How To Preserve Brain Function

Inside your skull is a network of billions, no, trillions of little cells called neurons. All firing at every second, they all keep you alive, and they all serve an important function. But with great responsibility comes a downside, these cells are constantly dying by a process called apoptosis, and constantly regenerating, a process that causes ageing over time.

Your brain is one hell of a hungry machine, consuming the most energy in the entire body, and it needs a constant supply in order to function well.

Now, the brain is extremely protected from damage and from toxic substances and pollutants. But sometimes, the brain becomes overwhelmed with the constant overload of poison we put into our bodies, in turn we need to take a step back and try to clear some of that junk out and in turn aid the healing process. Otherwise, we are possibly subject to brain fog, headaches, memory anomalies, confusion and even degenerative diseases such as dementia. So follow some of these tips to keep your brain healthy!

1) Avoid Drugs, Alcohol and Caffeine.

This should be common sense, but these 3 things are not only detrimental to brain health, but also to the entire body when consumed regularly. When I say drugs, I am referring to those things such as cannabis, cocaine and tobacco, all of which mess with brain chemistry, creating a viscous addiction, and once hooked you cannot simply stop, because you have programmed your own brain to want and need these things. Think about it, it will cause you to become depressed without them, and possibly delusional with them. Not very good for mental well being, a key factor in preserving brain function.

2) Reading & Writing

Do you read a book often? When was the last time you actually read anything substantial? You need to use the meat in your head if you want to keep it, that means reading, and doing it regularly. Just the simple act of sitting quietly and focusing on a story is a form of meditation, a good way to relax and unwind and in turn lower stress. Incorporate some crosswords and write letters rather than typing emails, as you engage more parts of you brain by using a pen. Both these things help maintain cognitive sharpness and improve memory, as you read more you will find it easier to remember details about the story and everything else in your life.

3) Cardio 

Every time you walk, run, swim or jog, you are increasing your heart rate and boosting blood flow to the brain. This is when more nutrients and oxygen are delivered, because as mentioned before the brain needs a constant supply of energy, and even more energy is needed for exercise. During a run, your brain releases a concoction of chemicals. Some of these are endorphin’s, which give you a runner high, and provide stress relief. But a greater benefit is that neurogenesis is increased during the run as well, where brain stem cells are created more easily. This is the perfect reason to exercise, it guarantees your brain will have an extra edge, and it will have more neurons!

4) Herbs

For thousands of years people have used mother nature to heal themselves, but as time has gone on, we have moved – it seems – almost entirely towards modern medicine, which has some very questionable practices and usually, the medications have dangerous side effects. If you have herbs regularly, then make them the right herbs, as these have definitive benefits for the entire body: Turmeric – this is bright orange in colour when ground and has been shown in studies to reduce amyloid beta collection in the brain, the deposits responsible for Alzheimer. It has also shown to increase neurogenesis in rats. Cayenne – this stimulates the heart and blood vessels to ensure a healthy circulatory system, this in turn can prevent heart attack and stroke. Ginger – the substance Gingerol is responsible for the health benefits, ginger has been shown to potentially lower LDL cholesterol, the main type that is said to increase risk of cardiovascular disease. It also helps nausea and indigestion. Green tea – the caffeine content is low, and green tea has shown promise for the following  : Diabetes, Heart Disease, Esophageal Cancer, Cholesterol, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, Tooth Decay and Blood Pressure.

5) Fasting

By fasting you force your body to enter a state of burning fat, and once this process starts you begin to heal from within. If you constantly eat or constantly eat too many carbs, then you will feel great after even a short 12 hour fast. During the fast, your brain relies on ketones to function, and it can function very well on them, despite the claims that we need constant carbs otherwise we die. While it is true that the brain needs constant energy, the energy can be sourced from the liver when we need it. The same changes that occur in the brain during fasting mimic the changes that occur with regular exercise — both increase the production of neurotrophic factors, and promote the growth of neurons, the connection between neurons, and strengthen the synapses.

