The Top 2 Ways To Turning Your Passions Into Multiple Streams of Income

The Top 2 Ways To Turning Your Passions Into Multiple Streams of Income

In Making a Living Without a Job, Barbara J. Winter described the idea of Multiple Profit Centers: “I think of creating profit centers,” she wrote, “as being akin to what a juggler does when spinning plates on top of sticks. The juggler walks out on the stage with ten sticks and ten plates but doesn’t begin spinning them all at once. Methodically, he or she positions the first plate on a stick and gets it into motion. Once done, the juggler moves on to the next, then the next, and so forth. Eventually, all ten of the plates are spinning away, each with its own momentum”

Creating multiple streams of income is key to sustain and secure your message. When one of the streams faces a hard time, others lift you up.

When it comes to creating multiple streams of income (or multiple profit centers as Barbara likes to call), people are divided into two groups:

1. Dominant Passion:

Those are people who have one dominant passion and would like to spend the rest of their lives pursuing that single passion.

Around this dominant passion may revolve several streams of income.

I belong to this category. I’m extremely passionate about the field of success and motivation. Now, I’ve three major streams of income: speaking, life purpose coaching and motivational information products … and I’m always looking out for more.

2. Passion Mix:

When you have several passions, which I call the passion mix, you can turn each one of them into a stand alone stream of income.

Think of Sir Richard Branson!

Beside success & motivation, I have a strong passion for Chess. I’ve not considered creating a profit center around it yet. However, if I do, I will belong to this category of people pursuing different unrelated passions.

The secret to making the idea of “multiple streams of income” successful is to follow the juggler example.

Start with one plate, get it into motion and then move on to another plate.

Don’t start everything all at once.

You’ve to focus all your efforts on starting and building momentum for your first business idea. Then, when it acquires the momentum that makes it stable enough, you move on to build your next business idea or stream of income.

Now, what possible streams of income can you create around your passions? Let’s continue the discussion in the comments section below.

Mohamed Tohami is a bestselling author and the creator of “The P.A.S. Technique: The World’s Easiest Way To Find Your Passion and Purpose In Life”. If you want to set your heart & soul free from the prison of the paycheck and discover how to proudly follow your passion, give a visit to his Transformational Motivation blog now.

 


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ERIN FALCONER!

Erin shows overscheduled, overwhelmed women how to do less so that they can achieve more. Traditional productivity books—written by men—barely touch the tangle of cultural pressures that women feel when facing down a to-do list. How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.

Who the Hell are You? 10 Ways to Step out from Behind the Mask

Who the Hell are You? 10 Ways to Step out from Behind the Mask

Who the hell are you? Are you for real? That’s the message I got when I had forgotten my twitter password for the umpteenth time. And it got me thinking (something I have been known to do on occasions). Do we really know who we are?

Next time you pass by a mirror, just stay there for a while and look at the person staring back at you. Is that you or an image of you? This is how you present yourself to the world and yet does your inner self match your outer self?

Once upon a long time ago, there was a man who liked to fool around and play jokes on everyone. He used to put on an extraordinary mask that spanned an array of emotions from laughing and crying to grimacing. He took great pleasure in playing the fool and frightening everyone. Some people laughed at his antics, some people cried. All he cared about was the adrenalin rush and excitement that their reactions gave him.

He used to pop his mask on a few times a week, but as his need for excitement grew, he would wear the mask every day until he was wearing it all the time, even sleeping in it. He wandered around for years behind the mask until one day, he felt strange. He felt cut off from himself, isolated and realized that something was missing.

The next day he bumped into a lovely lady and it was love at first sight. But when he reached out to her, she screamed and ran away, frightened by his weird and shocking mask.

‘Stop’ he cried,’ this isn’t me!’ And he desperately tried to wrench the mask from his face. But he could not remove it because it was him. The mask was stuck to his face, it had become his face.

He tried to tell others the dreadful thing that had happened to him but no one was interested in listening because they had all done the exact same thing as him. They were all wearing masks, all playing at being people they were not.

Who are you? Are you wearing a mask?

There are times in our lives when we might put on a mask to stop our true selves from being seen. We do this out of a fear that if people really knew us they would not like us. We have a real fear of being exposed for the charlatan we think we are. But it is a great emotional burden pretending to be someone we are not. It is a very tiring and draining experience. How long has it been since you looked inside to experience your real self?

When I did my training to be a psychotherapist I had to have my own therapy and I remember this question. Who are you? I answered that I was a mother. Rap on the knuckles, Carole, that is not who you are that is what you do. Very often we cannot answer the question who the hell are you? Because we do not know.

Our real selves has been squashed and taken over by our false selves. It is up to us to redress the balance.

