4 Ways Spending Time With Your Immediate Family Benefits You

The contemporary lifestyle is very demanding and has several facets which need to be catered to simultaneously. According to modern standards, a person must remain vigilant and conscious about several things which include social status, health, beauty, a promising career, a happening social life, and so on and so forth. Attempting to satisfactorily achieve all of this can sometimes be very aggravating and can lead to a person becoming agitated and even downright depressed when things are not going well. In this whole ordeal, one aspect of life that is likely to suffer immensely is the time you spend with your immediate family.

With increasing pressures and technological distractions, communication between immediate family members is often hindered and they seldom spend quality time with one another. While some may consider themselves to be too busy, others may simply lack the empathy to make plans or give their immediate family the required attention.

However, if you knew how much spending time with your immediate family is likely to benefit you and them, surely everyone would make it their first priority. Spending time with your immediate family does not only provide something to do on a weekend but also has several health and well-being benefits.

Here are 4 ways that spending time with your immediate family will benefit you.

  1. You will relieve stress

There is no place like home and no better friend than your own family. Spending time with your immediate family gives you a cushion to everyday stress and allows you to release stress levels by having an engaging and heart-connecting conversation. When a person feels close to his/her immediate family, he/she realizes that they have a proper support system and this can substantially decrease their risk of stress-related diseases.

For example, spending time with a parent reduces a key stress hormone and also injects oxytocin into the brain, which is a chemical that makes you feel good. Hence, whether you are spending time with your kids for their benefit or spending time with your own parents to give yourself an uplift, it is a win-win situation.

2. You are likely to live longer

Having meaningful relationships with your loved ones is associated with longevity as explained by a study from Brigham Young University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill researchers. Hence, if you take out time every day or at least every week to spend time with your immediate family, this is likely to give your lifeline a boost and you will potentially live a longer and happier life.

Having a family is a blessing as parenting is also a proven aspect of living a more fulfilling, meaningful and thus a potentially longer life, void of major health issues. Therefore, those who cherish their families and make it a point to spend more time with them, definitely add to their years.

3.  You are less likely to have mental health issues

Mental health is a very important aspect of a fulfilling life and as life becomes more pressurising, many people are likely to suffer from several mental health issues including dementia, ADHD, depression, anxiety, and others. However, spending time with your immediate family helps you develop a bond that gives you the required strength to deal with everyday pressures and allows you to keep your brain balanced. A Swedish study that examined adults aged 75 and over stated that those who had satisfying and meaningful relationships with their family were less likely to suffer from dementia.

Spending time with your family helps you reduce stress, connect with people who can help, and reassure you that you have an active support system to assist you in matters that are important to you.  Spending quality time with your immediate family is more beneficial than speaking to a therapist as regular family time provides the same stress-relieving therapy that you pay for. According to a study that surveyed 309,000 people, it was found that strong relationships are a cause for longevity and decrease the risk for premature death by 50%. Another study stated that caring behavior is beneficial for both the giver and the recipient and releases stress-reducing hormones, decreasing the chances of brain diseases.

4.  You are likely to have a sharper memory

We usually remember things that matter most to us, don’t we? When our minds are filled with meaningful information that also hold emotional relevance to us, this leads to a sharper and more accurate memory. As mentioned above, adults over the age of 75 who had meaningful relationships with their family and friends were less likely to be diagnosed with dementia. Studies have proven that emotionally charged events are more likely to be remembered and pleasant emotions are remembered more than unpleasant ones. Hence, creating happy memories with your family is definitely a plus point for your memory as it leads to brain exercises increasing your accuracy in details and allowing more retention.

These results are usually highly visible and signs of better cognitive abilities and memory can easily be measured. Your sharper memory will be a highly beneficial asset to your career, sociability, and other aspects of life.

Hence, spending time with family does not only benefit them but is also highly beneficial to you. As proven by several scientific studies, caring behavior is beneficial to both the giver and the recipient and does wonders for your stress and anxiety levels, significantly reducing them and leading you to a happier and healthier existence.

There are numerous other benefits to spending time with your immediate family which involve your emotional wellbeing, the way your children are raised, and benefits that can aid in elevating your career. Research suggests that professionals with a stable family life are likely to achieve more than those who do not have a very comfortable or fulfilling relationship with their immediate families.  Likewise, research also states that children who are raised in an environment which supports family time are likely to make better decisions in life.

