All posts tagged habits

5 Simple Steps to Becoming a Morning Person

Do you cringe at the thought of opening your curtains in the morning to let the bright sunshine in after 5 alarms (because you and the ‘snooze’ button are well acquainted)? Well, good news for you because there is a way to retrain your body to be a morning person… Your body and your boss will be thankful because you will have time for a good breakfast in the morning and you will also start arriving to work on time if you follow these simple steps to becoming a morning person:

Lower Your Body Temperature at Night

“To fall asleep and get into deep sleep, you have to reach your daytime low body temperature,” says Spencer. To get there, move your workout to earlier in the day so it doesn’t interfere with bedtime, limit hot showers at night, and drop your apartment’s temp by a few degrees, she says. The cozy duvet on your bed will be calling your name in no time.

Limit Your Nighttime Exposure to Light

Your internal clock is controlled by light. “Whether it’s TVs or screens, all of those devices that shine light at our eyes are ‘awake-promoting’ and not ‘sleep-promoting,’” says Spencer. Help your clock start to shift naturally by cutting your exposure an hour before bedtime. Not ready to kick your Netflix-in-bed habit? Turning your iPad light to low could help you catch Zzz’s more quickly after the credits roll.

Resist Stimulations

You don’t need to shut yourself off from the outside world, but it’s a good habit to stay calm as it gets late. That means avoiding stressful work e-mails if they can wait until the morning, horror movies, and intense novels that keep your mind spinning. “All of those things just cause mental stimulation that you need to have turned off well enough before bedtime,” says Spencer. Sorry, Girl on the Train. You’re strictly a commute-only read.

Reach for Melatonin as a Last Resort

In the beginning of your efforts to become a morning person, a dose of melatonin can help. “Taking it a little before you want to start falling asleep helps give you a little extra boost to feel sleepy,” says Spencer. Once you’re stable, lay off, though. Eventually, you want to rely on your body’s natural melatonin production rather than the pill form.

Wake Up to Morning Light

Getting to sleep is only half the battle. “Helping yourself wake up is just as important as helping yourself fall asleep,” says Spencer. Immediately open your curtains or head outside to catch some early rays. As a bonus, early to rise likely means early to bed that night. “If you’re able to alert yourself and wake up at an earlier hour, you’re going to be more prepared to go to bed at an earlier time,” says Spencer. And that means you’ll be even closer to tricking your internal clock into its new pattern.



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The Scientific Facts Behind Forming Habits

Have you ever wondered how you form habits so easily? Or maybe, why is it so hard to break a habit but so easy to form one? Take a look at this video below that explains the science behind habits and how the brain formulates them:

I Bet You’ve Never Heard of This Type of Jet Lag That’s Harming You…

We all know the story that goes like this: The snooze button battle throughout the week – living to get to Friday night and finally sleeping in on the weekend and staying up late to binge watch our favorite shows or go out with friends. Then come Sunday night, repeat the cycle… This cycle actually has a name called, Social Jet Lag and it has nothing to do with going out of the country. Watch the video below to see it’s affects on your body:

How To Tell If You Have The Characteristics Of An Entrepreneur

Have you ever wondered if you have what it takes to start your own business? Maybe it’s one of your goals, your just not sure you have the characteristics to make it.  Watch the video below to see what exactly it is that makes an entrepreneur, an entrepreneur:

8 Traits That Will Make People Trust You As A Leader

What exactly makes a great leader, great? Scientifically, people will listen and follow someone who portrays specific traits; and if it is your goal to become a better leader or begin your journey of leading, pay close attention to the qualities below to see where you could improve:

1. Focus

“It’s been said that leadership is making important but unpopular decisions. That’s certainly a partial truth, but I think it underscores the importance of focus. To be a good leader, you cannot major in minor things, and you must be less distracted than your competition. To get the few critical things done, you must develop incredible selective ignorance. Otherwise, the trivial will drown you.”

—Tim Ferriss, bestselling author, host of The Tim Ferriss Show 

2. Confidence

“A leader instills confidence and ‘followership’ by having a clear vision, showing empathy and being a strong coach. As a female leader, to be recognized I feel I have to show up with swagger and assertiveness, yet always try to maintain my Southern upbringing, which underscores kindness and generosity. The two work well together in gaining respect.”

