10 Simple Things That Will Make You Happier, Backed By Science

1. EXERCISE MORE – 7 MINUTES MIGHT BE ENOUGH

You might have seen some talk recently about the scientific 7 minute workout mentioned in The New York Times. So if you thought exercise was something you didn’t have time for, maybe you can fit it in after all.

Exercise has such a profound effect on our happiness and well-being that it’s actually been proven to be an effective strategy for overcoming depression. In a study cited in Shawn Achor’s book, The Happiness Advantage, three groups of patients treated their depression with exercise. The results of this study really surprised me. Although all three groups experienced similar improvements in their happiness levels to begin with, the follow up assessments proved to be radically different:

The groups were then tested six months later to assess their relapse rate. Of those who had taken the medication alone, 38 percent had slipped back into depression. Those in the combination group were doing only slightly better, with a 31 percent relapse rate. The biggest shock, though, came from the exercise group: Their relapse rate was only 9 percent!

You don’t have to be depressed to gain benefit from exercise, though. It can help you to relax, increase your brain power and even improve your body image, even if you don’t lose any weight.

study in the Journal of Health Psychology found that people who exercised felt better about their bodies, even when they saw no physical changes:

Body weight, shape and body image were assessed in 16 males and 18 females before and after both 6 × 40 mins exercise and 6 × 40 mins reading. Over both conditions, body weight and shape did not change. Various aspects of body image, however, improved after exercise compared to before.

We’ve explored exercise in depth before, and looked at what it does to our brains, such as releasing proteins and endorphins that make us feel happier, as you can see in the image below.

2. SLEEP MORE – YOU’LL BE LESS SENSITIVE TO NEGATIVE EMOTIONS

We know that sleep helps our bodies to recover from the day and repair themselves, and that it helps us focus and be more productive. It turns out, it’s also important for our happiness.

In NutureShock, Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman explain how sleep affects our positivity:

Negative stimuli get processed by the amygdala; positive or neutral memories gets processed by the hippocampus. Sleep deprivation hits the hippocampus harder than the amygdala. The result is that sleep-deprived people fail to recall pleasant memories, yet recall gloomy memories just fine.

In one experiment by Walker, sleep-deprived college students tried to memorize a list of words. They could remember 81% of the words with a negative connotation, like “cancer.” But they could remember only 31% of the words with a positive or neutral connotation, like “sunshine” or “basket.”

The BPS Research Digest explores another study that proves sleep affects our sensitivity to negative emotions. Using a facial recognition task over the course of a day, the researchers studied how sensitive participants were to positive and negative emotions. Those who worked through the afternoon without taking a nap became more sensitive late in the day to negative emotions like fear and anger.

Using a face recognition task, here we demonstrate an amplified reactivity to anger and fear emotions across the day, without sleep. However, an intervening nap blocked and even reversed this negative emotional reactivity to anger and fear while conversely enhancing ratings of positive (happy) expressions.

Of course, how well (and how long) you sleep will probably affect how you feel when you wake up, which can make a difference to your whole day. Especially this graph showing how your brain activity decreases is a great insight about how important enough sleep is for productivity and happiness:

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Another study tested how employees’ moods when they started work in the morning affected their work day.

Researchers found that employees’ moods when they clocked in tended to affect how they felt the rest of the day. Early mood was linked to their perceptions of customers and to how they reacted to customers’ moods.

And most importantly to managers, employee mood had a clear impact on performance, including both how much work employees did and how well they did it.

Sleep is another topic we’ve looked into before, exploring how much sleep we really need to be productive.

3. MOVE CLOSER TO WORK – A SHORT COMMUTE IS WORTH MORE THAN A BIG HOUSE

Our commute to the office can have a surprisingly powerful impact on our happiness. The fact that we tend to do this twice a day, five days a week, makes it unsurprising that its effect would build up over time and make us less and less happy.

According to The Art of Manliness, having a long commute is something we often fail to realize will affect us so dramatically:

… while many voluntary conditions don’t affect our happiness in the long term because we acclimate to them, people never get accustomed to their daily slog to work because sometimes the traffic is awful and sometimes it’s not. Or as Harvard psychologist Daniel Gilbert put it, “Driving in traffic is a different kind of hell every day.”

