Why It is Important to Spend Some Time Alone

Today, because everything is so fast-paced, we end up thinking that taking a break is a waste of time. We want to stay productive because of all the demands in work, in school, sometimes even at home. But, we need to start realizing that taking a step back can also be beneficial. Here are some reasons why it is important to have some “me time”.

A time to relax

Taking a break and taking some time off things is probably one of the main reasons to spend some time alone. When you’re alone, you can generally let go of your worries for a while and even take a rest from all your work. It can be a way for your brain and body to slow down, ease up, and recharge. That is why spending time alone is a great way to refresh the mind and re-energize the body.

You become more creative

If you get the chance to notice, your thoughts flow differently if you are alone and if you are with others. This is simply because when you are alone, your mind can wander freely. When you’re with a group, on the other hand, your thoughts are restricted only in relation to the conversation. When your mind is allowed to wander, you will begin to get more and more ideas and you’ll be able to look at things from different perspectives.

You’ll be able to make plans

Of course, alone time doesn’t mean you have to do nothing. You can use this time to be productive and plan out your activities as well. Alone time allows you to list down and track your goals, achievements, future endeavors and etc. You’ll also have space to arrange your work and organize some tasks beforehand.

It will improve your emotional and mental strength

Sometimes we can get so stressed emotionally and mentally that we can’t help just having some alone time. But you really shouldn’t wait until you’re totally stressed out to enjoy some quiet time. Occasionally spending some time alone can help you take a step back and work through your problems. This, then, will help you build emotional and mental strength because you can now manage stress more effectively.

You can be more independent

Say for example there was a new trend in Singapore regarding partying. Your peers start to go with the trend but you know that it can affect your productivity at work. When you are a part of this group, it’ll be easy to submit to their way of thinking as well. But if you spend some time alone, you’ll be able to discern what’s right or not. You’ll be more self-reliant and you won’t have to seek attention and approval from others.

What is Dopamine and How Can You Make the Most of It

What is dopamine and why is it so important? Well, here’s why. Dopamine is a hormone produced by our body that gives us the feeling of happiness and fulfillment. Now this hormone is the main reason why we feel emotionally happy or up. Basically when we lack dopamine, we experience sad or down emotions. This is why this hormone is very important. There are a lot of other uses of this hormone but let’s keep it simple.

This is all you need to know about dopamine to make it important. Dopamine comes in so many forms. Sugar and coffee can trigger dopamine production and this is why too much sugar makes us experience a sugar high. We become more energetic and feel more positive when we produce more dopamine in our body. Sadly, this is an unnatural way of increasing dopamine production within our body which means that this doesn’t have a good effect in the long run.

One reason most people experience low dopamine in their body is because of the irregularity of dopamine production within the body. When our body is used to instant gratification, our body’s expectation of dopamine becomes higher and thus makes us crave for more dopamine within the body. This can be very dangerous because if the bar is set higher, the easier it is for us to feel down and sad.

Taking care of our body and our emotions means taking care of our protein production. Don’t underestimate the power of dopamine! If you are experiencing lack of motivation, low self-esteem, and basically feeling down most of the time, this may be caused by irregular dopamine production within your body and instead of finding an instant fix or an instant way of increasing the dopamine within your body, why not increase your natural dopamine production?

Increasing the natural production of dopamine in your body to reach a state of equilibrium could be pretty hard but definitely not impossible! A lot of people have been able to get themselves out of depression because of how they learned about dopamine and did their research in countering irregular dopamine production.

Even if most people blame it on the culture and the norms of the food we eat, the activities we do, and even the instant availability of information, there are still a lot of reasons as to why most people nowadays experience irregular dopamine production. Learn how to conquer your problems instead of escaping from them. The more you try to escape from your problems, the stronger they become and the more they will haunt you. Learn to fight your problems by tackling the source of you feeling down, dopamine!

The Benefits of Yoga

You may find that there are many yoga studios all around Singapore. Now you’ve heard that yoga can help relieve stress and whatnot, but you’re hesitant to try it out. But really, there’s nothing to fear about yoga. It doesn’t just involve relaxation, it even has benefits for the heart. If you need more convincing, here are some benefits of yoga:

Flexibility
One famous and more obvious benefit of yoga is improved flexibility. This is simply because possibly all yoga positions involve stretching. It includes stretching not only muscles but also the joints. If you’re just starting out, don’t worry if you can’t do the stretches fully, that’s typically normal. As you continue doing them though, you’ll notice that your whole body has become more flexible.