 

So, try to use these tips to keep sharp, and if you have anything you personally use, then feel free to comment.

 

A E I O U

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/abstract/

via Daily Prompt: Abstract

‘Existing in thought or as an idea but not having a physical or concrete existence’

This could sum up the entire universe, literally the entire universe is abstract and just a thought in a sense. It’s just consciousness as millions of people believe. But when abstract art comes out, people consider it terrible and to an extent, it is.

What is abstract art? It could be a painting, a poem, a movie or a personality. But it isn’t a normal one, it is usually very strange and very unique. It is what one might call, mind garbage.

Alice in wonderland is a very abstract book, and very peculiar film, both the animated and live versions. It is loved by millions. Picasso is a well known abstract painter, his work is loved by millions. What do they have in common? They are based on an idea that can only be represented by something so insane that you cannot possibly comprehend the meaning. So it leads us to the meaning by showing us something abstract that might aid our journey. Most of the time though, the art is meaningless in nature and as I said, mind garbage.

Make sense? No, I didn’t think so.

Best Zombie Survival Games

It’s the one genre of gaming that everyone loves, I know it’s one of those types of games that will definitely lack on graphics and maybe character movement, but will make up for it in story line and in game action. The main things a good zombie game will have are: weapons – in particular, huge guns, heavy swords and axes and golf clubs. Without them, the game isn’t anything more than strategy, and probably won’t even have zombies. These games are ones I’ve played, and so the list isn’t reflective on the amount of games available.

1) Left 4 Dead : 1 & 2

The most intense survival games with zombies, the games stick to a basic system, get from a to b with a few set backs along the way. All you have is 3 teammates, a health pack and a weapon and flashlight. This entire game is focused clearly on teamwork, without it, you won’t last 5 minutes in a horde. The player revive system is great too, rather than players dying, they are simply incapacitated until another player can revive them. The addition of the special infected – the hunter, smoker, boomer, witch and tank make for a terrifically terrifying game. The second game sees the addition of the jockey, the charger, the spitter and a female boomer, taking the game to a whole new level, with larger maps and more zombies than the first. The games are re-playable, and the online is where most players are nowadays, enjoying the ability to join a session, grab a gun and start shooting. It’s easy and fun, making them the best out of the lot.

2) Dead Island

The clear highlight of this awesome game is the massive campaign and huge maps, coupled with an amazing in game weapon customization system – no doubt copied from dead rising. The huge amount of side quests will see you exploring a massive island battling some very difficult dead, and special infected. The impressive graphics and player interactivity make it one of the most ambitious games to ever launch. You want to just kill zombies all day long? No problem, because it is essentially a free to roam game and there is no obligation to complete the missions. But in order to unlock other parts of the island, you need to complete them. Team up online for a more intense experience.

3) Dead Rising

The series with a great story, you play someone who is dropped in a mall, and whom decided to investigate the zombie outbreak. The cut scenes and amount of zombies is baffling, making it very difficult to survive. The major downside to this game, was the fact that if you died, you had to start the game from the beginning. This was the worst feature of a game ever, and it essentially meant you had to play the entire game in one sitting to get it done, if you ever did. But the fun of exploring and dressing up and using every object as a weapon was huge fun, and spawned a further 3 games, with improvements to the saving system.

4) State Of Decay

The game that really brought the zombie apocalypse alive, it has an amazingly simple campaign, base building, survivor recruitment, and a sophisticated player interactive menu and skill building. It really does cover everything, but as with all things good, the downside was the lack of freedom in base building and play ability, being limited to exploring and scavenging a limited resources map. The game has special infected and a hard to survive map. It is one of those games where hiding in a bush is better than running, because you can quickly run out of stamina, and without snacks, you are dead, never to return. If the sequel – state of decay 2 – incorporates the elements of the first and expands on them, rather than removing them, then the game will meet good reviews.

 

Do you have any game ideas you would like to see in a game? I’m sure you do, because I have so many I’d be struggling to fit them all in! Please leave a comment and let me know!

