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The Positive Effects of Changing Your Sleep

The Positive Effects of Changing Your Sleep The Positive Effects of Changing Your Sleep

You may not feel any immediate effects of missing out on sleep, but if you are consecutively getting less than 7 hours of sleep each night you are making yourself susceptible to sleep deprivation.

The symptoms of being sleep deprived include far more than just feeling tired. If you consistently skip out on a good night’s rest, you can experience a bad attitude, mood swings, a slowed immune system, trouble concentrating, high blood pressure, and a risk for diabetes and other serious conditions.

Putting your health on the line is no joke. You should be serious about getting your 7-9 hours of high-quality, restorative sleep each night. This will improve your life in more ways than just feeling energized. If you work on fixing your sleep routine and consistently getting healthy rest each night, you’ll start to see a lot of beneficial changes in your life.

You’ll have a better outlook on life

Quality sleep is an incredibly important component in keeping your mental health in order. Whether you realize it or not, going through your days feeling tired gives you a negative attitude. Waking up on the wrong side of the bed makes you groggy, moody, and irritable. In fact, severe sleep deprivation can even lead to feelings of depression and anxiety.

When you start getting better sleep more regularly, you’ll find yourself feeling energized and generally more optimistic. Don’t let your exhaustion drag you down; improve your sleep routine to help boost your overall mood for a more enjoyable life.

You’ll be a better employee

Better sleep = better cognitive function. When you’re well rested, you become more alert and have an easier time concentrating. Sleeping can even help improve your memory. A 2010 Harvard study showed that taking the time to sleep on an issue and dreaming can help you reactivate and reorganize information which improves memory and boosts overall performance.

If you’re looking to be a more productive employee, dedicate time to your ZZZs so your brain has the rest time it needs to function better during the day.

You’ll be in better shape

Some of the explanations for being in worse shape when you lose sleep are obvious. When you’re struggling to get through your day you’ll be more prone to pick up sugary snacks or a venti latte. You’ll also be less enthused to work out and be active, and you may choose fast food over a home-cooked healthy meal for the sake of being on low energy.

However, there’s also some science behind it. Being low on sleep triggers a cortisol spike in your body. This stress hormone sends a signal in your body to conserve energy to fuel you, which means your body clings to fat. Being sleep deprived also makes you “metabolically groggy," slowing down your body’s ability to process insulin, a hormone which converts sugar, starches, and other food into energy. A recent study on this found insulin sensitivity to drop by more than 30% when you’re sleep deprived.

So by managing your late nights, you’ll also be able to manage your diet better.

You’ll look better

When you lose sleep, your skin barrier function slows down. This means if you aren’t sleeping enough, your skin isn’t retaining moisture as well as it would with more than seven hours of sleep. You also lose out on the time needed for healing from sun damage. Lingering sun damage makes you more susceptible to skin cancer and it also increases aging.

Of course, there are other factors that affect your skin quality such as genetics, diet, and skincare routine, but quality sleep will help you keep your skin glowing. It turns out that beauty sleep is the real deal, so don’t skimp out on your sleep.

How to improve your ZZZs

Maybe you’re ready to get more serious about your sleep, but you don’t know where to start. Here are some tips to help you start having more healthy, consistent sleep each night:

  • Develop a routine: Help your body fall into a rhythm by going to bed and waking up at the same time each day. This will make it easier to stick to consistent sleep.
  • Try natural remedies: Using essential oils, a warm bath, a cup of herbal tea, or some nighttime yoga stretches can help relax you for sleep.
  • Re-evaluate your mattress: You should be updating your mattress every 10 years for your best sleep. Know the signs your mattress needs an upgrade.
  • Block out noises: Try a white noise machine to mask background sounds if they are disturbing your sleep.
  • Set up your sleep haven: Your bedroom plays a role in how well you sleep. Optimize your bedroom space for a better night’s rest.

Author bio: Laurie Larson is a freelance writer based in Durham, NC. When she isn’t busy writing, she enjoys spending time in nature and her favorite coffee shops.