Do not ignore your family, as they will lead you to a healthier, happier, and more fulfilling life!

4 Habits To Become A Morning Person

Do you have difficulty waking up every morning? Do you continuously hit the snooze button? Are you grumpy in daytime and can’t get much done without your usual dose of caffeine?

If yes, then welcome to the club! You are clearly not a morning person just like … umm, many of us!

Assuming that you have a normal life expectancy, you are going to have 25,000 mornings as an adult and I’m sure you wouldn’t want to waste each and every one of them by being cranky and unproductive.

According to a study conducted by the American Psychological Association Journal, early risers are generally happier, healthier, and more productive than night owls.

Early risers also have more time on their hands which means that those who get a head start in the morning will have sufficient time to eat their breakfast in peace, maybe hit the gym, and avoid the last-minute traffic rush.

If you are also “tired” of feeling “tired” all day long, maybe it’s time to reset your body clock and train yourself to be an early riser. Don’t know how? Here are some tips that will help you with the transition easily from being a night owl to a morning person.

1. Establish a night time routine

What are some of the things that you do before hitting the sack at night? Watch TV, fiddle around with your mobile phone, or have a late night snack? Perhaps you stock up on too much caffeine at night? You may not be realizing but these habits are significantly affecting your quality of sleep and should be avoided as much as possible.

Sleep deprivation is a common problem and more than a third of Americans are unable to get sufficient sleep. If you sleep poorly even one night, you are likely to feel sluggish and tired the next day. And if the pattern continues, the lack of sleep can lead to serious health problems.

This is why it is important that you establish a night-time routine and follow it strictly. One of the best ways to get sufficient sleep is to adopt good-sleep habits including:

  • Limiting the use of screen 2 hours before bed
  • Limiting the intake of alcohol and caffeine at night
  • Going to sleep an hour earlier than usual
  • Balancing the temperature, light, and noise level of the room
  • Avoid eating too much at night
  • Drink a glass of warm milk

2. Plan ahead

How many of us take the time out in the evenings to prepare for the next day? Not many, I’m sure!

Most of us are lazy and forgetful in the morning. Preparing in advance for the day ahead of us not only saves us time in the morning but also makes us more organized. For instance, take out your outfit for the morning, iron it and lay it out with other accessories. Plan out your breakfast and lunch. Create a to-do list for the coming day and plan out your full day. Take help from apps or go the traditional way and use a pen and paper.

Following this protocol will not only minimize morning hassles, but also give you an opportunity to see what lies ahead of you and which goals you need to accomplish throughout the day.

3. Get up as soon as the alarm rings

In short, avoid the SNOOZE button.

I know, it’s very tempting to hit the snooze button and get 3 minutes of more sleep but remember how many times you were late because of the snooze button.

Sleep experts also claim that even though you are successful in catching some more minutes of sleep, your sleep cycle is already disrupted because of the alarm bell leaving you groggy throughout the day.

Waking up as soon as the alarm goes off not only helps you feel more energized but also makes your morning more relaxed.

If you are also one of those who reset their alarm several times before actually getting up, then try some of these tips:

  • Keep your alarm across the room and not by your bedside
  • Find a pleasant tune for your alarm
  • Keep the curtains open at night
  • Set the alarm at the last possible time
  • Wake up at the same time everyday

4. Eat and drink

Your usual dose of coffee is not enough to re-energize your body in the morning. After sleeping the whole night, our metabolism and blood sugar levels are the lowest. Start off your day with a full glass of water. This will help combat any fatigue that you are feeling due to dehydration.

Make sure you eat a good breakfast afterwards. Breakfast not only provides our body with energy but is also a good source of nutrients, vitamins, and calcium. Those who miss breakfasts are also likely to binge eat before lunch time which leads to weight gain.

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. The old adage ‘Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dine like a pauper’ is the best way to describe the benefits of having breakfast. Some healthy breakfast options include:

  • Eggs
  • Toast
  • Fruit
  • Yogurt
  • Smoothie
  • Oatmeal
  • Nuts
  • Cottage cheese
  • And switch caffeine for herbal green tea

Getting out of bed is tough. Most of us just wish we can stay in the warm, cozy, and comfortable bed the whole day. Unfortunately, the only thing that gets us up and running are our professional and personal commitments. However, it doesn’t have to be this way.