We tend to try to compensate for this by having a bigger house or a better job, but these compensations just don’t work:

Two Swiss economists who studied the effect of commuting on happiness found that such factors could not make up for the misery created by a long commute.

4. SPEND TIME WITH FRIENDS AND FAMILY – DON’T REGRET IT ON YOUR DEATHBED

Staying in touch with friends and family is one of the top five regrets of the dying. If you want more evidence that it’s beneficial for you, I’ve found some research that proves it can make you happier right now.

Social time is highly valuable when it comes to improving our happiness, even for introverts. Several studies have found that time spent with friends and family makes a big difference to how happy we feel, generally.

I love the way Harvard happiness expert Daniel Gilbert explains it:

We are happy when we have family, we are happy when we have friends and almost all the other things we think make us happy are actually just ways of getting more family and friends.

George Vaillant is the director of a 72-year study of the lives of 268 men.

In an interview in the March 2008 newsletter to the Grant Study subjects, Vaillant was asked, “What have you learned from the Grant Study men?” Vaillant’s response: “That the only thing that really matters in life are your relationships to other people.”

He shared insights of the study with Joshua Wolf Shenk at The Atlantic on how the men’s social connections made a difference to their overall happiness:

The men’s relationships at age 47, he found, predicted late-life adjustment better than any other variable, except defenses. Good sibling relationships seem especially powerful: 93 percent of the men who were thriving at age 65 had been close to a brother or sister when younger.

In fact, a study published in the Journal of Socio-Economics states than your relationships are worth more than $100,000:

Using the British Household Panel Survey, I find that an increase in the level of social involvements is worth up to an extra £85,000 a year in terms of life satisfaction. Actual changes in income, on the other hand, buy very little happiness.

I think that last line is especially fascinating: Actual changes in income, on the other hand, buy very little happiness. So we could increase our annual income by hundreds of thousands of dollars and still not be as happy as if we increased the strength of our social relationships.

The Terman study, which is covered in The Longevity Project, found that relationships and how we help others were important factors in living long, happy lives:

We figured that if a Terman participant sincerely felt that he or she had friends and relatives to count on when having a hard time then that person would be healthier. Those who felt very loved and cared for, we predicted, would live the longest.

Surprise: our prediction was wrong… Beyond social network size, the clearest benefit of social relationships came from helping others. Those who helped their friends and neighbors, advising and caring for others, tended to live to old age.

5. Go outside – happiness is maximized at 13.9°C

In The Happiness Advantage, Shawn Achor recommends spending time in the fresh air to improve your happiness:

Making time to go outside on a nice day also delivers a huge advantage; one study found that spending 20 minutes outside in good weather not only boosted positive mood, but broadened thinking and improved working memory…

This is pretty good news for those of us who are worried about fitting new habits into our already-busy schedules. Twenty minutes is a short enough time to spend outside that you could fit it into your commute or even your lunch break.

A UK study from the University of Sussex also found that being outdoors made people happier:

Being outdoors, near the sea, on a warm, sunny weekend afternoon is the perfect spot for most. In fact, participants were found to be substantially happier outdoors in all natural environments than they were in urban environments.

The American Meteorological Society published research in 2011 that found current temperature has a bigger effect on our happiness than variables like wind speed and humidity, or even the average temperature over the course of a day. It also found that happiness is maximized at 13.9°C, so keep an eye on the weather forecast before heading outside for your 20 minutes of fresh air.

6. HELP OTHERS – 100 HOURS A YEAR IS THE MAGICAL NUMBER

One of the most counterintuitive pieces of advice I found is that to make yourself feel happier, you should help others. In fact, 100 hours per year (or two hours per week) is the optimal time we should dedicate to helping others in order to enrich our lives.

If we go back to Shawn Achor’s book again, he says this about helping others:

…when researchers interviewed more than 150 people about their recent purchases, they found that money spent on activities—such as concerts and group dinners out—brought far more pleasure than material purchases like shoes, televisions, or expensive watches. Spending money on other people, called “prosocial spending,” also boosts happiness.

