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Andrea A.

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A healthy breakfast to keep your concentration levels high

Getting the right nutrients in your body first thing in the morning is hugely beneficial when it comes to maintaining focus throughout the day.

Eating a wide variety of wholegrains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and legumes throughout the day ensures that blood sugar levels are stable and provides the brain with healthy fats, carbohydrates, protein, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. These all work synergistically to promote brain health, focus, memory, concentration, and health in general.

@andreafaa157

Morning rituals to improve your focus

theguardian.com

Add an easy-to-achieve goal to your to-do list. The satisfaction of ticking off a small task is linked with a flood of dopamine. 

Each time your brain gets a whiff of this rewarding neurotransmitter, it will want you to repeat the associated behaviour.

Use puzzles and crosswords to train your improve

Crosswords and other puzzles are a handy way to pass the time, but they’re also incredibly useful in improving memory and brain function.

Your brain loves these kind of small victories, and it can help make life’s larger problems somehow seem easier to tackle. What’s more, those little bursts of joy at finishing a puzzle can help calm your mind, in much the same way that physical exercise can mentally relax you too.

By gaining awareness and not slipping into ‘autopilot’ in your morning routine, you are better able to take care of your needs throughout the day.

This will help you with lowering stress levels. If you’re unsure where to begin, use apps that have a large library of guided meditation practices.

Spending time in nature to improve your concentration

Comprehensive and dedicated science exists on the positive mental effects of venturing outdoors and spending time in nature.

Heading out into nature in the morning, then, could benefit your concentration.

Anxiety and stress will sabotage your ability to stay focused. But keeping a record of your thoughts on paper is a wonderful way to to combat stress and anxiety.

There is something about getting your thoughts out of your head and on to paper that provides a window of opportunity and gives you a bit of space to start looking at things from a different view.

  • Melancholic depression, as described by Hippocrates, was considered a unique condition that struck people out of the blue.
  • It is now known as "endogenous depression" (coming from within) and different from depression in response to external stressors.
  • In 1980, depressive disorders were remodeled as a single entity that only varies by degrees of severity.

Why melancholia must be understood as distinct from depression

theconversation.com

  • The extension of "clinical depression" to include sadness created concern. Everyone feels down or sad sometimes, and usually, these moods pass without long-term consequences.
  • Clinical depression is more severe, such as losing sleep or thinking life isn't worth living and extends for a longer period. Lumping them together and ignoring the differing causes may lead to an inappropriate therapeutic approach.
  • This model also treats melancholia as a major depression "specifier" and not as a disorder in its own right.
  • Melancholia shows a clear pattern of symptoms and signs.
  • Sufferers experience a gloominess and have no desire to socialize.
  • They also lack energy and have difficulty concentrating.
  • Episodes typically appear from nowhere.
  • Individuals suffering from melancholia report a family history of "depression," bipolar disorder, or suicide.
  • Melancholy is biologically underpinned rather than caused by external stressors or psychological factors, such as personality type.
  • Treatment consists of antidepressant drugs and electroconvulsive therapy (which is rarely needed.)
An Apple A Day

Adding apples to our daily intake can improve various aspects of our health, as they are loaded with fiber, vitamins, antioxidants and minerals.

Originating from a proverb in 1866, the phrase ‘An Apple A Day Keeps The Doctor Away’ was coined in 1913. The original quote was: Eat an apple on going to bed, and you’ll keep the doctor from earning his bread.

An Apple a Day Keeps the Doctor Away — Fact or Fiction?

healthline.com

Eating an apple lowers the risk of heart disease, stroke, inflammation as it contains flavonoids. The soluble fibre reduces blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

The antioxidants and flavonoids also lower the risk of various kinds of cancer. It is also proven that a diet which has lots of fruits and vegetables protects us against many types of cancer.

  1. The fiber in apples supports weight loss due to the feeling of fullness.
  2. Increases bone mineral density.
  3. Helps keep the brain healthy.
  4. Protection against asthma and Type 2 Diabetes.

Apples are unlikely to have any downside, though too much of it could have some side effects. It is better to include other fruits in our plate for a healthy, balanced diet.

The difference between tiredness and sleepiness

Generally, people fail to distinguish between fatigue-physical tiredness and sleepiness, the inability to stay awake.

It's possible to feel tired physically and still be unable to fall asleep, simply because you don't feel sleepy.

Why is it so difficult to fall asleep when you are overtired? | Popular Science

popsci.com

To fall asleep, you need adequate time to unwind, even if you feel tired. Most people don't allow themselves enough time to relax before bed.