Do you spend much of your time putting other’s needs before your own?

Are you very conscious of your appearance? Do you hate your job? Do you ever do anything that you really want to do?

You may have put on a mask to protect yourself at some stage in your life but is it really necessary anymore? The mask has done its’ job and now it is only a barrier to your future happiness.

10 ways to step out from behind the mask

  • Cut the crap of pretending to others that you are happy when you are not
  • If you are in an unhappy relationship, either seek counseling or leave
  • If you hate your job, start looking for a new one or re skill in a new area
  • Delegate chores or work to others when you are overwhelmed
  • Learn to say No frequently
  • Stop being Mr. or Mrs. nice guy
  • Stop rescuing others, try rescuing yourself first
  • Take a risk and let others see the real you, if they don’t like it, tough
  • Take time out to meditate or take a yoga class
  • If all else fails, see a psychotherapist

About the Author:

Carole Lyden is a psychotherapist and writer living in Perth, Western Australia. PsycheBuzz is a website that will help you: Feel more positive about yourself. Add depth and meaning to your life. Enrich and empower your life. Attempt to ease your mental distress. Please join me there.

Don’t forget to sign up for the PickTheBrain NEWSLETTER!

Related Reading:

3 Steps to Mastering Empathy

36 Ways to Feel Absolutely Beautiful


GET THE BOOK BY
ERIN FALCONER!

Erin shows overscheduled, overwhelmed women how to do less so that they can achieve more. Traditional productivity books—written by men—barely touch the tangle of cultural pressures that women feel when facing down a to-do list. How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.

10 Simple Ways to Balance Your Energy Levels Throughout the Day

10 Simple Ways to Balance Your Energy Levels Throughout the Day

Do you feel enthusiastic and inspired in the mornings – only to find yourself exhausted in the afternoons? Perhaps you only ever seem to perk up when you’ve got a coffee in hand, or you manage to concentrate for 30 minutes but then find yourself procrastinating.

If your energy levels fluctuate a lot, you might need to focus on achieving more balance. These ten tips should help:

#1: Drink Plenty of Water

Yes, you’ve heard this one a hundred times before. But are you actually managing it?

If you’re slightly dehydrated, you’ll struggle to concentrate. Try keeping a bottle of water on your desk so that you can easily sip while working. If you don’t like the taste of plain water, try buying sparkling or flavored varieties.

 

#2: Don’t Drink Too Much Caffeine

Coffee, tea and caffeinated sodas will give you a short-term energy boost, followed by a slump. If you’re relying on caffeine to stay alert and awake, you’re probably not sleeping enough.

But … don’t reduce your caffeine intake too suddenly, or you’re likely to get headaches. Try cutting down slowly – if you normally drink six cups of coffee a day, cut back to five.

 

#3: Eat at Regular Intervals

Your brain needs fuel: if you’re hungry, it’s hard for you to focus. It’s also difficult to concentrate after a heavy lunch – so rather than stuffing yourself, eat smaller amounts at regular intervals.

Many nutritionists recommend eating every three hours; that means having a mid-morning and mid-afternoon snack to keep you going between meals.

#4: Don’t Eat Sugary Snacks

Eating regularly doesn’t mean filling up on cookies or donuts. Sugary snacks play havoc with your energy levels: they give you a quick boost followed by a crash.

If you’ve got a sweet tooth, try eating fresh fruit instead. On days when only chocolate will do, go for dark varieties (at least 70% cocoa) and eat just a small amount.

#5: Have a Power Nap

Although this one isn’t an option for many of us, a quick nap during the afternoon can really boost your energy. If you work from home (or have a very understanding boss!) then try taking a twenty minute nap to help you over the afternoon slump.

Make sure you don’t sleep too long, though; you’ll just wake up feeling groggy. You might want to set an alarm.

#6: Don’t Skimp on Sleep at Night

Even if you take a power nap during the day, don’t cut back on sleep at night. Most of us need seven to eight hours of sleep to function well – but some people need more.

It’s tempting to sleep less in order to have more time to cram everything in, but if you’re well rested, you’ll have more energy to tackle everything, and you’ll get tasks finished faster.

#7: Take Regular Breaks

No-one can stay focused on a task for hours at a time. You need to take breaks from whatever you’re doing in order to keep your energy levels up.

It’s a good idea to get away from your desk: grab a glass of water or go for brisk walk (even if it’s just round the corridors). At lunch time, make sure you take a real break from work, rather than eating sandwiches at your desk.

 

#8: Don’t Procrastinate

Taking a planned break is different from procrastinating. If you’re surfing the net when you know you should be working, you’re simply letting resistance to a task build up.

