Emotional well-being and mood are profoundly influenced by diet and lifestyle. Gratefully, the science supports a host of “therapeutic lifestyle changes” – TLC for short – that can improve your mood and lower your risk of depression. Here’s the complete list based on my most recent scientific review. (Please note these strategies are in no specific order.)
Be physically active / exercise daily. Any activity counts, but formal exercise and sports appear to be the best. Also, the more vigorous the activity the better.
Minimize processed and fast foods. Consume mostly whole “nature-made” foods.
Consume omega 3 rich foods often. These include: oily fish (salmon, sardines, lake trout, herring, cod), omega 3 eggs, walnuts, whole soy foods, hemp/chia/flax seeds, canola oil, oysters, and small leafy greens. Fish oil supplements are also an option for getting in optimal amounts of omega fats, but eating oily fish regularly is likely the very best way.
Keep your weight in a healthy range
Eat an abundance of fruits and vegetables. Those with the most anti-inflammatory oomph are likely the best and include: red onions, tomatoes, Brussels sprouts, red/orange/yellow bell peppers, dark leafy greens, apples, red grapes, berries, cherries, oranges, and plums. Excess inflammation in the body has been linked to depression.
Maintain optimal blood levels of vitamin D via safe sun exposure, consuming vitamin D-rich foods (oily fish, fortified dairy products, mushrooms, eggs) and appropriate use of vitamin D supplements.
Include magnesium-rich foods in your diet regularly – green vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans, whole grains, and wheat germ.
Increase your intake of tryptophan-rich foods. Foods high in tryptophan include: turkey, whole soy foods, lean meats, fish, and low-fat dairy products.
Include folate-rich foods in your diet regularly. Green vegetables, beans, peas, lentils, wheat germ, any form of tomato product, oranges, nuts, seeds, whole soy foods, parsley, and beets are excellent sources.
Include vitamin B-12 rich foods in your diet regularly. The healthiest sources would be low-fat dairy products, fish, and shellfish. If you are older than 50, get your level checked periodically. Some people need to take supplements.
Avoid sugary beverages and artificially sweetened (diet) sodas.
Use anti-inflammatory herbs and spices regularly in your foods – turmeric, curry, ginger, and rosemary are especially potent.
Spend time in nature regularly. Daily best.
Maintain positive relationships with family and friends.
Engage in relaxation practices regularly – deep breathing, yoga, meditation, etc.
Cultivate and nurture your spirituality, especially via practices that focus on love and forgiveness.
Give of yourself and your money to help those in need.
Of all organs of the body, the brain is perhaps the pickiest and most demanding when it comes to the foods and nutrients that suit it best. To boost your focus and concentration, include the following foods in your life regularly:
Beans– canned, fresh, frozen, or dried, beans provide the brain a steady and robust stream of its preferred fuel, glucose along with a comprehensive package of brain-boosting nutrients including B vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Dark chocolate – this delectable treat provides just the right combination of sugar and caffeine to rev up your brain’s power in addition to those oh-so-potent antioxidant flavanoids that kick-up blood flow to the brain. A prudent portion (1/2 oz to 1 oz) of high quality dark chocolate (60% or higher in cacao) is the perfect pick-me-up for your brain.
Wild Salmon – available fresh from early summer to late fall, usually available frozen, and always available canned, wild salmon is arguably the healthiest protein package you could feed your brain. It’s exploding with the omega 3 fats that make up the majority of the solid structure of the brain along with a full complement of key brain nutrients, including magnesium, selenium, B vitamins, and vitamin D.
MIND360 has been purchased by Intelligent Living Inc. www.intelligentlivinginc.com and will be relaunched in a few weeks with the same great content and some new things in the works. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or suggestions.
An article by: Thomas K. Pedigo,Ed.D. MSCP.,ABMP
What can Attention-Memory Testing tell me about my attention and working memory that my Brain Training program can’t?
Attention-Memory Testing Batteries will give you clear and comprehensive information about how your attention and working memory skills stack up to your peers on a national level. This real world comparison can help you see where you currently stand relative your same age peers, give you a baseline starting point, and allow you to measure your improvement from Brain Training over time.
While results from Brain Training games do show you how you have compared to others who are playing the same game, they do not provide standardized measurement information from external measures made up of national samples. National samples can give you real world comparison on scientifically validated test measures that possess demands consistent with work, school and real life. After all, It is the real world that is trained for. It is common knowledge that individuals with ADHD can over learn video and computer games. However, ADHD individuals do not show this same skill in the classroom or office where day to day demands are very different.