Lack of sleep makes it worse. When you get less sleep than the recommended 7 to 8 hours a night, you begin to accrue a sleep debt. Your body experiences a stress response and begins to release adrenaline, which stimulates your body to be alert. To overcome this, you need a good night's sleep on a regular basis.

Noise-canceling headphones use destructive interference

When using noise-canceling headphones, the unwanted sounds are canceled out by creating an opposing sound wave to the one you want to eliminate.

It means that when one sound wave is at its highest peak, the other is at its lowest, canceling each other out.

How do noise-cancelling headphones cancel sounds?

sciencefocus.com

  • The microphone on the earcup listens out for ambient noise.
  • When the noise is registered, the microphone sends the frequency and amplitude of the incoming wave back to the noise-canceling circuitry.
  • An out-of-phase sound is created, then fed into the headphone speakers, along with the music you're playing.
  • It cancels out around 70 percent of external noise without affecting the music you're listening to.
Delusional beliefs and madness
  • People with psychosis may believe the neighbours are poisoning them; they could believe colleagues have hired someone to kill them.
  • Psychiatrists define beliefs as delusions when they consider them to be irrational and unfounded.
  • French philosopher Michel Foucault defined 'madness' as the absence of reason or rational thought.
  • German-Swiss psychiatrist Karl Jaspers stated that delusions are incomprehensible beliefs that don't reflect the real world.
  • Today, The American Psychiatric Association stated delusions are beliefs that are clearly implausible and not understandable to same-culture peers.

Beliefs have a social purpose. Does this explain delusions?

psyche.co

The focus on irrationality is missing the point. To label delusions as irrational means that all 'normal' cognition is rational, which is not true as our beliefs are disproportionately influenced by multiple factors.

A new theory suggests that we form delusions to help us understand and survive in our social environment. These processes allow us to live and cooperate with people by understanding their intentions.

Beliefs are formed in the first place to enable us to survive in our social environment, to cooperate with each other, and mutually reflect and solve problems. However, beliefs differ across social groups. For example, beliefs about the risk levels of specific activities during the pandemic vary greatly, such as the wearing of masks.

When we consider the social role of beliefs, we can better understand how delusions take shape. A person that has been repeatedly threatened may be wary of people in the future, even if it seems irrational.

Delusions are often thought of as the extreme part of a belief. People suffering from delusions remain unchanged even in the face of contrary evidence. Their beliefs may become increasingly intense and disruptive.

Research shows the importance of understanding the social environment of a delusional personal: instead of dismissing delusions as irrational, consider the social conditions that contributed to their distressing beliefs.

Physical health is more than exercise

When we want to maximize our physical health, we should not only focus on a balanced diet and exercise but also on our social relationships.

Studies, again and again, point to our relationships as a major factor in health. One meta-study found that people with healthy and supportive relationships live longer.

How Your Social Life Might Help You Live Longer

greatergood.berkeley.edu

When we experience stress, our bodies change:

  • The stress hormone increases.
  • Our cardiovascular system activates its fight or flight response.
  • Inflammation increases. Inflammation helps us fight off bacteria.
  • Our ability to fight off viruses decreases.

Loneliness is a major stressor. Loneliness increases cortisol and inflammation - which hurt our health in the long run.

Taking time to connect with others help activate beneficial processes, such as the release of oxytocin. Oxytocin lower cortisol, reduce pain, change the way our brain responds to potential stressors, and promote the growth of new brain cells.

Because our social relationships are vital for our health, it's important to consider how to improve them. Just as we might plan healthy meals or exercise, we should plan to spend quality time with friends and family.

We can catch up with friends remotely, a phone call being better than texting. We should also consider how to incorporate kindness into our routine. An act of kindness could be bringing someone chocolates, opening doors for others, or picking up trash.

Many of the factors that impact our health are best understood at the level of community, rather than the individual.

People that live in a friendly neighborhood have a lower risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Try to invest more time into your family life. Stop to chat with neighbors. Try to be kinder.

The last five pounds are the hardest

When you are getting close to your weight loss goal, you will often hit a plateau and won't be able to lose the last few pounds.

The reason why this is the case reveals a lot about the dynamic relationship between body weight and appetite.

Lose weight by knowing the scientific reason why those final pounds are hardest to lose

inverse.com

When dieting to lose weight, there are two primary reasons why weight loss slows down over time:

  • Calorie expenditure decreases with weight loss because fewer calories are needed to maintain and move a lighter body.
  • Weight loss increases the appetite. The hormone leptin tells our brain how much fat is stored in our body. When we lose body fat, leptin decreases and increases our appetite.