Sometimes, procrastination can look like work: for instance, you might work on emails so you can put off that difficult phone call or tricky report. This will leave you feeling demotivated. Instead, tackle the harder things first – you’ll get a real energy boost.

#9: Exercise at Moderate Intensity

Exercise is good for you in so many ways. One of the benefits of being active is that you’re likely to have more energy: moving around gets your blood pumping. You may also find that you sleep more soundly.

When you exercise, aim to work at a moderate intensity. That means you should be able to hold a conversation, but you shouldn’t be able to sing the lyrics to a song.

 

#10: Don’t Exercise Too Hard

If you’re just getting started with exercise, don’t overdo it. There’s no point in spending two hours in the gym after work – only to end up so exhausted that you slump on the sofa with a bag of chips instead of cooking a healthy dinner.

For most of us, thirty to forty-five minutes of moderate exercise, five times a week, is about right. You don’t necessarily have to do this in one daily session, either; you could aim for a twenty minute brisk walk in your lunch hour and a twenty minute cycle ride in the evening.

How do you keep your energy levels up during the day? Share your tips and ideas in the comments…

Photo credit: Stephen Vincent

 


GET THE BOOK BY
ERIN FALCONER!

Erin shows overscheduled, overwhelmed women how to do less so that they can achieve more. Traditional productivity books—written by men—barely touch the tangle of cultural pressures that women feel when facing down a to-do list. How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.

3 Healthy Ways to Satisfy Your Cravings

3 Healthy Ways to Satisfy Your Cravings

 

Let’s face it – You don’t have to be pregnant to know what it’s like to crave salty potato chips or sweet ice cream. The fact of the matter is that everyone has a craving now and then. But did you know your cravings might actually mean something?

Usually, when we crave a certain food, it’s because our body is telling us it needs a specific nutrient. You can go ahead and give into that craving to satisfy your body, but it’s important to know why you are craving a certain food and then choose the healthier alternative. Your system, and your waistline, will thank you for choosing the healthy way out.

Craving Salty Snacks

If you are craving potato chips or French fries, you need something salty. This is likely your body’s way of telling you that you are low on essential minerals. A low-calcium diet often leads to salt cravings. Salt tricks your body into believing that calcium levels are high enough.

Instead of the salt, reach for dairy. Drink a glass of milk or eat a slice of cheese. You’ll give your body the calcium you need instead of tricking it into thinking it’s satisfied.

Craving Sweet Treats

For some people, all you have to do is say the word “chocolate” and their mouth waters until a pound of chocolate has been consumed. When we crave sweets, it’s usually because of our mood. In many cases, we are sad when we crave sweets. Ever have a really tough day and the only thing that will console you is a big cupcake? That’s because when we are sad we want a quick mood lift. Our body wants to release serotonin, which you can get when you eat sweets.

If you really must have that chocolate, opt for dark chocolate. This variety contains antioxidants, which are needed to stay healthy. Or better yet, instead of eating the chocolate, go out for a walk or a bike ride. The exercise is much more likely to give you long-term mood benefits, whereas the treats will only make you feel better for a moment.

Craving a Spicy Kick

When your body is overheated, you crave the spicy foods that make you perspire. Your body wants to cool down and spicy food can help do that. Some studies suggest that people who crave spicy foods are addicted to the accelerated heart rate and rapid breathing that comes from really spicy Thai food or Mexican favorites. It’s the adrenaline rush you’re actually craving, not the food itself.

Again, go exercise to help you get the rush you need. Your body will perspire, which will help cool you down. Plus, you’re getting your heart rate up, which helps with the adrenaline craving.

When you apply these tips you can cut out a bunch of empty calories and increase your intake of healthy vitamins and minerals. You will feel healthier and look better, which everyone can agree is a good thing!

About the author: Allen is an avid basketball player and NBA fan. In his spare time he writes for YourLocalSecurity.com.


GET THE BOOK BY
ERIN FALCONER!

Erin shows overscheduled, overwhelmed women how to do less so that they can achieve more. Traditional productivity books—written by men—barely touch the tangle of cultural pressures that women feel when facing down a to-do list. How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.

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3 Ways To Prepare For Adversity

3 Ways To Prepare For Adversity

When the going gets tough, we tend to seek out those people—and things—that give us the strength to be our best self. We yearn for the feeling that we’ve turned our lives around and are headed for better days.

Looking for the upside takes our mind off the down times. A positive attitude allows us forget, even for a while, the hardships that face us in many areas of our life.

Those times of contentment and happiness are wonderful. We need to spend time with them so when times are harder, we can remember the strength they gave us. But to expect those times to last is not realistic.