—Barri Rafferty, CEO, Ketchum North America

3. Transparency

“I’ve never bought into the concept of ‘wearing the mask.’ As a leader, the only way I know how to engender trust and buy-in from my team and with my colleagues is to be 100 percent authentically me—open, sometimes flawed, but always passionate about our work. It has allowed me the freedom to be fully present and consistent. They know what they’re getting at all times. No surprises.”

—Keri Potts, senior director of public relations, ESPN

4. Integrity

“Our employees are a direct reflection of the values we embody as leaders. If we’re playing from a reactive and obsolete playbook of needing to be right instead of doing what’s right, then we limit the full potential of our business and lose quality talent. If you focus on becoming authentic in all your interactions, that will rub off on your business and your culture, and the rest takes care of itself.”

—Gunnar Lovelace, co-CEO and cofounder, Thrive Market

5. Inspiration

“People always say I’m a self-made man. But there is no such thing. Leaders aren’t self-made; they are driven. I arrived in America with no money or any belongings besides my gym bag, but I can’t say I came with nothing: Others gave me great inspiration and fantastic advice, and I was fueled by my beliefs and an internal drive and passion. That’s why I’m always willing to  offer motivation—to friends or strangers on Reddit. I know the power of inspiration, and if someone can stand on my shoulders to achieve greatness, I’m more than willing to help them up.”

—Arnold Schwarzenegger, former governor of California

6. Passion

“You must love what you do. In order to be truly successful at something, you must obsess over it and let it consume you. No matter how successful your business might become, you are never satisfied and constantly push to do something bigger, better and greater. You lead by example not because you feel like it’s what you should do, but because it is your way of life.”

—Joe Perez, cofounder, Tastemade

7. Innovation

“In any system with finite resources and infinite expansion of population—like your business, or like all of humanity—innovation is essential for not only success  but also survival. The innovators are our leaders. You cannot separate the two. Whether it is by thought, technology or organization, innovation is our only hope to solve our challenges.”

—Aubrey Marcus, founder, Onnit

8. Patience

“Patience is really courage that’s meant to test your commitment to your cause. The path to great things is always tough, but the best leaders understand when to abandon the cause and when to stay the course. If your vision is bold enough, there will be hundreds of reasons why it ‘can’t be done’ and plenty of doubters. A lot of things have to come together—external markets, competition, financing, consumer demand and always a little luck—to pull off something big.”

—Dan Brian, COO, WhipClip



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How This Successful Man Goes About His Morning:

We all want to live a successful life, but where does that start? A successful day typically begins with a successful start, and successful days typically pave a successful life… So take a peak at what Investor, entrepreneur, and wine expert Gary Vaynerchuk has to say about his unique morning routine to see how your morning habits match up:

5 Harmful Habits You May Not Realize You’re Doing…

Going through life, we tend to get caught up in ‘going through the motions’ and sometimes we don’t realize our actions have consequences. These consequences can either affect the people in your environment, you personally or sometimes both. These five habits are something to be aware of as they directly affect your brain and self:


1. Immediate gratification.

Our consumer mentality has made us believe we can have anything our way. You can, most of the time, but going after what makes you happy all the time actually makes you sadder. You want what you want all the time and that expectation simply can’t be met.Instead, define your bigger goals. M. Scott Peck’s classic The Road Less Traveled emphasis on delayed gratification can be taken to a new level when you know why waiting for something matters.

2. Personalization.

Thinking you are the cause of something that has gone wrong, even though you were not responsible, creates a cycle of unhappiness known as personalization. Your brain starts thinking every grumpy person or negative event is because you were bornIts antidote is to assume it’s not about you. We have to trust that adults will tell us when they are angry with us. We cannot take on the world’s problems in a day and age when we can see all of them in living color on our smart phones

3. Perseveration.

Find a safe person to talk about with for a limited period of time. In many situations, we can’t get the answers we need to the small and significant pains we experience. You may never find the phone you lost or know why the person didn’t invite you, but if you want to stop perseverating, you have to put a limit on the amount of time you stay stuck.

4. Projection.

There is a lot of ambiguous stuff out there these days. Uncertainty is normal. That means that our feelings are constantly forming and we can’t keep track of all of them. We face too much pressure and change. And if we can be compassionate to ourselves and kind to the people around us, you shine light on your shadow. It’s hard to be judgmental when you want to understand the other person.