Changes in calorie expenditure and the effect of body fat stores on appetite will stabilize body weight in the long run. However, it is hardly noticeable in the short term.

We get hungry when our stomach tells our brain that it's nearly empty. But signals from our stomach can leave us vulnerable to overeating.

Fullness is determined partly by the fat, carbohydrate, and protein content of the meal, and partly by the overall amount. If a meal contains more fiber, it's more filling. That is why it is hard to overeat on foods such as fruits and vegetables.

We can consume more foods with a higher energy density, like pizza, chocolate, and chips, than the same amount of food with a lower energy density, such as apples.

We're prone to overeat high-calorie foods because they're less filling per calorie and more pleasurable to eat. With repetition, you may find yourself choosing the lower calorie option and keeping your weight in check.

It is hard to resist our desire to eat higher energy-dense foods, making dieting lapses inevitable. Motivation to maintain the diet may dwindle and can add to the perception that the last five pounds are harder to lose.

Our weight will settle around a point that is a balance between the desire for certain foods, our ability to keep our eating in check, and the energy we expend in physical activity.

Protein Intake

Protein intake is considered a no-brainer. As obesity rates have doubled over the last 20 years, this is what we have been told to eat. It is common knowledge that we have to avoid sugar, refined oils, and carbohydrates, and focus on eating protein, will be good for our health and help us lose weight. Many of us have, over the years, switched to brown bread and skimmed milk.

We also believe that we need to eat as much protein as we can.

We don’t need nearly as much protein as we consume

bbc.com

A high-protein diet is essential for us to help our body grow and repair. We have been told to eat approximately 55 gm of protein daily for males, and 45 gm for females, based on average weights.

Not eating enough of protein can also have side effects like hair loss.

The protein supplement market had a valuation of USD 12.4 billion in 2016.

The way protein is packed in everything from candy bars to ‘high protein’ versions of staple products, it is becoming clear that it is an ongoing health fad. Many experts believe that products with ‘inflated protein’ are a waste of money.

Protein has been associated with building our muscles. Resistance exercise tears up muscles, requiring protein to be rebuilt by the body. Protein supplement companies promote consuming their products post-workouts, but a majority of the consumers find it difficult to tell if there is any real effect.

A 2014 study found that protein supplements have zero impact on lean mass and muscle strength in the first few weeks of resistance training. Protein supplements are a marketing strategy for us to buy protein which we can adequately get (in a better way) in normal food.

The elderly need more protein for the retention of muscle mass. Experts tell us that as we age, it is imperative that we consume more protein, even if our craving for it is curbed.

It is still not advisable for the elderly to get their proteins from supplements, as it has adverse effects on kidney, bones, and can also trigger symptoms like bloating, gas and stomach pain.

Maintaining a healthy gut, with a variety of microbes, viruses and germs is crucial for our overall health.

Reducing carbohydrates in our diet severely impacts our gut health, so the carb-less Atkins-type diets are to be avoided.

... isn't’ as good as it seems. Eating large quantities of animal protein has adverse effects on our weight, with red meat linked to cancer and heart disease.

Human Evolution

Evolution is a gradual change in the DNA of a species over many centuries, occurring by natural selection when traits created by genetic mutations promote survival or reproduction in an organism.


By looking at global DNA studies, it is evident that human evolution hasn’t stopped, but is happening at a faster rate than before.

Human evolution is still happening - possibly faster than ever

theconversation.com

  • Human beings adapt to their environments genetically, over a period of time. 
  • Developing countries having populations with no access to proper health care continue to survive and thrive. 
  • In countries where infectious disease outbreaks have occurred in the past, survivors develop a natural resistance to the disease and pass it on to their offspring. 
  • People living in higher altitudes develop a mutated gene that increases blood oxygen content, resulting in better survival in the next generation.
Our Diet

What we consume or don't consume influences our genes. Example: Countries where milk isn’t taken commonly, develop lactose intolerance and other digestive problems.


Our Ultra-processed and super-unhealthy diets are also contributing to genetic adaptation, with studies showing changes in blood pressure and cholesterol levels. The upcoming result of this mutation of DNA is uncharted territory and will be more fully understood in the coming decades.

Certain molecular repairs seem to be happening in a biased way in our bodies, according to recent scientific studies of the genome. Certain ‘fast-evolving’ genes are rapidly accelerating, causing a fast rate of evolution. 


This is currently being studied and is pointing towards new kinds of genetic problems for future generations.

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