The Journal of Happiness Studies published a study that explored this very topic:

Participants recalled a previous purchase made for either themselves or someone else and then reported their happiness. Afterward, participants chose whether to spend a monetary windfall on themselves or someone else. Participants assigned to recall a purchase made for someone else reported feeling significantly happier immediately after this recollection; most importantly, the happier participants felt, the more likely they were to choose to spend a windfall on someone else in the near future.

So spending money on other people makes us happier than buying stuff for ourselves. What about spending our time on other people? A study of volunteering in Germany explored how volunteers were affected when their opportunities to help others were taken away:

 Shortly after the fall of the Berlin Wall but before the German reunion, the first wave of data of the GSOEP was collected in East Germany. Volunteering was still widespread. Due to the shock of the reunion, a large portion of the infrastructure of volunteering (e.g. sports clubs associated with firms) collapsed and people randomly lost their opportunities for volunteering. Based on a comparison of the change in subjective well-being of these people and of people from the control group who had no change in their volunteer status, the hypothesis is supported that volunteering is rewarding in terms of higher life satisfaction.

In his book Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-being, University of Pennsylvania professor Martin Seligman explains that helping others can improve our own lives:

…we scientists have found that doing a kindness produces the single most reliable momentary increase in well-being of any exercise we have tested.

7. PRACTICE SMILING – IT CAN ALLEVIATE PAIN

Smiling itself can make us feel better, but it’s more effective when we back it up with positive thoughts, according to this study:

A new study led by a Michigan State University business scholar suggests customer-service workers who fake smile throughout the day worsen their mood and withdraw from work, affecting productivity. But workers who smile as a result of cultivating positive thoughts – such as a tropical vacation or a child’s recital – improve their mood and withdraw less.

Of course it’s important to practice “real smiles” where you use your eye sockets. It’s very easy to spot the difference:

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According to PsyBlogsmiling can improve our attention and help us perform better on cognitive tasks:

Smiling makes us feel good which also increases our attentional flexibility and our ability to think holistically. When this idea was tested by Johnson et al. (2010), the results showed that participants who smiled performed better on attentional tasks which required seeing the whole forest rather than just the trees.

A smile is also a good way to alleviate some of the pain we feel in troubling circumstances:

Smiling is one way to reduce the distress caused by an upsetting situation. Psychologists call this the facial feedback hypothesis. Even forcing a smile when we don’t feel like it is enough to lift our mood slightly (this is one example of embodied cognition).

One of our previous posts goes into even more detail about the science of smiling.

8. PLAN A TRIP – BUT DON’T TAKE ONE

As opposed to actually taking a holiday, it seems that planning a vacation or just a break from work can improve our happiness. A study published in the journal, Applied Research in Quality of Life showed that the highest spike in happiness came during the planning stage of a vacation as employees enjoyed the sense of anticipation:

In the study, the effect of vacation anticipation boosted happiness for eight weeks.

After the vacation, happiness quickly dropped back to baseline levels for most people.

Shawn Achor has some info for us on this point, as well:

One study found that people who just thought about watching their favorite movie actually raised their endorphin levels by 27 percent.

If you can’t take the time for a vacation right now, or even a night out with friends, put something on the calendar—even if it’s a month or a year down the road. Then whenever you need a boost of happiness, remind yourself about it.

9. MEDITATE – REWIRE YOUR BRAIN FOR HAPPINESS

Meditation is often touted as an important habit for improving focus, clarity and attention p, as well as helping to keep you calm. It turns out it’s also useful for improving your happiness:

In one study, a research team from Massachusetts General Hospital looked at the brain scans of 16 people before and after they participated in an eight-week course in mindfulness meditation. The study, published in the January issue of Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging, concluded that after completing the course, parts of the participants’ brains associated with compassion and self-awareness grew, and parts associated with stress shrank.

Meditation literally clears your mind and calms you down, it’s been often proven to be the single most effective way to live a happier live. I believe that this graphic explains it the best:

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According to Shawn Achor, meditation can actually make you happier long-term:

Studies show that in the minutes right after meditating, we experience feelings of calm and contentment, as well as heightened awareness and empathy. And, research even shows that regular meditation can permanently rewire the brain to raise levels of happiness.