Lemons Into Lemonade: How To Turn Negative Events Into Positive Expression

lemonade

The fact is, many of us rely on creating to express our emotions. All of us on are especially familiar with this process. Creating to express our emotions in any form has potential to be a healthy and life-giving experience.

We can use art and creative writing as a means to turn our negative feelings into a reckoning for positivity. Here are some thoughts about negative experiences and how we can write them into a corner when they try to bully us.

The Dangers of Holding in Our Pain

Our culture glorifies the idea of holding in your emotions. Men are often called weak for being expressive, and women are called crazy for expressing their emotions in any way. Neither of these is fair, as emotions are simply a part of the human experience, and there’s nothing weak about admitting to what you feel.

Here’s the fact: suicide rates are on the rise. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, the suicide rate in the United States increased 24 percent from 1999 to 2014. The amount of adolescents — and we are talking early adolescents — that contemplate ending their lives or do end their lives as a result of cyberbullying has increased as well. In a recent UK study, 26 percent of respondents had suicidal thoughts, as a result of cyberbullying.

We have to normalize emotions and offer people practical ways to handle their trials in life. Even social work professionals admit we need to start thinking out of the box. I propose one of the best outlets for pain is through creative writing.

Write It Off

There is something so satisfying about forming the perfect sentence to describe what you’re going through. As long as you’re doing it for you and not to impress others, I think being able to work hard on this transfer from mind to paper is therapeutic. By writing about your negative experiences, you can process them, and learn from them. If you’re comfortable with it — share and relate it to others.

Here are some suggestions to turn your negative experiences into lemonade, through the power of writing.

Poetry Exercises

Poetry, lyric writing, and the like are the best places to employ your artistic license, due to the common “show don’t tell" mentality that’s so popularized in these communities. I personally find it useful to use poetry prompts in order to challenge yourself. The point of doing these exercises is to force you to write down your thoughts in a different way than just “I feel sad" or “I am angry." You also are usually writing less — but it’s harder to get a good flow going. It’s a new form of expression for a lot of freelance writers and similar creatives and can influence your other writings as well.

Descriptive Nonfiction

This is something I struggled with originally due to my past writing song lyrics with metaphors. I had to drop all of that — which I now consider being mostly fluff — and switch to describing the actual scenes around me. Descriptive nonfiction lives in “show don’t tell," more strictly than poetry does.

Retell your story. Use color, shape, and other physical descriptions. How red was your face from embarrassment or hurt? What were other people doing? How they moved, their facial expressions, and how did their face change and move as well? What words were they using? Of course, “show don’t tell" can also make for a traumatic retelling of a hard time, so gauge yourself and see if you can handle it first.

Letters to Yourself

Years ago, during one of my first breakups, I found myself writing letters late before bed. These letters were addressed to me, oddly enough. I never called it journaling or felt like I was writing a diary. I was very clearly writing a letter. Even though I was the recipient of these letters.

Physically writing my thoughts down on paper felt like I was transferring my emotions — like they were physically leaving my body. This was one of my initial experiences with the therapeutic effects of writing, and since then I’ve used writing to help myself through other breakups, loss of friends and family, and stressful life events.

Freewriting

It has been said that “bad writing is good for you," and this may certainly be the case in your situation. Freewriting offers the comfort of no restrictions – just straight up word vomit until you need to eat again.

Some find this to be a positive and freeing experience. It offers them a way to put some elbow grease into releasing their emotions, but they don’t have to worry about anything else. This isn’t typically the writing you show people, but certainly, you can if you would like. It’s your lemonade.

Get a Little Abstract

Use weird prompts and exercises — and by “weird" I mean unusual to you — to stretch your writing and give you new ways to express yourself. The thing with writing prompts is that they work like writing games. You have to use them to finish a piece based on rules and restrictions you don’t typically adhere to. Some of the most satisfying pieces of writing I’ve done have been based on odd prompts, and it always feels like a new way to express my thoughts, feelings, and beliefs.

How To Encourage Others

As I mentioned earlier, we need to normalize negative emotions. Make them something to talk about, and make it usual to talk about them. Let’s innovate a bit and give struggling people healthy and positive ways to handle their pain.