The best way to change this outlook is to alter your actions. Why start the day with negativity when there are so many good things around you?

Be thankful for the warm bed you have. The food-filled pantry, your family, your health, and even the nature outside the window! Don’t waste your time and energy on the things you don’t have.

Starting your day on a positive note will make your day’s journey smooth. Finally, make some time every week for compound exercises. Whether you enjoy swimming, running or hitting the gym – take some time out for yourself every week.

So smile, follow the above tips, and get on with your day!

Fruits That Keep You Healthy

Fruits are by far nature’s most flavoursome sources of nutrition. These deliciously packed eatables contain singleton or a combination of vitamins, minerals, and folate that enhance physical and mental well-being.

A step ahead of fruits are super fruits that also contain unique combinations of antioxidants, phytonutrients and polysaccharides that not only improve physical well-being but also go a step ahead in enabling your body to prevent ailments.

Super fruits are also known to add to psychological well-being by having an impact similar to endorphins which instigate feelings of joy. Here, we have outlined the most nutritious fruits that enable you to maintain a healthy body and mind:

1. Apple

Apple is among the world’s most loved fruits. However, what isn’t commonly known about it is that it is a super fruit. The reason for this is that the green or red skin of apples contains quercetin (an antioxidant) which is packed with anti-inflammatory and antihistamine properties.

In other words, eating apples will protect you from allergic reactions and heart disease. Moreover, a recent study has indicated that consuming at least 5 apples a week leads to better lung function. Apples also contain flavonoids (antioxidants) which lower the risk of asthma and diabetes.

 Nutritional value (1 me-dium-sized piece):

  • 3g fiber
  • 75 calories

2. Avocado

Avocados are packed with fatty acids and mono-saturated fat that helps increase good cholesterol levels while reducing levels of LDL (bad cholesterol). They also increase the absorption of carotenoids including lycopene and beta-carotene which promote a healthy heart.

Nutritional value (1 medium-sized piece):

  • 9g fiber
  • 228 calories
  • Folate
  • Vitamin E

3. Banana

Bananas are rich sources of potassium i.e. around 422 mg per piece which help in curtailing high blood pressure. Moreover, they offer a healthy amount of resistant starch (healthy carbohydrate) which boosts metabolism.

 Nutritional value (1 medium piece):

  • 3g fiber
  • 105 calories
  • Folate
  • Vitamin B6
  • Potassium

4. Grapefruit

Grapefruits contain high levels of antioxidants and prevent heart diseases by lowering cholesterol levels. The deeper the red colour of grapefruits, the higher the antioxidant content. So, the next time you go grocery shopping be sure to pick the ruby variety. Grapefruits in addition to avocados allow for the complete detoxification of the body and it is among the main fruits served as part of a healthy yoga diet.

 Nutritional value (1/2 cup):

  • 7g fiber
  • 106 calories
  • Vitamin A

 5. Blueberries

A must-have for those who wish to delay old age; blueberries contain the highest amount of flavonoids which have been found to enhance memory and delay cognitive decline by nearly 2.5 years. This property of blueberries also helps in reducing the chances of degenerative cognitive ailments such as dementia. In addition to this, blueberries contain manganese which boosts metabolism allowing you to remain energetic and slim.

 Nutritional value (1/2 cup):

  • 5g fiber
  • 41 calories
  • Antioxidants

6. Blackberries

Blackberries owe their deep purple colour to anthocyanin (a powerful antioxidant) which is thought to protect against cancer and stroke. Its extract is also known to inhibit the growth of cancer cells in lungs and helps in alleviating gout-related symptoms.

 Nutritional value (1/2 cup):

  • 4g fiber
  • 31 calories
  • Antioxidants

 7. Cantaloupe

Cantaloupe contains vitamin A and its derivatives which are known to bring about a smooth and younger looking skin. It also enhances cell reproduction that allows for gentle exfoliation. Cantaloupe also contains a generous amount of beta-carotene (antioxidant) which protects against cataracts. Also, it has half the calorie count as compared to most fruits making it the perfect fruit for low-calorie diets.

