Latest News: Technology |  Celebrity |  Movies |  Apple |  Cars |  Business |  Sports |  TV Shows |  Geek


Filed under: News


8 Simple Ways To Be Kinder To Yourself In The New Year

1 Updates
8 Simple Ways To Be Kinder To Yourself In The New Year
Photo Credit: Forbes


Full Story

8 Simple Ways To Be Kinder To Yourself In The New Year

We all want to be happier and healthier in the New Year, but getting there can be a bit elusive (or totally daunting). Here are a few simple (and science-backed) ways to be kinder to yourself and others in 2014. It turns out that beyond spending time on ourselves, keying in to the people around us may be an even more powerful way to get closer to a sense of happiness and well-being.

Meditate for a healthier brain/>/>

It’s all over the news these days, and with good reason – meditation has the scientific backing to warrant its growing popularity. Studies have shown that meditation can help us not only feel more centered and relaxed, but it can also literally change the setup of our brains, from increasing grey matter density to shifting how the neurons themselves are connected. Recently, it was shown to trigger changes at the level of the gene, particularly genes that govern the stress and inflammatory responses. And in a moment-to-moment way, it just helps you feel better throughout the day, much like shutting down and rebooting a computer. So go check out a meditation class in your area, or find tools online to get you going. Your brain will thank you.


Get Physical  

You might not want to hear it, but moving your body is one of the single best things you can do for yourself, both body and brain. Until recently, the adult brain was thought to be relatively unchangeable, but evidence over the last decade shows that it can actually sprout new neurons, particularly in an area called the hippocampus, which is the seat of learning and memory. And physical activity appears to be a strong trigger for this new neural growth. Beyond the long-term benefits that it can offer the brain, exercise also increases endorphins – these little happy-chemicals make us feel good at the end of the workout, and the promise of this “runner’s high” can get us going even when we don’t really feel like getting started.


Get A Practice

Making a routine out of something – just about anything, provided that it’s healthy – can be life-changing, and for some people, life-saving. Having a ritual to come back to is one of the ways to give yourself a sense of security in rough times. It almost doesn’t matter what the practice is – run, walk, practice yoga, write, pray, meditate, chant, have a cup of tea at 6 a.m. while gazing out the window – just so long as it’s a practice. We’re creatures of habit, and giving yourself a healthy one to fall back on (rather than a destructive one) is a key to giving the brain what it wants – structure.


Eat Smarter and Simpler 

Any list of ways to be kinder to yourself wouldn’t be complete without the requisite food entry. There’s a handful of foods whose benefits are so well-illustrated that they’re known as the power foods. Among them are:

  • Blueberries, or any deeply-colored berry, are packed with antioxidants
  • Fatty fish, for the brain-healthy DHA and EPA varieties of omega-3 fatty acids (note that these omegas are different from the omega-3s found in nuts and seeds)
  • Leafy greens are rich in folate, iron, and other essential vitamins and nutrients
  • Turmeric, my personal favorite, whose anti-inflammatory properties have long been linked to reduced Alzheimer’s risk.

There are many other foods that are good for the brain, and the rule of thumb for the brain as well as for the rest of the body is to drop the processed, pale-colored foods and replace them with as many brightly colored, and whole, foods as you possibly can.

Connect with those around you

OK, the verdict is in: Social media makes us shallow, unhappy and jealous of the people around us. Even worse, it has the unintended effect of disconnecting, rather than connecting, us from the people we love. Real social interaction, on the other hand, improves psychological well-being, happiness, and is even linked to greater health and longevity. So put down the smartphone and talk to the person sitting across from you (whether you know them or not). Or if it’s a choice between Facebooking your mother or calling her on the phone, the phone call is definitely the better choice for a healthy dose of social contact.


Practice mindfulness in everything

Mindfulness is another term that’s exploded in recent years. All the evidence suggests that practicing mindfulness can help us be more present in life, rather than shuffling through it blindly. It’s also been shown to help people quit smoking and lose weight. The key to mindfulness, as Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD has said for many years, is paying attention to the present moment, non-judgmentally. Observing your thoughts without reacting to them is another way to think about it. Whether you’re feeling generally anxious or trying to get to the other side of an intense food craving, inquiring into your own thought processes and physical sensations – without judging them, but simply observing them – can be an enormously powerful tool to get there.