Stress relief
Another well-known benefit of yoga is that it encourages relaxation and eases stress and anxiety. This is because yoga can significantly reduce the production of the stress hormone, cortisol. A lot of its stress-relief benefits also come from the mindful awareness of our bodies that come with it. The breathing exercises and overall meditative nature is what ultimately calms you down, both in the mind and the body.

Helps protect the heart
The exercises done in yoga improves the circulation of blood around the body which means that your blood flow also becomes better. Some yoga poses have been said to help flush out excess waste in the blood while allowing oxygenated blood to flow better. This basically means that your heart is able to pump out and supply blood to our muscle tissues and organs more effectively. Consequently, it helps maintain blood pressure, as high blood pressure is a known contributor to heart disease.

Can help with chronic pain
Feeling a bit of soreness around your neck, arms, or shoulders? Suffering from chronic back pain? Then, try a bit of yoga. Yoga exercises can help release the tension in your muscles and reduce any chronic pain. It has been found that those with carpal tunnel syndrome and osteoarthritis of the knees have experienced improved performance and reduced pain in the parts affected.

Promote better sleep
Yoga is also a way to get a deeper and better-quality sleep. This, again, has a lot to do with the relaxing and meditative nature of yoga. It has been said that yoga also enhances the release of melatonin, a hormone that promotes sleep. When you do yoga, you’ll find that you may be able to sleep faster, sleep longer, and feel more refreshed when you wake up.

Improves focus
As we all know, lack of focus can negatively affect productivity. Fortunately, improving concentration is another advantage of yoga. Yoga, just like meditation, enriches our mindful awareness. With that, the brain’s ability to acquire, process, and recall information becomes better. This also helps because it gets rid of the distracting thoughts that swim around our head.

Benefits of Sleeping with Your Clothes Off

Now we all know that sleeping naked is not a very conventional thing to do. Although a lot of people do it, it still isn’t as popular. Surprisingly though, sleeping with your clothes off actually has a lot of advantages.
When it gets too hot…

Especially in Singapore, where the hot climate of the day can transition to warm nights, sleeping naked makes the heat a little more bearable. If you don’t have an aircon, you will have less problems waking up in the middle of the night drenched in sweat. Sleeping naked can help your body temperature drop to the optimum levels needed for sleep.

Reduces stress
When we are stressed out, our cortisol levels reach levels that can affect us negatively. Plus, when we go to bed with high levels of cortisol, we won’t be able to have quality sleep. Hence, when we wake up in the morning, we might still feel exhausted and then again accumulate more stress. Sleeping naked allows the body to cool down naturally and aid the body in maintaining balanced levels of cortisol.

You get to save money
On the flip side, if you want to turn off the AC and save a bit of money, then sleeping naked can help you with that. Also, if you really get into it, you would not have to think about buying any sleepwear. Or if you go to laundry services, you won’t spend that much money because you have less clothes to wash.
Gives you less things to worry about

Again, you won’t have to worry about looking for your sleepwear and putting it on. You can just take off the clothes you wore for the day and go straight to bed! You won’t also have to worry about putting away or washing more clothes.

Might help you lose weight
Some say that sleeping naked can help you lose weight. The explanation to this is that if you go to bed while your body is overheated from a long tiring day, it won’t be able to produce melatonin and the human growth hormone as efficiently. This means that cortisol levels are the ones that increase instead. When this happens, the body will choose to store fat instead of burning it. Going back to the effects of cortisol, waking up with high levels of that hormone will basically make you eat more (or “stress eat”) during the day.

Promotes better sleep
All in all, it all boils down to getting better sleep. Sleeping naked allows our body to undergo natural sleep and thermoregulation processes without the interference of clothes. The human body’s temperature, by nature, drops when we sleep. And having clothes on may as well interrupt this process. This means that keeping the body cool and freewill help you enjoy better and deeper sleep.

How to Deal with Migraine

To those afflicted with the condition, a migraine attack can be one of the worst experiences in life. It’s a headache so severe that it leaves one unable to do even basic functions like eating and walking (much less complex tasks like driving or doing work). Avoid the horrible pain of migraine by knowing how to remedy an incoming attack.

Avoiding Your Triggers
Migraine can be triggered by different things, so your first line of defense is to avoid your specific triggers.

The most common triggers are:
Food: Cheese, coffee, salty food, dried fish, citrus fruits, cured meats, alcohol, chocolates, nuts, and food additives can possibly trigger migraine. Going hungry or having a poor diet can also cause migraine.