Nutritional value (1/2 cup):

  • Less than 1g fiber
  • 25 calories
  • Folate
  • Vitamin A
  • Potassium

8. Cherry

Cherries contain the highest content of anthocyanin (antioxidant) which lowers cholesterol and triglyceride levels and reduces blood vessel inflammation up to 50%. Cherries also assist in weight loss and relieve pain caused by gout and arthritis.

 Nutritional value (1/2 cup):

  • 5 fiber
  • 46 calories
  • Antioxidants

9. Cranberry

Cranberries possess antibacterial qualities and therefore are extremely effective in safeguarding against urinary tract infections and ovarian cancer. They enhance the efficacy of chemotherapy medicines used to cure ovarian cancer and slows the growth of cancer cells. Cranberries also prevent ulcers and kidney stones. Drinking one glass of cranberry juice (unsweetened) has been found to increase HDL (good cholesterol) levels by 10%.

 Nutritional value (1/2 cup):

  • 5g fiber
  • 25 calories
  • Antioxidants

10. Grapes

Grapes are packed with resveratrol (antioxidant) which protects against heart diseases by preventing blood clots and reducing blood pressure. They also stop the growth of stomach, breast and colon cancer as well as Alzheimer’s disease.

Nutritional value (1/2 cup):

  • Less than 1g fiber
  • 53 calories
  • Manganese

 11. Kiwi

Kiwis contain a higher amount of vitamin C as compared to oranges and therefore are extremely advantageous to the development of cartilage, bones, gums and teeth. They are also effective in relieving digestive gripes and also protects against heart disease.

 Nutritional value (1/2 cup):

  • 3g fiber
  • 56 calories
  • Vitamins C and E
  • Potassium
  • Magnesium

 12. Oranges

Consuming just one medium-sized orange is sufficient to satisfy your daily requirement of vitamin C and keep your immune system healthy. Their high folate and vitamin content makes them crucial for expectant mothers as it helps in preventing neural tube defects in babies.

 Nutritional value (1/2 cup):

  • 3g fiber
  • 62 calories
  • Folate
  • Vitamin B and C
  • Potassium

13. Pomegranate

Pomegranates are one of the most beneficial super fruits on the planet; owing to their punicalagins (antioxidants) and punicic acid (conjugated linoleic acid) content. They possess anti-inflammatory properties that are effective in healing breast and colon cancer and diabetes. Moreover, they also reduce blood pressure, alleviate joint and arthritis pain, prevent heart diseases and improve memory in addition to an array of other potent medical benefits.

Nutritional value (1 medium piece):

  • Less than 2g fiber
  • 106 calories
  • Vitamin A
  • Potassium

14. Strawberries

Strawberries are rich in vitamin C, folic acid and antioxidants. They help in protecting the heart from atherosclerosis (a condition of hardened arteries) and inhibit the progression of cancer.

 Nutritional value (1/2 cup):

  • 5g fiber
  • 23 calories
  • Vitamin C

15. Tomatoes

Tomatoes contain lycopene (a potent antioxidant) which lowers cholesterol levels and reduces the risk of prostate cancer.

Nutritional value (1 medium piece):

  • 5 fiber
  • 22 calories
  • Folate
  • Vitamin A
  • Potassium

These super fruits are best consumed unprocessed and can go a long way in preventing ailments if consumed in a balanced manner and on a regular basis.

6 Vacation Spots That Will Help You Regain Energy

Life can be very boring and monotonous at times. Your boss hates you, your significant other is constantly fighting with you, you and your friends are all stuck in the same rut, and there is nothing new and exciting to look forward to. This is when vacations come in the picture.

Travelling is a great way to fight off the blues, appreciate your life, and look at the world in a new light. Hence, we offer you to take some time off from the hamster wheel of the day-to-day grind and explore the following spots to regain your energy:

1. Tibet

Source: I am Kathmandu

You are tired, feel purposeless and lost. You are looking for a deeper meaning of life than just swiping your card for a 9 to 5 job. It is time to connect with your inner self and rejuvenate and consider taking a meditation retreat for a journey of self-disciple and discovery.

And the ideal place to do all that is the Kopan Monastery, in Tibet, on the outskirts of Kathmandu. The Kopan monastery offers courses in meditation, led by western Sangha with teachings complemented daily by a Tibetan Lama.

If you truly want to learn the art of meditation, why not learn it from actual Tibetan Buddhist monks to compose yourself and regain your energy in order to resume with the humdrum of daily life.