Here is the ugly truth: We learn very little by being happy and content. We learn everything by being engaged with the realities of life, especially when it’s hard, confusing, and difficult.

What are the stories that motivate us? They’re the stories of people who were beaten down by circumstances and defied the odds by pulling themselves up by the bootstraps to achieve the impossible. That’s why we love old western movies and Rocky Balboa.

The best motivational speakers are those who have been in the trenches and dug down, inside themselves, to find an inner strength that they didn’t know existed. These transformations remind us that we can find our best self too—it just needs to be teased out.

The unpleasant bits of acid that reality drops into our life every now and then are exactly what we need in order for that best self to thrive. The new science of post-traumatic growth is proving that in the wake of adversity, most people not only recover, they rebound.

Former Army combat veteran J.R. Martinez embodies the built-in human capacity to flourish even in the most difficult circumstances. Wounded in Iraq and suffering from burns over more than 40 percent of his body, Martinez underwent more than 30 surgeries before beginning a new career as a motivational speaker and winning the 2011 fall season of ABC’s  “Dancing With the Stars.”

As powerful as his story is, aren’t we’re all just a little relieved that the trauma didn’t happen to us? Whenever our peace is disturbed by adversity, isn’t our first reaction always something like, “Why does this have to happen to me?”

When I was going through the FBI Academy at the age of twenty-five, one of the physical fitness requirements was to dive off a 25 foot diving board while holding an M16 rifle, and then swim to the other side of the pool with the gun. I had two problems: I was afraid of heights, and I couldn’t swim.

As my training class and instructors waited for me to jump, I seriously doubted that in real life I’d ever need to jump into a pool of water with a M16 while chasing a suspect. This was something I had to do, however, to graduate from the Academy, so I plunged in and bounced back up to the surface—still holding the gun—and then floundered until I made the other side.

It wasn’t until a few years later that I realized the swimming pool test had nothing to do with superior law enforcement techniques. Instead, it taught me that those who keep their back straight when confronted with uncomfortable challenges or conflict will inspire others around them. Everyone knew I was afraid of the jump, but it was something that I needed to do. Once I took the plunge, the by-product was two-fold. First, I earned respect from my classmates; and second, I learned that when the chips were down, I could achieve more than I dreamed possible.

How can you gird yourself and prepare for adversity and future down times? There are many ways, but here are three simple and positive approaches:

1. Surround yourself with people who believe in you

  • List 5 people who inspire you to be your best – and spend more time with them.
  • Spend time with colleagues who ask “Why not?” instead of “Why?”
  • Share your struggles, dreams, and goals but only with those who can help you be your best self.

2. Create a benchmark for choosing friends: Ask questions about which friends you choose to spend time with.

  • Will spending time with this person drag me down or lift me up?
  • Will they make me want to be a better person?
  • Will they help make me a happier person? Successful? Stronger?
  • Will they help me achieve my most important goals?

3. Revisit the past

  • Identify what you did correctly and how it changed the course of your life.
  • Evaluate how you could have done some things differently.
  • Understand that we repeat behavior – spot positive behaviors in your past that have brought out the best in you so you can repeat those behaviors in the future.
  • Ask trusted friends and colleagues to be honest and help pinpoint those times when you’re at your best . . . and yes—when you are not. The purpose is not to criticize, but to help you make better choices.

Like you, I don’t go looking for adversity and hardship, but if I didn’t encounter them I wouldn’t be learning the lessons I’m learning about developing a strong mind to overcome future obstacles—because guess what . . . they are going to show up.

Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all!

 

How do you prepare for adversity? What tips can you share on how to surround yourself with friends you can trust? How have you learned from your past?

 


GET THE BOOK BY
ERIN FALCONER!

Erin shows overscheduled, overwhelmed women how to do less so that they can achieve more. Traditional productivity books—written by men—barely touch the tangle of cultural pressures that women feel when facing down a to-do list. How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.

The Secret to Waking Up Early

The Secret to Waking Up Early

Having troubles waking up early in the morning? Always snoozing until the last minute? Often late to work? Well, then you should learn the secret of waking up early. It’s all about the motivation. It is always easier to make an effort when you are really motivated. So, if you want to become an early riser after years of being a night owl, all that you need is to find a good reason to get up early in the morning.

Think of the things you always wanted to do but never had time for. Imagine you can find the time needed every day. Just be smart and use your mornings for that. Do something for yourself. When you come home after a long and exhausting hours of work, you are most likely to skip the things you enjoy only because you are extremely tired. You are so tired that the only thing you want is spend your evening watching TV and there is no more energy for anything else. But what about you and your true desires? Don’t you want to be in a good shape anymore? Don’t you want to finally finish the book you have been writing since college? Don’t you want to spend more time outside playing with your one true friend, your dog, instead of walking him out really fast to do his business because you no longer have time for him?