We must live by example first, because telling people to talk about their issues doesn’t shut out the voices — external or internal — that make them feel uncomfortable doing so. Being encouraging and transparent, ourselves, can do that.

Now, how much more as a writer can we share our experiences tangibly, especially with other writers? We all struggle with life, so writing them down for others may actually give them something to lean on, and maybe vice versa. Make your own lemonade from life’s hardships.

Ultimately, transparency begets transparency

With that in mind, let’s strive for honesty and humility with each other, so we can destigmatize depression, formulate it into something positive, be it through writing or whatever other form of creation you choose, and gain something from it rather than lose everything to it.

* * *

How have you used writing or creativity to cope with bad experiences? Let me know in the comments below!

Author’s Bio

Avery T. Phillips is a freelance human being with too much to say. She loves nature and examining human interactions with the world. Comment or tweet her @a_taylorian with any questions or suggestions. Avery lives in the United States.

Here at Positive Words Research, we are looking to share with our readers original content that hasn’t been published on other sites so if you are comfortable with Positive Words Research being your sole publisher, we are more than happy to share with our readers your inspiring and empowering story.

 

How Spirituality & Mindfulness Increase Positivity

spirituality

Focusing on one’s personal spirituality, practicing mindfulness and honoring self-care are known for naturally increasing positivity in your life. These three different acts can seem a bit ambiguous to those who are unfamiliar with the terms. This may be due to the fact that they can have many different meanings to different people, which is why they are personal to your own journey.

Spiritual traditions such as prayer, meditation, yoga, and journaling are meant to nourish the soul and allow time for self-reflection. Mindfulness is becoming more consciously aware of your thoughts and emotions in the present moment. Self-care is intentionally restoring your mind, body, and soul with activities such as disconnecting from the outside world, making yourself a cup of tea or treating yourself with a massage. Whatever act of self-service that helps you to reconnect with yourself with your own being and revive your inner light is good.

Physical Benefits

Our present-day culture tends to feed into the need to be fast-moving and overly productive. Refocusing your attention to your inner-self has the ability to positively transform your physical body, especially after a day of hard work. Using nothing more than your breath and focus, meditation has shown to greatly reduce stress and stress-related conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome, post-traumatic stress disorder, and fibromyalgia. If your work allows for you to escape to focus on your personal wellness, be sure to do so — even for as little as five minutes a day. Also, be sure to take advantage of communicating grievances to your manager. You’ll be surprised at how much more motivated and productive you’ll feel, after being honest.

Much like comparing a smoker to a non-smoker, personal choices and habits have an impact on our physical health and our ability to heal our own bodies. Healthcare-related research studies have found that having a connection with spirituality or religion helps ill patients better cope with stress and improves their quality of life. Giancarlo Lucchetti led a study that found that individuals with a strong spiritual connection have an 18 percent reduction in early mortality. This serves as evidence that establishing a spiritual life now may potentially prolong your life.

Positive Self-Image

The mind and body are inextricably connected. Treating the mind and body as a holistic system will aid in creating an overall positive self-image. When your physical body feels healthy and well, so does your mental health and vice versa. Practicing acts of self-care enable you to reinforce positive self-image by accepting that you deserve the best out of life. Self-care does not have to always look the same each time. Integrating routine exercise into your life’s schedule or simply looking at yourself in the mirror and saying the words “I love you" is as intensely impactful as treating yourself to something nice or going on vacation. By treating yourself with love and kindness you are simultaneously manifesting positivity and welcoming it into your life.

Start Young

A large percentage of a young person’s time is spent in school receiving their education. Integrating mindfulness practices into a child’s school day has proven to have many positive impacts. Millions of dollars have been invested into studies on the positive effects of mindfulness practices on students with results showing improved sleep, increased retention rates, and lower anxiety levels. Mindfulness practices not only have positive impacts on them at the time of the practice but the effects carry on throughout schooling into higher education. In one study by the University of California Santa Barbara, it was discovered that integrating mindfulness practices reduced mind-wandering, which helped to improve scores on the reading comprehension portion of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).