2. Rishikesh, India

Source: Rishikeshyogpeeth

If you really want to experience inner peace and get in touch with your spiritual side, sit at the foothills of the majestic Himalayas, along the banks of the holy river Ganges, in Rishikesh, India.

In this buzzing center of spirituality, mystic leaders have established yoga schools and ashrams, allowing tourists and pilgrims an atmosphere that instills peace and makes the mind, body and spirit as whole.

For those who want to do something more constructive than sitting cross-legged and chanting “omm”, there are also reflective hikes and rafting. And if you are a Beatles fan, we have news for you: they came here in 1968 to get in touch with their eastern spiritual side and even composed several songs at a local ashram.

3. Queenstown, New Zealand

Source: Queenstownnz

If you live in India, and want to escape from the mundane routine life and travel abroad, there is good news for you: you can avail New Zealand vacation packages from India. Once you invest in the coveted package, consider visiting the resort town of Queenstown which is filled with staggering beauty and heart-pumping trails.

Instead of revitalizing through spirituality, breathe new life into yourself with bungee jumping, kayaking, jet boating, hiking, white-water rafting, and skiing. The light-hearted ones can try their hands at the more mild-mannered adventures such as quiet cruises through Milford Sound (part of the Fjord land National Park World Heritage area).

And if you happen to be a Lord of the Rings fan, then you are in for a bigger treat because much of the LOTR trilogy was filmed in this area!

4. Switzerland

If Europe tours and travels have always been on your list, then you should definitely visit Switzerland to re-energize yourself; and while you are there do take a look at its snow-capped mountains, picturesque alpine lakes, historical monuments and of course how can you forget the delicious cuisines of Switzerland.

With breathtaking scenery, thundering waterfalls, impressive peaks, and glacial ice fields, Switzerland is home to seven natural wonders. No wonder, it is an ideal place to put a new life into yourself and learn to appreciate the things you have been bestowed by God by admiring the sheer splendor of the nature.

A perfect get-away destination for couples, Switzerland has something for everyone, from the cobbled streets and medieval architecture of Bern to Geneva’s clear-water lakes and French flair.

In Switzerland, you can ride the famous Glacier Express train connecting St. Moritz and Zermatt or enjoy a relaxing cruise over Lake Zürich or Lake Gene. You can also travel on the Europe’s highest aerial cable car up to the Little Matterhorn or ski back to the car-free village of Zermatt.

The foodies can savour fondue made of Gruyère and Vacherin cheese, stroll through Bahnhofstrasse to pick up a Tissot and sip some of the wines available throughout the country. And let us not forget the love of Swiss chocolates that we all have!

5. Angra dos Reis, Brazil

Source: Biosfera Brazil

Olympics in Brazil opened the world’s eyes to the beautiful holiday destinations present there such as Angra dos Reis. An enchanting coastal getaway, Angra dos Reis, nestled between Rio and São Paulo, is where the Cariocas (local residents of Brazil) go to escape the crowds and the complexities of life. This popular Brazilian vacation area is where many of the country’s elite have their beach villas.

If you love the sea and find the sound of the waves therapeutic (and how can one not anyway), then this is the place for you. With 365 islands and more than 50 beaches, Angra dos Reis carries its name from being discovered in January 1502, the Day of Kings.

This vacation spot has all sorts of adventure sports like trekking and canoeing are along with luxurious, comfortable resorts to relax in. And if the lure of shipwrecks, coral reefs, and rich marine fauna calls out to you, then visiting Ilha Grande, the largest island in the region and one of the most sought-after diving destinations in Brazil, is a must!

6. Home

Source: Success

On a lookout for a place to relax, revitalize and rejuvenate but too broke to go globe hopping? Why not become a tourist in your own city!

“No place is ever fully explored, discovered or understood,” says Matt Kepnes, author of How to Travel the World on $50 a Day and creator of the travel blog Nomadic.

There may be many historical and cultural sites that you would have explored in your city had you been a tourist there but since you live there, you take them for granted. But how about you avail the chance and do it now?

Hence, instead of spending the weekend sprawled out on your couch, watching TV, and dreading Monday, make a conscious effort to explore your city and bring some excitement of travelling in your life. As a local you may not even need to wait for the weekend, you can avoid the crowds and enjoy discounted rates by visiting these places during off-peak times too.