Well leave this all in the past. Now you will have time for everything! Made a list of things you are going to do for the whole week ahead and stick to the plan. Yes, you are right, you need to write it down. Place it on the mirror in the bathroom and go through your plans when you brush your teeth in the evening before going to bed. Remind yourself of your plans for the next day and visualize them. What image do you have in your head when you do that? I am sure you can see yourself with a big smile on your face. That’s the way to go! Do it every evening and soon you will see that waking up early has never been that easy!

“New you” will have time for everything. Going to the gym before work, practicing yoga, or jogging outside can give you an energy boost for the rest of the day and significantly increase your productivity. Not only you will become fitter and healthier, but you will also notice that you are million times more active and willing to succeed. Besides, physical activity in the morning will help you falling asleep easily at night and your sleep is proven to be deeper. This way you will need less time to restore and you will feel better and full of energy when you wake up early next day. I know, it sounds crazy but you will actually need less sleep to be more active during the day when you start doing sports.

Does that sound like you? If not, I am sure you will still be able to find one true reason for waking up early that will stimulate you to put much effort into it. Everyone is different, so is the motivation that will work for you.

 

Amber Smith is a time management expert and runs the site How to Get Up Early. The site is about helping people to get up early and be more productive by sharing original tips and innovative products.

 

Photo credit: twolittlemoos

 


GET THE BOOK BY
ERIN FALCONER!

Erin shows overscheduled, overwhelmed women how to do less so that they can achieve more. Traditional productivity books—written by men—barely touch the tangle of cultural pressures that women feel when facing down a to-do list. How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.

5 Self Help Books That Might Just Change Your Life

5 Self Help Books That Might Just Change Your Life

Self-Help: the act of helping or improving yourself without relying on anyone else.

Luckily for us, there is a large selection of self-help literature written by truly remarkable authors. These authors share personal experiences from their own successful careers or interview others who have unlocked secrets of happiness and achievement. Stopping by your local bookstore or Amazon for a self-help title can be a bit intimidating! So we’ve handpicked five great reads to jump start your journey to the richer life:

The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success: A Practical Guide to the Fulfillment of Your Dreams – Deepak Chopra (1994)

Having sold over 3 million copies worldwide, you can safely assume that Deepak Chopra, an Indian medical doctor, speaker and writer, pretty much has the topic of self-help nailed. Pitched as a book to be cherished for a lifetime, Chopra offers proven ideas on how to achieve spiritual awakening and practical activities that will help you get there faster. Although primarily based on Buddhist ideas, this book offers even the most skeptical of individuals an enchanting read with exciting prospects for success in areas including potential, karma and giving.

The Secret – Rhonda Byrnes (2006)

Rhonda Byrnes was in the depth of despair when she discovered Wallace Wattle’s ‘The Science of Getting Rich.’ Convinced she had stumbled upon a little known secret to success in all areas of life, Byrne set out to prove her theory. Translated into 44 languages and selling over 21 million copies, it’s safe to say she proved it. Through collaboration with the likes of Jack Canfield (Chicken Soup for the Soul), Mike Dooley (TUTs Adventurers Club) and Bob Proctor (Personal Development Coach), Byrne introduces a powerful process you can use to change any aspect of your life.

The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun – Gretchen Rubin (2010)

Gretchen Rubin’s #1 New York Times Best Seller about happiness may not be pitched as a self-help book, but anyone who follows the guidance in this little gem is bound to feel somewhat improved. In her consistently fresh and compelling narrative, Rubin relates the story of her 12-month journey to happiness. While offering guidance on everything from relationships to parenthood and spirituality to passions, without ever coming across as someone in the tight grip of a personal crisis, Rubin delivers one of the most astute and relevant works on the theme of happiness. Read it or risk being miserable for the rest of your life.

The Four Hour Work Week: Escape the 9-5, Live Anywhere and Join the New Rich – Timothy Ferriss (2008, Expanded 2011)

Another self-improvement offering that reached #1 on the New York Times Best Seller list, Timothy Ferris shows you how to eliminate non-essential work and outsource the remaining in this gripping read. Anyone who has ever wanted to escape the rat race needs to read this book. Readers can’t help but be inspired by his detailed blue-print for successful online businesses. If you’re stuck for ideas as to what to do with all the free time you’re going to have, you needn’t worry since Ferriss covers all that too. The Four Hour Work Week asks that all important, but often overlooked, question: what do you actually want from life?