The fact that we can actually alter our brain structure through mediation is most surprising to me and somewhat reassuring that however we feel and think today isn’t permanent.

10. PRACTICE GRATITUDE – INCREASE BOTH HAPPINESS AND LIFE SATISFACTION

This is a seemingly simple strategy, but I’ve personally found it to make a huge difference to my outlook. There are lots of ways to practice gratitude, from keeping a journal of things you’re grateful for, sharing three good things that happen each day with a friend or your partner, and going out of your way to show gratitude when others help you.

In an experiment where some participants took note of things they were grateful for each day, their moods were improved just from this simple practice:

The gratitude-outlook groups exhibited heightened well-being across several, though not all, of the outcome measures across the 3 studies, relative to the comparison groups. The effect on positive affect appeared to be the most robust finding. Results suggest that a conscious focus on blessings may have emotional and interpersonal benefits.

The Journal of Happiness studies published a study that used letters of gratitude to test how being grateful can affect our levels of happiness:

Participants included 219 men and women who wrote three letters of gratitude over a 3 week period.

Results indicated that writing letters of gratitude increased participants’ happiness and life satisfaction, while decreasing depressive symptoms.

Quick last fact: Getting older will make yourself happier

As a final point, it’s interesting to note that as we get older, particularly past middle age, we tend to grow happier naturally. There’s still some debate over why this happens, but scientists have got a few ideas:

Researchers, including the authors, have found that older people shown pictures of faces or situations tend to focus on and remember the happier ones more and the negative ones less.

Other studies have discovered that as people age, they seek out situations that will lift their moods — for instance, pruning social circles of friends or acquaintances who might bring them down. Still other work finds that older adults learn to let go of loss and disappointment over unachieved goals, and hew their goals toward greater wellbeing.

So if you thought being old would make you miserable, rest assured that it’s likely you’ll develop a more positive outlook than you probably have now.

Want to chat about this article? Leave a comment below or send me an email with your thoughts.

Oh and before I forget, we’ve recently launched the new Buffer for Business. Take a look, it’s the most powerful Buffer yet to help you better manage your social media everywhere.

Photo credit: Spencer Finnley

This article was originally written by: Belle Beth Cooper & published on Buffer
Read more at http://higherperspective.com/2015/01/happy.html#YRStK8E0vySR4fgP.99

Seven Survival Life Hacks That Could Save Your Life

This is a great video for anyone. This short informative video by HouseholdHacker It will help you think outside of the box when it comes to surviving and maybe save a life.

Candlelight from Tin Cans

What I love about this is that using an empty soda can will make use of the candle in a more efficient way! The can serves as protection against the wind and its shiny aluminum side will help in intensifying the heat, thereby giving you additional warmth on a cold night. clever stuff.

How To Get Clean Water

This method of using a piece of cloth is just genius. It takes a bit of time but gravity definitely does its job well. It’s also very important to note that this is just a filter, You will still need to boil the water before drinking! Just because it looks clear doesn’t mean that there aren’t any bacteria or germs. Here’s another tip if you’re looking for cleaner water: never take anything from stagnant water because it is most likely contaminated with dead animals and germs that will make you get really sick. (sorry)

Natural Mosquito Repellant

I don’t know about you but I HATE mosquitoes. If you live in a tropical country, there’s always a risk of getting dengue or malaria. It’s best that you protect your skin from exposure. If you’re having a barbeque party outside your house, placing a fresh sprig of rosemary and some dried basil will not only help keep mosquitoes away, it will also add a unique smokey flavor to your food.

Cereal Box Microwave

Wouldn’t it be great to cook your food in a cereal box? This cute method works well during sunny days because it makes use of solar heat. The aluminum foil makes it easier for the light to be concentrated within the box.

Needle And Leaf Compass

If you don’t have a compass (or a super smartphone) you can use this clever method to help you tell which way is north. The reason why you have to rub the needle with your shirt is that it creates static electricity. This step is important because your homemade compass won’t work properly without it.

source

2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 11,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 4 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

A Hunter, a Deer, a Pig, a Snake and a Jackal

Once upon a time, a Hunter lived in a forest. One morning, he set out hunting, hoping to find a deer.