Ask about those around you

We spend a lot of time focusing on ourselves these days, for better and for worse. So from time to time it’s good to take the focus off yourself and inquire into those around you a little more deeply. Maybe there’s a person in your office who always seems a little sad and could use some conversation. Or maybe your friend has been spending a lot of time helping you through a problem in your life. Try turning the tables a little more this year, and switching attention to the person across from you. Doing so will make the people around you feel  more interesting and valuable, and this will make you a more valuable friend in turn.


Be of service

This is an offshoot of the last item, but it plays out in an even cooler and more noticeable way. It’s true that we need to improve ourselves to be good for others (practicing yoga, going diligently to talk therapy, and so on), but the flipside is also true: We need to help out others to heal ourselves. As Rob Schware, PhD, president of the Yoga Service Council and Executive Director of the Give Back Yoga Foundation, pointed out to me earlier this year, “Gandhi said, ‘if you want to know yourself, serve others.’” And a lot of people have found this to be true. Do some good for those around you, and you’ll find it helps heal you in a way that’s hard to put in words. So give it a try in whatever way strikes your fancy. Finding more ways to help others in 2014 may be just the thing to give yourself a happier, healthier new year.

Follow me @alicewalton or find me on Facebook.

Source: Forbes


iPad Air Giveaway. Win a free iPad Air.

You Might Also Like


Sponsored Update

Update: 1

Centurion Corp acquires Penang land to develop workers dorm

Source: The Edge Singapore

Centurion Corporation said it has agreed to acquire a piece of land located at Seberang Perai Selatan in Penang, Malaysia, for RM6.3 million ($2.45 million). This marks the group’s first acquisition in another state of Malaysia outside of Johor. ...
Source: The Edge Singapore   Full article at: The Edge Singapore Aug 12 2014, 9:21am CDT


More From the Web

Shopping Deals


<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/31" rel="author">Forbes</a>
Forbes is among the most trusted resources for the world's business and investment leaders, providing them the uncompromising commentary, concise analysis, relevant tools and real-time reporting they need to succeed at work, profit from investing and have fun with the rewards of winning.




blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

Iggy Azalea is an Asset for the Regular Music Circuit
Iggy Azalea is an Asset for the Regular Music Circuit
The Aussie, Iggy Azalea has become an asset for the regular music circuit. She will furthermore be a headliner for the SLS party which is to take place in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Lauryn Hill dedicates her Song Black Rage to Ferguson Citizens
Lauryn Hill dedicates her Song Black Rage to Ferguson Citizens
The Fugees singer, Lauryn Hill has dedicated her song Black Rage to the citizens of Ferguson, Missouri.
Digital Textbooks are the Best Things since PDAs
Digital Textbooks are the Best Things since PDAs
The devices known as digital textbooks are the best things since PDAs (personal digital assistants). They are the supplement to teachers and teaching.
Bill O'Brien Undecided on Status of Several Key Houston Texans
Bill O'Brien Undecided on Status of Several Key Houston Texans
Houston Texans head coach Bill O'Brien is unsure about the statuses of key players Arian Foster, Andre Johnson, Brian Cushing and Jonathan Joseph for this week's preseason game against the defending AFC champions, the Denver Broncos.

About the Geek Mind

The “geek mind” is concerned with more than just the latest iPhone rumors, or which company will win the gaming console wars. I4U is concerned with more than just the latest photo shoot or other celebrity gossip.

The “geek mind” is concerned with life, in all its different forms and facets. The geek mind wants to know about societal and financial issues, both abroad and at home. If a Fortune 500 decides to raise their minimum wage, or any high priority news, the geek mind wants to know. The geek mind wants to know the top teams in the National Football League, or who’s likely to win the NBA Finals this coming year. The geek mind wants to know who the hottest new models are, or whether the newest blockbuster movie is worth seeing. The geek mind wants to know. The geek mind wants—needs—knowledge.

Read more about The Geek Mind.