Adapting intentional practices that benefit your mind, body and soul will naturally allow positivity to find you and influence your life. The positive outcomes will spill over onto those who surround you, creating a waterfall effect on all aspects of your life. Welcome and embrace mindfulness, spirituality, and self-care into your everyday routine — at work, school and at home. Every movement, encounter, and thought is an opportunity to intentionally be positive in the present moment.

Author’s Bio

Avery T. Phillips is a freelance human being with too much to say. She loves nature and examining human interactions with the world. Comment or tweet her @a_taylorian with any questions or suggestions. Avery lives in the United States.

Here at Positive Words Research, we are looking to share with our readers original content that hasn’t been published on other sites so if you are comfortable with Positive Words Research being your sole publisher, we are more than happy to share with our readers your inspiring and empowering story.

 

How To Encourage A Child’s Brain Development

brain development

The ability of young children to grasp anything is as fast as the speed of light. This is especially from ages birth to three, as they produce 700 new neural connections every second. If you want them to reach the threshold of their potential, you need to take care of many factors, including relationships, experiences, and environment.

The human brain starts developing early in prenatal life- three weeks after conception. Therefore, brain development is something, no parents can compromise. The skills that your child gains in the early years of development will become responsible for the overall academic performance at school. So make sure your child learns ethical practices and acquires great acumen to live a hassle-free life during adolescence.

One of the major differences between brain development in a child versus an adult is the extent and speed of development. The brain of a young child is highly flexible as compared to adult ones. This means that young children’s brains are more susceptible to learning and enriching influences. However, you cannot ignore that your child can develop cognitive problems if they are brought up in a way that limits its development.

The Most Important – Excellent Nutrition

Good food is fundamental for overall child development. You need to maintain a healthy diet for your children to keep them mentally sound and physically fit. If you do not want to miss out any nutrients, vitamins, and omega acids to name a few, you can contact a pediatrician to make a weekly chart of the meals you are going to provide to your children. Sometimes, young ones are more responsive towards a particular dish, of which you need to take care of when preparing the meal.

Doctors recommend a balanced, nutritious diet, which contains all essential nutrients, carbs, vitamins, fatty acids, etc., in the right proportion. If your child is stubborn when it comes to taking balanced diet, don’t be afraid of being creative. Plenty of finger licking recipes are available online which contain all diet essentials you need to give to your children. Use them and live happily!

Muscle building

Rather than hitting the gym in the adolescence, help your child grow muscles in the early years of development. This is surprisingly easy. Ask your preschooler or kindergartener roll around on the floor for a couple of seconds. Try to change their posture by asking them to roll in both directions. Raise the level of coordination and strength by asking them to hold on to a toy while they roll. Repeat this activity with small breaks in -between. Not only does this make muscles strong but it also fine-tunes all kinds of developmental skills related to balance, coordination, and strength.

Do not ignore the precautions you need to take. Keep the floor clean, free of dust and mosquitoes. Keep an eye on the balance your child makes because ligaments and tendons are weak in the tender age.

Introduce novel materials

Every new experience for your child will act as learning a new chapter of life. So why don’t you keep your child stimulated with new experiences? Let your child discover the new joys of life by experiencing the real world. This can mean everything from bringing new fabrics and materials to touch and play with to bringing him/her along when you leave the house. The idea is to generate tactile stimulation that develops an understanding of how different materials function. This will even enhance spatial awareness as your child learns how to manipulate and combine different toys to play a game.

Keep the eye contact

Eye contact helps build the ciliary muscles of your baby’s eyes. This technique prevents eye problems in the future, and your child will be able to recognize faces early. According to studies, newborns start responding to facial expressions at the age of 2. This shows that your child is developing the skills of problem-solving while being responsive to social interactions. Figuratively, by keeping the eye contact, you are building the confidence of your child and helping them act like leaders.

Final words

Learning is important at every stage of life, though the young age is the best to learn anything. The responsibility of parents is to make the senses of their children stronger by nurturing them at every point in time either on their own or through a reputable tutor, click here to find one now. Practicing developmental activities is key to stimulate your child’s brain development. Remember, children, grasp with every passing second. Therefore, they can even consume wrong elements if negative energy surrounds them. Stay positive to keep their learning ethical by all means.