Cell : Review

Cell is an apocalyptic horror novel published by American author Stephen King in 2006. The story follows a New England artist struggling to reunite with his young son after a mysterious signal broadcast over the global cell phone network turns the majority of his fellow humans into mindless vicious animals.

(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cell_(novel))

Based on the novel of the same name, the director takes on an ambitious project with the help of Stephen King himself. The star studded cast, with John Cusack and Samuel L Jackson is sure to make a haunting and memorable movie, right?

Not this time, nowhere in this film did I personally have my mind blown. The film starts off with a heart racing scene in the airport, something that you would be quite frightened to witness, but John Cusack just doesn’t deliver in his acting – I’m not personally a fan because he doesn’t seem to show any emotions in any film. The story is not explained properly and we are dropped into the action straight away, as if we are all meant to have read the book. The special effects were not great for a blockbuster either, the plane crashing through the terminal was extremely laughable. Soon though the story sees Samuel Jackson introduced, whom is a great actor, but doesn’t come close to showing it sadly. Yet again, we are supposed to understand things that are just introduced with no explanation. The characters also seem flat and are seriously underdeveloped.

Along the way to find his son, the pair are frequently met with strangers along their road trip. These appearances actually seemed to show an improvement in the story, especially the scene where they burn the people in the stadium. But still, more questions are asked and little is answered. So up to now, we have the entire population of people turned into mad killers, and no explanation as to why, and a group with no character.

It soon gets even more tense though as they battle their way closer to a mysterious signal tower, where the killer people are apparently being controlled from. The appearance of the the man in the red hoodie is good, but doesn’t – yet again – explain anything. He appears multiple times until the end where there is some kind of stand off. The climax is not very good, and the ‘zombie’ like people can be seen moving in a clearly computer animated way (CGI), which is so poor I wanted to cry. It then sees the father and son united, and seem to walk off after destroying the tower, only for a cut scene of Cusack walking among the crowds of zombies to show. It is all very confusing.

I want to write about the film in a good light, so will give credit to the road trip style throughout, and the sudden moments of terror, and perhaps to the opening scene and subsequent stadium scene. Other than that most of the film is forgettable, sadly. The story was poorly explained for an adaption, the acting wasn’t great – even from so-called expert actors – and the action and CGI were very limited. Considering King himself worked on this project, I cannot understand why he didn’t have the characters lives explained, or their background.

Therefore I award the film :

2.5/5

Ruminate

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/ruminate/

I stop and think once in a while, it clears things up and breaks things down. Don’t let it carry you into the abyss though, because sometimes thinking can become overwhelming, to the point of a melt down.

It can be said that we need to observe ourselves in order to improve, but it isn’t often said that overthinking and over correcting can be all to dangerous to our mental health. Quieting the mind from stress and not worrying about something that hasn’t happened yet is a great way to live in peace.

Ruminate only when you have time to procrastinate because it is the same thing in a sense, all the time spent thinking about it could be spent doing it, or better yet, enjoying life!

I want to go to the city for a day out, but I do not know where I will go or whom I will go with. I keep thinking and researching and texting people to get ideas, my whole plan is flawed. But wait, I don’t even need to go yet, and when I do, I don’t think about it, I just do it.

Keep living in the moment and try to limit your expectations because they are most certainly wrong.

Creating Memories

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/vivid/

The word vivid is something that conjures up powerful comprehensions. Is there any time left now to create a truly vivid memory? Have you seen something so amazing but didn’t stop to admire it because of time? I think we are all guilty of letting these precious moments pass by. Perhaps though, there is indeed time to stop and think, feel and see it before it’s too late.

Most people might recall a memory from their childhood that seems particularly pleasant, or a rather splendid holiday from their teens or early twenties. I think the best ones would be holidays, the stress free time spent on the beach, surfing, eating crab cakes and smoking a pack a day while hitting the free bar every night. That is sure to make you euphoric. Others might see that as not so good. They might consider a day with a relative a vivid experience, especially when they pass, as it’s those memories that remain forever.