The Road Less Traveled – M. Scott Peck (1978)

This one has been around for an age, but the musings of psychologist M. Scott Peck have stood the test of time. First launched in the times of I’m OK, You’re OK, Peck took a stand and dared to suggest that life may actually be difficult at times. By sharing intimate case studies of anonymous therapy clients, and offering an insightful look into his own life stories, Peck gives us the courage to deal with our own problems. Considered a spiritual refuge, this book stands out as one of the most honest and revealing approaches to human fulfillment.

Heidi Marks is a freelance writer from Seattle and contributor to Degree Jungle. A keen traveler, she enjoys open mic nights, fine wine and chocolate cake (in moderation).

Don’t forget to sign up for the PickTheBrain NEWSLETTER!

Related Reading:

3 Steps to Mastering Empathy

36 Ways to Feel Absolutely Beautiful


GET THE BOOK BY
ERIN FALCONER!

Erin shows overscheduled, overwhelmed women how to do less so that they can achieve more. Traditional productivity books—written by men—barely touch the tangle of cultural pressures that women feel when facing down a to-do list. How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.

How to Use Diet and Exercise to Naturally Treat Your Depression

How to Use Diet and Exercise to Naturally Treat Your Depression

Let’s face it. Depression is daunting, but so are some of its treatments. SSRIs, MAOIs, TCAs, SNRIs, nerve or magnetic stimulation, seizure therapy, and even neurosurgery are available to battle depression. For the most part, drugs and intensive medical therapies are only necessary for severe or persistent cases of depression that cannot be resolved in talk therapy or by means of other alternate therapies. If you have recently been diagnosed with depression, if you suffer from a mild form of depression, or if you would like to consider reducing your dependency on depression medications, talk to your doctor or therapist about natural, alternative treatments for depression.

In addition to psychotherapy, a variety of natural methods have been shown to reduce symptoms of depression and restore brain chemistry to appropriate function. Individuals with Seasonal Affective Disorder, newly diagnosed depression, or mild depression may benefit from using diet and exercise to manage depressive symptoms and avoid or reduce their use of medication for depression or other medical interventions for their illness.

Eat Foods that Reduce Symptoms of Depression

Mother Nature was no fool. A variety of delicious foods naturally provide brain stimulation to produce feel-good hormones, regulate mood, reduce anxiety, improve sleep, and boost concentration. Include at least one of the following foods (preferably more) in your diet every single day for the most noticeable effect on depressive symptoms.

Whole Grains. Oats and whole wheat are essential for providing energy to your brain. Without it, your glucose levels can sink and your system will feel tired. When your brain and cells are tired, you feel fatigued and irritable.

Spinach and Bananas and Orange Juice, Oh My! The vital ingredients for mood and health are at no shortage in these foods. The three power foods provide antioxidants that help prevent your brain cells from damage and fight off fatigue, vitamins and minerals that carry oxygen to your brain to help chemical reactions take place and improve sleep, and amino acids to release feel-good serotonin and help you manage stress.

Walnuts and Dark Chocolate. What a delicious combo of mood-boosting foods! Walnuts help prevent irritability, anxiety, and insomnia while dark chocolate helps your brain receive vital oxygen and may even increase levels of dopamine in the brain. The healthy fats they carry may also contain vital nutrients for brain health.

Milk and Eggs. That’s right, down-home farm food is down-right good for your brain. The vitamins and minerals in milk may help reduce anxiety and frustration, while the protein and nutrients in eggs (including the yolk) help improve memory and bump up the brain’s level of serotonin.

Turkey and Salmon. Poultry and fatty fish provide loads of essential nutrients for brain health. The amino acids found in animal cutlets like turkey and salmon help you manage stress, increase your motivation, reduce anxiety, and release serotonin and norepinephrine so that you start feeling relaxed and clear-headed.

Exercise to Beat Depression

Exercise is another natural way to keep symptoms of depression at bay – in fact, some research suggests it can be at least as effective as medication in treating mild depression. Because exercise stimulates the production of feel-good hormones, even getting out of breath for a short period of time helps your brain promote bodily relaxation and tranquility. For the best impact on symptoms of depression, exercise 3 times each week for about 30 minutes per session. More frequent sessions of shorter duration may also be effective. Thankfully, whatever type of exercise you do can be equally beneficial provided you get your heart rate up and your blood pumping. Try some of the following suggestions to find an exercise routine you enjoy, or create your own for variety.

Practice Yoga, Pilates, or Meditation. These exercises can be practiced at a variety of skill levels and have been demonstrated to significantly reduce stress, anxiety, and pain for numerous health conditions. All three can improve mood and sleep, tone muscles, and potentially help you mentally work through some of the emotional complications of depression.