Soon, he saw a Deer and hunted him down. The Hunter slung him over his shoulder and merrily started home.

On the way, he came across a fat Pig. He dropped the Deer on the ground and shot the Pig with an arrow.

The Pig gave a fearful grunt and charged at the Hunter. He hit the Hunter hard in the stomach and killed him instantly. Then the wounded Pig also fell down dead.

During the fight, a Snake that was passing by got trampled and died.

All this time, a Jackal was sitting behind a tree.

When he saw the Hunter, Deer, Pig and Snake, all lying dead, he was overjoyed and said to himself, “Ah! What luck! It looks as though I am going to have a feast, but I shall eat only a little at a time so it will last me longer.”

Then, the Jackal dragged each body to his cave, one by one. He had a feast for a long time!

8 Drinks to Boosts Your Immune System

One of the easiest and most effective ways to protect your body from illnesses is to consume foods and drinks that contain substances that have immune system boosting qualities. Many fruits and vegetables have high levels of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that can strengthen the immune system, and you can turn them into nutritional juices that are highly beneficial to your health. By ingesting these drinks on a regular basis, you have a chance of experiencing less health problems.

8 immune system boosting drinks are:

1. Lemon Juice

Lemon is one of the cheapest fruits that you can find in the grocery store or market, but it can bring amazing benefits to your health. This fruit contains lots of antioxidants and vitamin C, which can improve the immune system, and it also balances the levels of alkali and acids in the body. As such, drinking lemonade or lemon tea regularly will make your body less susceptible to illnesses.

2. Apple Cider Vinegar

The main ingredient in apple cider vinegar is apple juice, which has a wide range of vitamins and minerals that are beneficial to the body, including calcium, potassium, sodium, phosphorus, chlorine, magnesium, sulphur, iron and fluorine. This drink also contains vinegar, an acidic liquid that is known to contribute to the efficiency of the immune system.

3. Green Tea

Green tea is the perfect immune system boosting drink. It introduces a substance called epigallocatechin gallate, or EGCG, into the body, and this substance can fight bacteria and prevent viruses from multiplying. According to recent research, ECGC may be able to control the development of cancer.

4. Cranberry Juice

Cranberry juice is not only a delicious drink; it is also a great source of potent antioxidants such as flavonoids and vitamin C, which are effective in promoting the immune system. Cranberry juice can also help to prevent heart diseases and improve the urinary track system.

5. Beet Juice

Beet juice does not only enhance the immune system; it can also benefit your health in other ways. Some of the essential nutrients that are present in beet juice are beta carotene, vitamin C, carotenoids, sulphur, calcium, iron, manganese and potassium choline. This drink can improve the function of the brain, cleanse blood and strengthen the gallbladder and liver. It may be too concentrated to make a pleasant drink, but it can be mixed with apple or carrot juice.

6. Kiwi Juice

Another effective immune system boosting drink is kiwi juice. This juice contains high levels of vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin E, which are essential for a healthy immune system. Kiwi fruit also provides lots of fiber and potassium, and it can protect your body from heart illnesses.

7. Broccoli Juice

Regular consumption of broccoli will benefit the immune system, because the vegetable has good amounts of beta-carotene, vitamin B1 and C, calcium, protein, potassium and sulphur. Pure broccoli juice is very concentrated, and it has to be diluted with lighter juices.

8. Carrot Juice

Carrot juice is a sweet drink that is well-liked by both adults and children. Additionally, it can strengthen the immune system and bring other health benefits. It contains vitamin C, vitamin B complex, potassium, iron, sodium and phosphorus, which function to prevent illnesses, improve liver function, provide relief for the nervous system, alkalize blood and tone the walls of the intestines.

Reasons You’re Eating When You’re Not Really Hungry

Take a look at these 10 situations that encourage you to eat when you’re not hungry, plus tips to cope in a healthier way.

