life and spend time immersed in positive meditation, you are bound to attract like-minded people and things that will inspire you to advance in life. Steer clear of those who deplete your energy levels and surround yourself with those who support you and share a similar mindset.

9. Always learn

Once you start perceiving everything as a lesson as opposed to a failure or success, you will be able to move forward at a quicker pace, viewing everything as a learning opportunity. Learning by doing and not being afraid of uncharted territories will help you leave your comfort zone, which is where the most important lessons are learned.

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.