Swim. Not only is water therapy used as its own treatment for depression, swimming is also considered an easy exercise option for those with little prior experience with exercise and those who have weight issues or joint pain.

Take Jogs or Walks. Running, speed walking, or just strolling around the neighborhood with your kids or dog can bring immense benefits in terms of mood regulation, stress relief, socialization, and anxiety reduction. Taking your activity outside is ideal in appropriate weather, but if your only option is a gym, work hard to meet friends to multiply the benefits of exercise by also engaging your social self.

Spend Time in Nature. Climb a tree, take a hike, go kayaking or pedal boating, garden, or take up a hobby (such as nature photography) that will get you out and about. Explore on foot or by paddle, chase your kids at the playground, or mow the lawn yourself to get the benefit of the great outdoors in addition to the boost your brain will get from working up a sweat.

Fight Depression Naturally

Diet and exercise are two of the healthiest and simplest ways available to treat mild or seasonal depression. Always follow the advice of a physician or licensed therapist when designing a treatment regimen for depression, but be sure to ask about trying natural lifestyle changes before or instead of medication. In many cases, eating well and being physically active can work wonders in rebalancing the brain and preventing depression from taking control of your life.

Katie Brind’Amour is a freelance health and wellness writer and Certified Health Education Specialist. She has a certificate in Mental Health First Aid and is pursuing her PhD in Health Services Management and Policy. In her spare time, she blogs about friendship and life in the not-so-fast lane. For more articles like these, visit Danae’s Corner.

 


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Erin shows overscheduled, overwhelmed women how to do less so that they can achieve more. Traditional productivity books—written by men—barely touch the tangle of cultural pressures that women feel when facing down a to-do list. How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.

How to be Intentionally Happy

How to be Intentionally Happy

 

What makes you happy?

Money? The newest iPhone? The good health of your family? A promotion at work?

Some interesting work by University of California, Riverside researcher Sonja Lyubomirsky not only suggests where our happiness comes from, but shows how to get more of it.

Pieces of the happiness pie

Dr. Lyubomirsky proposes that there are three components to happiness:

  • A genetically-based “happiness set point”
  • Life circumstances
  • Intentional activities and practices.

She has broken these three areas into percentages regarding how much they are responsible for your happiness.

Although the variability of the happiness set point is currently undergoing more research, Lyubomirsky cites studies that indicate the set point is responsible for 50% of your overall happiness.

Life circumstances – things like the aforementioned iPhone, family health, and work promotion – account for only 10% of your happiness.

That leaves intentional activities aimed toward positive emotion providing you with 40% of your happiness quotient.

Now, here are a couple of important things to know:

  • Your happiness set point is genetic and therefore impervious to change. The theory is that no matter what happens – good or bad – you tend to eventually settle back into your inherited level of happiness. So, there’s no use trying to make an impact on your happiness set point.
  • You could try to improve your life circumstances by getting more stuff, striving for career goals, and finding the perfect partner. But not only do life circumstances only account for a small percentage of your happiness, they are subject to a very human process: hedonic adaptation. In a nutshell, this means that we very quickly adapt to new things in our lives, so our happiness about it is short-lived.

Taking action toward happiness

So that leaves us with intentional activities as the remaining piece of the happiness pie, a piece that creates 40% of our well-being. Lyubomirsky believes it is this component that we have the most control over and that allows us to take action rather than merely react when it comes to creating happiness.

So what are these activities that promote positive emotions and well-being? Lyubomirsky suggests three well-researched practices:

1. Committing acts of kindness. Doing nice things for others tends to up your happiness quotient. Curiously, Lyubomirsky found that doing several acts of kindness on the same day – rather than spreading them out through the week – generated the greatest jump in well-being.

2. Expressing gratitude and optimism. Keeping a list of things you are grateful for really does help make you happier. An intriguing note on this component is the discovery that making a list one time per week created a greater boost in happiness than making lists three or more times per week.

3. Processing happy and unhappy life experiences. This is where it really gets interesting. It turns out that talking or writing about your life experiences is helpful in only one of these conditions: the negative experiences.

Why? Apparently, talking to a friend or writing about difficult times in your life helps you to create a story and structure around the event, an act which helps you make sense of it and adjust to the experience more easily.

Positive experiences, however, generate more happiness if they are thought about privately. This allows you to savor and re-experience them without having to analyze them. It’s perfectly fine to talk with others about great things that happen to you as this will brighten your friend’s day, too.  But be sure to remember and relish those good events in your life in your private time, too.

What makes you happy? Slice yourself a bigger piece of the happiness pie using intentional activities. You’ll be happy you did.