Author – Danish Wadhwa – India

Here at Positive Words Research, we are looking to share with our readers original content that hasn’t been published on other sites so if you are comfortable with Positive Words Research being your sole publisher, we are more than happy to share with our readers your inspiring and empowering story.

Why Positivity Can Be The Best Defense Against Your Demons

defense

We all have our own inner demons, such as doubt, insecurity, low-self esteem, or a drive to reach perfection – just to name a few. Inherently, it feels impossible to shake them – but there is hope! The number one course of action to eliminate them forever is to channel the power of positivity. Our mindset affects the choices we make and how we perceive life in general. Therefore, the best line of defense is to utilize positivity in our minds.

This is why positivity can be the best defense against your demons:

  1. You stop seeing tunnel vision

Negativity is very limiting. When trapped by it, you only focus on unfavorable circumstances in the present moment as opposed to the possibilities of a better future, the bigger picture, or the bright side of a situation. When you start to think positively, your mind stops limiting itself to perceiving a negative and most-likely, distorted reality. Here, we’re able to see things for what they actually are, not just what we believe them to be. We also learn to stop associating ourselves with strictly negative traits and actually take a step back to view ourselves in our entirety, which is comprised of both good and flawed qualities, not just one or the other.

  1. It improves your overall health

Positivity affects both emotional and physical well-being and health. Emotionally, positivity prevents the symptoms of depression and anxiety and is a natural stress-reducer. In regards to the physical improvements, your immune system becomes less susceptible to sickness and disease since positive thinking triggers a stronger immune response. Furthermore, this also promotes better cardiovascular health. As a result, when both our mind and body are sound, we feel our best and are more inclined to make decisions that make us happy and healthy, not harmful like excessively criticizing or hurting ourselves.

  1. Positivity leads to emotional resilience

Obstacles stop feeling paralyzing with a positive mindset because believing in the best of things, despite the circumstances, helps you to overcome adversity. Negativity cages you in a self-victimizing mindset, which will make you less likely to take action or responsibility for yourself. When one faces difficult situations in their life with positivity rather than negativity, they develop emotional resilience, learn to use healthier coping mechanisms, and take lessons away from the situation rather than simply complain or feel helpless about it.

  1. It encourages productivity

Negativity inherently drains your energy, but positivity increases it. Consequently, this propels you to take more action and put more effort into your obligations in the work or school place. Positivity stimulates brain activity which leads to stronger cognitive function and attention span, which propels you to finish tasks and get things done more efficiently. In other words, you feel eager to accomplish goals one after the other which can translate into your personal life!

  1. Naturally attracts you to positive people

We attract what we are, and that is especially significant in the types of relationships we have in life. When you’re positive, others with a similar thought-process will gravitate towards you. Respectively, this leads to you creating a genuine social circle as well as a reliable support system. Positive people bounce off each other’s energy and uplift one another, not berate or put each other down. Sometimes, the fact that you have a solid group of loved ones with positive attitudes can completely put your demons at rest since they will always remind you that there’s more to you than your flaws.

Conclusion

At the end of the day, positivity will always be the best defense against your demons. It reminds you to think of a better future and improves your overall emotional and physical well-being. Positivity can even disprove therapy myths that would otherwise make you skeptical of changing one’s mindset. At first, it may seem that positivity may seem like a pseudo-inspirational concept, but it annihilates that belief by singlehandedly being the most significant element in a person can welcome into their life, mind, and heart because it changes the way they experience life overall.

Author’s Bio

Trevor is a freelance writer and recovering addict & alcoholic who’s been clean and sober for over 5 years. Since his recovery began, he has enjoyed using his talent for words to help spread treatment resources and addiction awareness. In his free time, you can find him working with recovering addicts or outside enjoying almost any type of fitness activity imaginable.

Here at Positive Words Research, we are looking to share with our readers original content that hasn’t been published on other sites so if you are comfortable with Positive Words Research being your sole publisher, we are more than happy to share with our readers your inspiring and empowering story.