1. To Cope

Emotions are a common eating trigger. Happy? You might eat a treat to celebrate. Sad? You might eat to soothe yourself with comfort food. Angry? You might take it out with a fork instead of the person who really caused it. But if you turn to food for emotional reasons, you won’t resolve the underlying issues. It may help to track your eating habits in a journal, noting your emotional state when you headed for that snack. Writing it down may help you make a connection you hadn’t seen before, like the fact that you eat when you’re lonely or angry. Then you’ll know for the future to look for a different outlet, such as calling a friend when you’re lonely or turning to that punching bag when you’re mad or stressed. If emotional eating is a known problem for you, check out SparkPeople’s 10-step guide to overcoming emotional eating.

2. Out of Boredom

Sometimes you’re not emotional—you’re just bored. For many people, eating seems like a good solution when there’s nothing better to do; whether you graze at home on the weekends or entertain yourself with lavish dinners out. But eating can only last for so long—and then you have an afternoon to fill! If you know boredom is a trigger for your emotional eating, have a list of strategies in place to keep yourself busy and entertained when you don’t have anything else to do. Catch up with an old friend, write an old-fashioned snail-mail letter, write in your journal or blog, volunteer in your community, take up a new hobby or read a book you’ve always wanted to read. Better yet, make your boredom-buster an active endeavor, such as trying a new class at the gym, playing an active video game, going for a walk with the dog or flying a kite. Eating won’t sound as appealing if you have a fun alternative to occupy your mind and your body!

3. Because Other People Are Eating

When you’re out enjoying a dinner with family or friends, it can be easy to eat when you’re past the point of fullness—especially if you’re enamored in conversation and not paying attention to your satiation level. Perhaps more common, it’s easy to indulge when others around you are eating, too. It makes you feel like you fit in, and that it’s OK since everyone else is doing it. Research shows that our habits mimic our companions’ actions in situations like these. You don’t have to swear off happy hour with friends to watch your weight though. When your dining companions devour a second basket of bread or chips, or order dessert, don’t automatically follow suit. Check in with your hunger level to see if you really need it or if you’ll be more satisfied with the fun conversation. If you have trouble stopping yourself from reaching for more, use some of these dining out tactics to stay in control.

4. Because Food is There

Have a candy jar at the office that calls your name? Do you feel powerless to pass up food at a party, even if you’ve already eaten? When food is in plain sight, it can be so easy to grab a handful simply because it’s there. It looks good. You like it. It’s right in front of you. What’s the harm? Any food that is nearby, visible and easily accessible is hard for anyone to turn down. If you’re unable to nix the trigger food altogether, move the treats out of sight—you’ll be less likely to grab a handful. So if you buy a bag of Oreos, put them on a high shelf in a cabinet—not on the counter. Instead of a clear candy jar, try an opaque one or move it to another location. (Alternatively, stock the candy jar with a healthier, more filling treat—like nuts or trail mix.) When you’re already full and food is out at a party, stand with your back to the table or in another room. The flipside of this works, too. When you keep lots of other healthy foods in sight, like a bowl of fruit on the table, you’re more likely to eat them.

5. Because It’s a Special Occasion

If you work in a big office or have a big family, it can seem like every day is someone’s birthday, anniversary, or shower. And if those celebrations often involve cake or alcohol, it might seem that every party is a calorie-laden minefield. If you don’t want to have a piece of cake every day, don’t automatically get in the cake line when it’s your bosses’ birthday—you can always show your face at the celebration without taking part in the punch bowl. Remember: Celebrations are about the people, not the food. If you do best without temptation, skip the gathering altogether or bring your own low-cal treat. Here’s another tactic: New research shows that just imagining yourself eating a treat can decrease your desire to eat the real thing. Passing up cake or celebratory food on occasion just got easier!

6. Because You’re Tired

The dreaded afternoon energy lull can drive even the most disciplined of us to food—especially sugary treats. But that sugar rush might be followed by an even worse crash. Instead, take a walk around the office, head outside for some rejuvenating natural light, or drink a cup of coffee or a tall glass of cold water. A change of scenery might be just the ticket to battle the afternoon lull.

7. Because the Clock Says So

Do you pull out your lunchbox when the clock strikes noon, just because it’s time for lunch? Or head to the kitchen at 6 p.m. just because that’s your typical dinnertime? Don’t just eat when the clock tells you to! When mealtime hits, use it as a cue to check in with your current hunger level. Are you actually hungry? If so, whip up that healthy meal. If not, wait until your body tells you to eat, and ignore the clock.