Psychotherapist Bobbi Emel specializes in helping people face life’s significant challenges and regain their resiliency. In addition to seeing clients in her private practice, Bobbi is a well-regarded speaker and writer. You can find her blog at http://www.TheBounceBlog.com

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Related Reading:

Finding Bliss: How to Reverse Engineer Happiness

The 6 Components of a Happy Life


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The Productivity Contradiction – Do We Really Want to be Highly Productive?

The Productivity Contradiction – Do We Really Want to be Highly Productive?

I wish I could grow back down and be young and carefree again. Life was so simple when I was in elementary school. I had no concern for time. Time was forever. There was always more time or enough time. As an adult, I’ve learned time is everything. Time is a non-renewable resource. Without a day being limited to 24 hours, we would care nothing about productivity. And productivity is all about the wise use of our time.

There are two types of productivity: one is vertical and the other horizontal. Vertical productivity is about how you can perform a specific activity as quickly as possible. On the other hand, horizontal productivity is how you fit everything you want into your life – work, family, and hobbies – and organize them so you can get to it all. But there is a contradiction. If we do everything in the most productive way possible, doesn’t that mean we will spend less time in some of the most enjoyable activities? What if the Sunday football game could be played in only 15 minutes? What if you could see and do everything you wanted on your summer vacation in one or two days?

Let’s do some soul searching. As adults, we are over scheduled. We have too much demand on our time from everywhere, not to mention all of those things we want to do for ourselves. It’s this feeling of being overwhelmed that’s a sure sign your life needs to change.   What I found works is to sit down in a quiet place, and in your mind’s eye, throw your whole life into the trash bin. Then reconstruct your life from nothing. What would you really take from your life today and add back? What new things would you include? How would you really spend the day tomorrow? The reason this is important is that often people are trying to optimize productivity for activities that they don’t want to be doing or shouldn’t be doing, so why do them? I often question why people want extreme productivity. If you work a lot and you love what you do, why do you want to do your work as quickly as possible?  Wouldn’t you rather continue working? Or is it that you really don’t like your work?

Now that you’ve determined what it is that you need to do, let’s look at being more productive by stopping those time leaks. Those things that seem to steal away your precious time, and before you know it, nothing you truly wanted has been accomplished.

1.Don’t allow work to drip into your to-do list.  I come from a computer software background, so for those geeks out there, don’t be interrupt-driven.  It’s easier to lump similar tasks together and do them at one time during the week, then to handle every request as it comes in. It’s easier and more efficient to pay all your bills on Saturday then when each arrives in the mail or inbox. Many tasks can be handled in this way. The trick is to keep the requestor happy and this can be done by simply telling them when they will get what they want.

Schedule everything or set aside blocks of time to do things. It’s the only way to get everything you want into a busy schedule. It’s more efficient to hold to your schedule and not allow exceptions except for absolute emergencies.  The reason is there are always exceptions.

2. Learn to say ‘no’. Don’t let other people make their problems, your problem. As you get older and more successful, there isn’t enough time in a day anymore. You can anything, but you can’t do everything. You need to pick and choose. Don’t speak at every meeting, don’t attend every networking event, don’t go to every conference, and don’t agree to every play date for your child.

3. The 80/20 rule applies to almost everything. It takes 20% effort to get 80% of the work done. How much of that remaining 80% of work effort are you willing to do to get to 100% completion or perfection? Is the incremental effort worth it? In my experience, perfection is rarely required so when is it good enough?

4. One of the hardest rules is to not let other people’s dreams and goals take priority over or eliminate yours. This is particularly difficult where you have an emotional bond such as children, spouses, or significant others. Children will demand 100% of your time. Spouses have their own sense of what’s important and what’s not, and it won’t always align with your view. It’s easy to fill your time doing things for others. You need to consider them, but you also need to follow your heart.

Ultimately, enhancing productivity boils down to thinking and planning what and why you are doing something, and then actually doing it.

Cynthia Kocialski is the founder of three tech start-ups companies. In the past 15 years, she has been involved in dozens of start-ups. Cynthia writes the Start-up Entrepreneurs’ Blog www.cynthiakocialski.com. Cynthia has written the book, “Out of the Classroom Lessons in Success: How to Prosper Without Being at the Top of the Class.” The book serves up tips, insight, and wisdom to enable young adults and parents of kids to know what it will take to forge a successful career, no matter what their academic achievement.

 


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ERIN FALCONER!

Erin shows overscheduled, overwhelmed women how to do less so that they can achieve more. Traditional productivity books—written by men—barely touch the tangle of cultural pressures that women feel when facing down a to-do list. How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.