5. Catastrophizing.

The answer to catastrophizing is doing a little CSI on your own thoughts. Are you really going to get fired for being late once? Will a stock market drop leave you destitute? If your spouse says something about your clothes do they really never think you are attractive? We all make things bigger than they are sometimes, and all of us have the capacity to challenge our own thoughts to decide if what’s happening is really a disaster or we simply need to go get lunch.

In each case, these brain habits have an alternative. And our problematic thoughts, feelings, and behaviors usually do. As we evolve as human beings, we don’t have to keep making the same mistakes personally and in our relationships. When we know we have options, that’s when we can develop patterns of living that are good for us and the people in our lives.





Read up on a few tips to keeping the brain happy and keeping the positivity flowing here!

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Scientifically Proven Habits to Make Your Brain Happier

Who doesn’t want to be happier in this world of chaos and negativity that we battle each day?! There are multiple ways to train your brain to be happier, but below are a few scientifically backed habits that will guide you on the path to happiness:

8 Hacks to a Better Night’s Sleep

There are a lot of things that hang on a good nights rest; your mood the next day, productivity level, diet, and the list goes on. Below are 10 hacks to get you a better night’s sleep so you can rock your week without the dreaded exhausting shadow that lingers:

Moderate Your Alcohol Intake

A nightcap might make you drowsy, but it probably won’t improve your sleep. Alcohol is an anesthetic that depresses your central nervous system, says Rafael Pelayo, MD, a clinical professor at Stanford’s sleep center. As the sedative wears off, you’re more likely to wake up in the middle of the night and then sleep fitfully. A small 2011 study found that when participants went to bed drunk (for some that is having the equivalent of three drinks in an hour), they had less REM sleep. They also woke frequently during the night, an effect that was more pronounced in women than in men. Since it takes at least an hour for your body to metabolize a standard drink, Pelayo suggests waiting one hour per drink before heading to bed. “Going to sleep sober is a healthier choice than nodding off with a buzz,” Pelayo says. “You might sleep less, but the sleep you get will be far better.”

—Christie Aschwanden

Cognitive? Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia.

The best-kept secret in sleep medicine isn’t some wonder drug, but a pill-free treatment called cognitive-behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I), which targets the thoughts and behaviors that screw up your slumber (the panicky feeling of being wide awake at 3 A.M., the hours of tossing and turning). According to recent research, CBT-I can be stunningly effective—after at least three sessions, 86 percent of insomniacs showed significant improvement in their sleep. However, there’s one big challenge: About 60 million Americans suffer from insomnia, but there are only a few hundred CBT-I practitioners.

To help bridge the gap, a new app calledSleepRate delivers the therapy to your iPhone. The app works with a heart rate monitor, logging your heartbeats as you sleep, while your phone records ambient sounds, such as a snoring spouse or barking dogs. Once the app collects data for five nights of a nine-night stretch, it generates a personalized plan based on science from Stanford University. The suggestions, which can take up to eight weeks to fully implement, might surprise you. If you normally go to bed by 9, for instance, “we could recommend that you don’t get into bed until two to three hours later,” says Britney Blair, who is board certified in behavioral sleep medicine. “If you have trouble falling asleep, we want you to get in bed only when you’re good and sleepy. When patients feel their sleep improving, I often get an ‘Oh, my God!’ response because they can’t believe it’s actually working.”

—Rebecca Webber


Exercise. Anytime, Anywhere

For years we’ve been told that exercise improves sleep unless you work out close to bedtime, in which case it can have the opposite effect. But according to recent research, fitness can be great whenever. We asked Kelly Glazer Baron, PhD, an assistant professor of neurology at Northwestern University, to explain.

Q: I can really exercise any time of day? A: When insomniacs did 30 minutes of exercise as late as 7 p.m. three times per week, we found that it actually improved their sleep. A separate poll also found that working out within four hours of bedtime won’t keep most people up.

Q: So will it cure my insomnia? A: The subjects in our experiment slept 45 minutes longer and reported having higher-quality sleep. But more research needs to be done to determine how much exercise is needed to maintain those effects.

Q: When can i expect to see results? A: In about two to four months. We don’t know why it takes that long; it could be due to improvements in mood, which take time to have a lasting effect on your sleep patterns.