Changes in the environment: Glaring light from the sun, humid weather, and sudden change in barometric pressure or temperature also causes migraine in some people.

Stress or fatigue: Migraine is highly related to stress, particularly stress from work. Extremely emotional episodes—including depression, anxiety, excitement and shock—may also trigger the condition.

Other possible migraine triggers are: very loud noises, strong odors/scents, dehydration, excessive sleep, excessive exercise, prolonged computer use, menstrual period, and eyestrain (bright and flickering lights).

Staying Off Migraine
Most people can sense an oncoming migraine, especially if they know their triggers and usual symptoms (such as a light headache at the back of the head, neck stiffness, sudden mood change and constipation. A definite sign of an oncoming migraine for some people is experiencing what is called an “aura”. This is an irregularity in the nervous system that causes visual disturbances, such as seeing flashing lights (even if you close your eyes) or getting a wavy, zig-zagging vision.

To avoid a full blown migraine attack, immediately avoid or refrain from any suspected triggers and find a way to relax your mind and body. Ideally, you should take a rest in a room with no strong stimuli – the lights are off/ dimmed, little or no sounds come from outside, and nobody would come in to interrupt you. It’s advisable to take some pain reliever if you’re already experiencing severe pain.

Preventing Future Migraine
Aside from avoiding your migraine triggers, it’s recommended to do the following to further reduce the chance of getting a migraine attack:

• Have a consistent daily schedule. Having a daily schedule means avoiding irregularities—whether these are food or situations—that can trigger migraine.

• Get an occasional massage. Massage has been known to help people relax, and helps the body recuperate. Acupressure also relieves migraine in some people.

• Have sufficient sleep. As much as possible, sleep for 6–8 hours a day at regular times. Lack of sleep causes stress that can lead to migraine.

• Improve your well-being. You can also fight stress off through activities that improve your well-being, such as exercising, yoga, meditation, prayer and spending time with your loved ones.

• Take some herbal medicine. Some herbs, including skullcap, feverfew and butter root, have been shown to reduce or eliminate episodes of migraine.

4 Easy Ways to Avoid Sugar

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: sugar is the number one enemy when trying to lose weight. Furthermore, an uncontrollable sweet tooth can cause diabetes, in addition to weight gain. Fortunately, you can do some little tweaks to your diet to help reduce your sugar intake and knock down a few pounds and risks for diseases. Here are some easy steps to help you avoid—or at least reduce—sugar consumption in a day.

1. Know Your Go-To Beverage
Try your best to avoid the temptation of getting yourself a bottle of soda or juice. When trimming down sugar intake, soda and juices are the first ones to get rid off in your diet. Instead, drink three to four litres of water a day to control your cravings for sweet drinks. If you can, try the water-apple-cider concoction. Mix two tablespoons of apple cider in a tall glass of water; drink this once a day. You can a dollop of natural honey to sweeten (in a good way) the drink a bit.

2. Buy Unsweetened Foods and Sweeten Them Yourself
If you just can’t help it and you want to eat something sweet, buy unsweetened food and sweeten them your own way. For instance, if you want a sweet yogurt for snacks, get a plain one and swirl in a teaspoon of maple syrup or organic honey in it. Do the same if you want sweeter oatmeal for breakfast. Instead of buying a box of flavoured oatmeal, get an unflavoured one and flavour it yourself with some honey and slices of fresh fruits.

3. Choose Sweet fruits Over Sweetened Foods
One of the favourite tricks of fitness experts is to replace sugar-laden foods with naturally sweet fruits. For example, to replace strawberry jam for your PB&J, warm up some frozen strawberries. A tablespoon of jam gives you 50 calories and is typically packed with three kinds of sweeteners: corn syrup, fructose and sugar. Half a cup of strawberries, warmed up and seasoned with a bit of cinnamon only contains 25 calories, plus added antioxidants, fibre and vitamins. Fruits—whether whether fresh, grilled, pureed or baked—make a healthy substitute for sugar in almost any dish, from salads to baked goods.

4. Make Your Own Salad Dressing
Bottles of salad dressings you often find in supermarkets can be secretly loaded with sugar. Your best bet? A home-made dressing. Master a healthy and delicious home-made dressing, and you’ll start craving for salads more. Isn’t that a good kind of craving?

Too much sugar is bad, but it’s also unrealistic to totally deprive yourself of a little sweetness. The best you can do is to choose your sweets wisely and always choose the natural sweets over artificially flavoured ones.

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