The Attention-Memory Testing measures were scientifically designed and researched to measure multiple key areas of attention and working memory skills in real world applications. When you apply the information gained from self assessment to your training you will have more insight into selecting games and activities that allow you to consistently improve.
The Attention and Memory Testing national sample is over 6000 subjects from all 50 states encompassing all racial and economic profiles. there are multiple batterys with 13 different measures each. There are numerous peer review articles and proven statistical evidence for Reliability and Validity. For those individuals seeking real world gains like improved grades, promotions, and reduced stress, evidence shows Brain Training requires continued training with effective tools to maintain improvements. Attention-Memory Testing.com can provide the serious assessment your training deserves so can track your progress over time against real world measures.
Areas measured include Working Memory (Holding and manipulating information in mind), Activating/Inhibiting (Starting and stopping when needed), Shifting/Flexibility (Changing rules and focus between tasks or jobs), Planning/Organizing (Deciding on solutions and following through), Metacognition (Using one’s internal speech/thoughts to guide action), Emotional Control and Sustained Effort (Suppressing emotions and negative feelings while enduring). All measures take between 2 to 7 minutes each and provide multiple visual graphs of performance relative to a large national sample of age related peers. Results can be saved and compared over time to track your performance and help you determine what training activities are working best.
If you would like validate your training progress against external standards then visit: www.Attentionmemorytesting.com Read the previous customer comments and you will also want to compare
If you’re like me, having someone say this to you mostly makes you want to roll your eyes and groan. After all, what’s the point of thinking positive? Are rosy thoughts full of unicorns and sunshine really going to help you out when you’re stressed because you’ve got twenty things to finish and only enough time to get through two or three of them?
Well, as it turns out, apparently they do help. Happy thoughts have been shown to raise your attentiveness, increase your mental productivity, help nerve connections to grow, improve the way that you think and analyze things, affect how you look at your surroundings, and cause – you guessed it – more happy thoughts, which repeats this cycle.
How does it work? Those of us not inclined to Pollyanna-ish behavior will be “happy” to hear that there is real science behind the power of positive thinking rather than it being some enlightened higher-state-of-consciousness thing. Positive thoughts actually have the power to make physical changes to the structure of your brain and alter the way that it functions.
It is able to do this because whenever we have thoughts, they cause our brains to release chemicals. Negative thoughts are related to cortisol, which can slow down your brain and make it more difficult to function normally. In some people, this can even lead to severe depression.
Focusing on negative thoughts leads to fear, which decreases activity in your cerebellum. This means your brain has more trouble processing new information, making solving the problem that got you so negative in the first place even more difficult.
Positive thoughts, on the other hand, produce the feel-good chemical serotonin. But it doesn’t just make you feel good, serotonin promotes brain function and growth so that you can use your brain to the best of its ability. But you’re probably wondering, what does positive thinking do precisely? Let’s walk through the chain of events.
Thinking positively helps to reinforce the synapses you have in your prefrontal cortex (PFC) as well as create new ones. Because your PFC is the brain’s integration center, it regulates those signals that your neurons are sending out into your body and to the rest of your brain, so having plenty of strong synapses means your brain will have an easier time with this.
But it even goes beyond that because your PFC is the part of your brain that gives you the ability to actually consider what you’re doing and reflect on it, maintain control over your emotions and behaviors, decide what you want to focus on, and learn about your own thinking processes. Essentially, a high-functioning PFC is what makes us into the people that we want to be by helping us to define and achieve goals in our life.
Want some practical, concrete examples of why it’s better to think positively? Studies of those with differing personalities have shown time and time again that those who tend to be more pessimistic in their outlook generally suffer for their inability to see the good in life:
- They die earlier than their optimistic counterparts.
- They tend to believe good events are fleeting, but bad events are normal.
- They have a much higher chance of suffering from depression – eight times more likely than optimists!
- They don’t do as well in school.
- They don’t enjoy as much success in their careers.
- Their relationships go through more ups and downs.
In contrast, those prone more to positive thoughts reap a number of rewards:
- They live longer.
- They’re more confident.
- They engage in healthier habits.
- Their immune systems are stronger.
- They socialize more and tend to have more friends.