8. Because It’s Free (Or Cheap)

Everyone loves to get a good deal. But don’t eat up just because something is free (think free samples at the grocery store) or super cheap (buy-one-get-one-free sodas or all-you-can-eat buffets). Always check in with your body’s hunger level before you automatically fill your plate with a freebie.

9. Because You Can’t Say No to Food Pushers

If you’re a people pleaser, it can be hard to say no, especially when friends or family offer you scrumptious food. And sometimes people who push food don’t take no for an answer. Have excuses lined up in your bag of tricks—and be honest. “I’m not hungry” works well, as does “I’m trying to lose weight.” If you end up with a piece of cake (or a whole cake to take home!) despite your protests, remember that you’re in control (it’s rare that people will try to force feed you). You can always set the fork down or share the cake with neighbors or co-workers, or simply eat just a small portion.

10. Because You Suffer from Clean Plate Syndrome

Most of us have grew up hearing, “There are starving kids who would love to eat that” to get us to clean our plates as kids. And for many of us, the well-meaning notion to prevent kids from wasting food and encourage them to eat their broccoli has stayed with us into adulthood. Do you still feel obligated to clean your plate, even when you’re not hungry enough to comfortably finish it all—especially at a restaurant where you’re paying a premium for a meal? Fortunately, most of us live with modern amenities like refrigerators and microwaves that make stowing away almost any meal for another time easy. (See, no waste necessary!) To prevent overeating, take stock throughout your meal to gauge how hungry you are; you might find that you don’t need those last few bites after all. If that doesn’t work, use smaller plates at home to eat less! And lastly, get over your fear of leftovers. I’ve met countless people who say they simply don’t eat them. Why not? Many foods taste better the next day or two, and most things can be refrigerated and eaten without sacrificing flavor or texture.

If you eat for reasons other than being hungry, check in with yourself. Knowing what true hunger feels like can help you recognize when you’re eating for other reasons. If you can’t avoid the specific triggers that cause you to eat when you’re not hungry—and there’s no way to avoid them all—knowing these strategies will help!

The 7 Dangerous Acts after meal 


* Don’t smoke- Experiment from experts proves that smoking a cigarette after meal is comparable to smoking 10 cigarettes (chances of cancer is higher).

* Don’t eat fruits immediately -When you eat your fruits with meals, the fruit is stuck in the stomach along with the contents of the meals and cannot reach the intestines in time. Lying there they get spoilt and spoil the remaining food in the stomach too. Thus it is recommended that you eat a fruit at least one hour after eating a meal or before your meal and preferably in the morning with empty stomach. It is in the morning that the body can best use the nutrients in the fruit and get enough energy to start the day.

* Don’t drink tea – Because tea leaves contain a high content of acid. This substance will cause the Protein content in the food we consume to be hardened thus difficult to digest.It is preferable to drink tea an hour after meals.

* Don’t loosen your belt -Fiction, not particularly bad for you!
We generally have an attitude that a good meal is that which forces us to loosen our belts. However, loosening the belt is bad, not because it causes the intestines to twist or block but because it means that you have over eaten to a level that you are uncomfortable. Loosening of the belt may also cause you to feel comfortable once again which means you may continue overeating.
So eat only to the extent that you can be comfortable without loosening your belt!

* Don’t bathe – Bathing after meal will cause the increase of blood flow to the hands, legs & body thus the amount of blood around the stomach will therefore decrease. This will weaken the digestive system in our stomach.

* Don’t walk about -Fact, it is bad for you! Walking directly after meals is a bad idea, it can result to acid reflux and indigestion. However, walking about half an hour after meals is known to be good for you. Researchers in the Department of Exercise Science at the University of South Carolina, have found that walking after exercise is a good way to burn energy.

The point to note is when to walk, you should ideally walk for about 10 minutes and only 20-30 minutes after meal to prevent acid reflux and stomach upsets.

* Don’t sleep immediately – The food we intake will not be able to digest properly. Thus will lead to gastric & infection in our intestine.