—Jessica Migala


Imagine You Slept Better Than You Did

© gpointstudio

© gpointstudio

Telling yourself you got a good night’s rest may make a difference in how you think and feel: In a study in the Journal of Experimental Psychology, scientists told one group of subjects that they had logged an above-average amount of REM sleep, while a second group was told they didn’t get enough. Then everyone was given a test that measured their cognitive function. The above-average sleepers performed better than those told they’d slept poorly. “Simply hearing that you had high-quality sleep may trigger automatic responses, like heightened energy, that your brain has come to associate with being well rested,” says study coauthor Kristi Erdal, PhD.

—Jessica Migala


The New Jet Lag Cure.

Tired of feeling like a zombie the first few days in a new time zone? Entrain, a recently launched app developed by mathematicians at the University of Michigan, can help speed up the recovery process. The free app focuses on light, the most important factor when it comes to resetting your circadian clock. “When people travel, they often want to immediately shift their sleep schedule to the new time zone, but for some trips, that can actually make things worse,” says Olivia Walch, one of the app’s creators. “You can adjust fastest by exposing yourself to light at times of day that aren’t always intuitive. We may, for example, recommend staying in the dark until 10 a.m., even if you wake up at 6. When curing jet lag, sleep matters, but light matters more.”

—Arianna Davis


Lullabies Aren’t Just For Babies.

Before you hit the sack, cue up a soothing playlist. Research in the International Journal of Nursing Studies found that when insomniacs listened to relaxing music for 45 minutes prior to bedtime, they spent more time in REM sleep.

—Jihan Thompson


Myth: The Early Bird Gets The Worm.

At least, not always. When you rise before dawn to finish a last-minute task, you may be more likely to experience microsleeps—temporary moments of nodding off that can last up to 30 seconds. “Your body follows its own circadian rhythms and wants to keep sleeping,” says Michael Twery, PhD, a sleep expert at the National Institutes of Health. Try to complete your work before you turn in (even if it’s past your normal bedtime). And if possible, Twery advises, plan ahead for the lost sleep with a nap during the day.

—Ashley Williams


Oversleeping. Too much of a good thing can be bad for your health.

If you’re regularly snoozing nine hours or more per night, you may be putting yourself at risk for more than a few illnesses, including diabetes and heart disease. Cognitively, you’re not at the top of your game, either. According to a 2014 report from the Harvard-based Nurses’ Health Study, women who slept nine hours or more performed worse on cognitive and memory tests than women who averaged seven hours of sleep nightly. Lead researcher Elizabeth Devore suspects that the brains of those who slept longer were aging faster because those women were disrupting their body’s natural circadian rhythm. Her advice: “Don’t kick this problem down the road. As early as midlife, sleep habits can predict future memory problems. Create a routine: Go to bed at the same time every night and force yourself to get up at an appropriate time, even if you’re still a little tired.”

—Kathryn Wallace

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5 Habits That are Self Destructive in Your Life

It’s certainly true that we are our own worst critic… and with that comes negative thoughts about ourselves, diminishing our self confidence one negative depiction at a time. It doesn’t take long for all those negative thoughts to wear and tear on your confidence and slowly drag you down, preventing you from taking advantage of opportunities for success. Read the traits below to check and see if you need to make any self adjustments:


You don’t believe in yourself.

Self-talk is a strong force, whether it’s positive or negative. If you tell yourself “I’m not ready for that promotion” or “I could never be that disciplined” or “I don’t have the aptitude to be a boss”  if you routinely talk yourself out of your aspirations  you will not reach your potential.


You compare yourself with others.

When you hold the full, complex reality of your life up against the visible surface of someone else’s, it’s easy to come away feeling like less. If you want to compare yourself with someone else, look at those who have less and are struggling — then be grateful for all your advantages and achievements and commit yourself to sharing your blessings.


You surround yourself with negativity.

You don’t have to look very hard to find people with issues — there’s always someone ready to cut down someone else’s success or dwell on the unfairness of a situation or workplace. Often what these people are masking is their own fear of failure, but allowing yourself to be exposed to their negativity will have a bad influence on you. Recognize the positive people in your life and choose your relationships carefully.


You indulge in pessimism.

If you often catch yourself thinking “I don’t have a chance” or “This will never work out,” you need to shout down that voice before it creates a self-fulfilling prophecy. Focus on what you can do instead of worrying about the outcomes you can’t control.


You don’t let yourself speak up.

When you quiet your own voice, when you stop yourself from saying what you want to do or asking for what you need, your silence can be mistaken for ignorance or apathy — by others and even by yourself. Even if you feel overpowered, it’s important to say what’s on your mind.



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