- Their relationships are strong.
- They feel fulfilled and happy.
The good news is (if you negative thinkers out there can see fit to believe me!) it’s possible to train your brain to limit the amount of negativity you feel. How? By thinking happy thoughts (seriously) and forcing yourself to stop and readjust your focus if you find yourself headed down a negative path. The more positive we are in our thoughts and actions, the easier it becomes!
About the Author:
Aileen Pablo is part of the team behind Open Colleges and InformED, one of Australia’s leading providers of distance education. When not working, Aileen blogs about education and career.She is often invited as a speaker in Personality Development Seminars in the Philippines.If you are interested in featuring her works in your blog, you can find her on Google+.
As mentioned in previous posts, education and learning are great for having a fit brain. On the other side, brain training is a great supplement for memory and concentration improvement.
We are glad to reveal our collaboration with the BrainMass site.
BrainMass is a global community of graduate-level students, teachers and professionals, collected in a single place to provide homework-help to those in need! Whether you’re a first year college student, just starting your post-secondary educational journey, or returning to school after working a job, having a family, or traveling the world, BrainMass can help you to do better in school and achieve your goals.
It’s easy to get help at BrainMass.com. Firstly, you can browse the Library and download solutions to commonly asked questions. There are over 200,000 solutions available for you to browse. Alternatively, you can post a specific problem for an experts to respond to.
No matter what subject you’re studying, one of BrainMass’ knowledgeable teaching assistants will be able to provide step-by-step instructions to help you understand the topic you’re dealing with.
Take a look at http://www.brainmass.com
As we grow older natural changes happen in our memory capabilities. Experts in the Education and Health department of the Health Services recommend external measures for memory improving and some basic rules to improve memory function. An important principle that helps memory is placing objects in specific permanent places. For example:
1. Using a Key Rack for placing keys in a single known place.
2. Using a Basket/Bowl/Drawer for keeping personal items, such as wallet, mobile, keys and other objects of daily use which tend to disappear.
3. Placing Sticky Notes in obvious locations, such as the front door/refrigerator, to remind of an action that needs to be done at certain time.
4. Using a Message Board for bills that need to be paid, shopping lists, errands and appointments.
5. Keeping bills and paper work organized in a Folder divided by categories.
6. Using reminders such as Alarm Clock, Timer, Diary and Electronic Reminders will help in remembering to perform tasks such as turning off the water heater or the stove.
7. Using a Pill Box for a weekly or daily prescription-refill will help in consuming the right amount of medicine regularly.
8. Preparing an organized List of Priorities categorized by topics or by urgency, using different colored markers and pens will emphasize the main things to remember and put those into order.
9. Assembling a Phone List of relatives and friends in big readable letters, enlisting also important phone numbers such as 911, the fire department, the family doctor, taxi services etc.
10. Brain Training as a routine can greatly help in improving memory skills and the performance of everyday tasks. Try MIND360′s Memory trainers now.
Did you ever feel that you remember the material for the test better after taking it? You were probably right!
After taking a memory test, we know what we remember, but the test itself also enhances later retention. This phenomenon is also known as “the testing effect”
In a research by Henry L. Roediger, III, and Jeffrey D. Karpicke, of the Washington University in St. Louis, this effect was examined with educational materials.
Two groups of students were requested to learn some material, and one of the groups took free recall tests.
The retention of was tested 5 min, 2 days, or 1 week after the free-recall tests. When the final test was given after 5 min, repeated studying improved recall relative to repeated testing. However, on the delayed tests, prior testing produced substantially greater retention than studying, even though repeated studying increased students’ confidence in their ability to remember the material.
The importance of taking a test is now proven as a tool to improve learning. Simultating tests can actually help in later retention of the learned subject.
Mind360 is proud to announce our new initiative, ADHD Therapy by ADHDtherapy360.com. Our new site is coming soon but in the meantime; we have created a Facebook Page as a source of timely news and resources for children and parents of those living with ADHD. The Facebook Page is there to serve as a forum for those who care for someone with ADHD.
Our team of psychologist has been working hard to develop cognitive brainer trainers and online attention performance test based on scientific studies. Each brain trainer is designed to focus on four types of attention: sustained, selective, orienting and executive. The trainers are fun, colorful and engaging for all ages.
While are staff is anxiously preparing to officially launch our site, we enourage you to join our Facebook Page and join in on the buzz!