Unfortunately, memories aren’t always good. There are painful experiences, and again it’s sad but they are usually the ones that stick more than the better ones. Things like neglected  childhood can be traumatic, as can grief caused by losing somebody close. That is the extreme end of vivid. The lighter ones might be disagreements or arguments, the things that are basically forgotten after a week, only to flash up every time you see the other person.

In order to balance the good and the bad memories, we need to consciously take the time to observe and let the environment and scenery set in. Learn to live in the moment and you can guarantee that your memories will be pleasant. Passively observing without a care in the world might lead to a lot of subconscious junk, and in turn, potentially damaging imagery.

 

 

Top Tips To Boost Productivity

In the 21st century it seems 90% of the first world countries are battling with constant stress and constant workloads. Most people are overloaded but not getting much done, either because they are tired and fatigued, or simply fed up. I have seen the result of this, and it isn’t very nice. I don’t believe in statements such as ‘I don’t have enough time to plan’ or ‘I do it as it comes’.

Here are some of my top recommendations to beat stress and boost productivity!

1) Start Waking Up An Hour Earlier 

If you want to get on top of your work, and your life, it is imperative to make the most of the day you are given. There is a reason the sun rises so early, it’s because you are meant to rise with it. Yes, it is hard, and an extreme sport for some people. Just the thought of getting up 10 minutes earlier is painful, especially for the limus pigris of us. But in doing so you benefit from tons more than just extra planning time. It makes you feel great, boosts energy believe it or not, and gives you no excuse to miss breakfast! If you rise at 8 usually, then start getting up at 7, have your planner filled and your checklist set, do any emails, eat breakfast or even workout! It’s also a good opportunity to spend time with children or family, depending on if they are awake…

2) Get More Exercise 

Exercise is a most crucial thing to human health. Walking, running and swimming are the most beneficial forms, offering the strongest boost to metabolism. It benefits every organ and system within, especially the cardiovascular system. It doesn’t take much, maybe 10 to 20 minutes a day, and you can add a few more years to your life. What’s more, is running at a moderate intensity for just 10 minutes boosts endorphin production, the chemical responsible for making us feel good. So naturally, by getting more exercise, we become more productive. It’s most likely due to the fact work is depressing, and the exercise combats this better than medication can. It also ties into the first, if you get up an hour earlier you can fit in the morning walk or run.

3) Learn To Plan An Entire Week

You have a day planner, which lasts the year, but don’t use it. Well, why get it then? The entire purpose of the thing is so you can plan everything out in the entire week, month and year! Students usually have one, but most probably seldom use theirs. When you go to bed on Sunday, get the planner and write the entire weeks appointments out, don’t leave it till Monday or whenever you see fit. By doing so, you can also plan your free leisure time, your family time, and more importantly the work time you need. It greatly improves time managements as well. One day you could be working 10 hours, then have a free night with no work. Whereas another might be 8 hours working and 2 hours working at home. Having these in a planner makes it so much easier and you don’t go around asking yourself whether you have time to do this and that, and you don’t worry about ‘what I am doing tomorrow?’ Don’t forget the unexpected problems that most people have, such as deadlines being moved forward and covering for sick work colleagues.

4) Cut Out Television

This is ambitious and undeniably difficult for absolutely everyone in the developed world. It’s hard to cut something out which you are used to watching around 4 hours a day, or 5 hours, or more. It’s almost an addiction. The reality is that there is nothing productive about the box, even documentaries and so-called educational shows are just mind garbage. In order to really feel free and lighthearted and able to work harder than ever, you must either a) cut the television out entirely, or b) cut down considerably. You might want to limit the time to 10 minutes in the morning of watching the news before heading off to work, or limit it to 1 show a night. Whatever you choose, know that your mental health will improve immediately because you aren’t masking your emotions by living in a fake reality most of the time. All the time spent watching TV could be spent with family, friends, and doing the work you are probably behind on.

5) Socialize more 

It’s a good feeling to spend time with friends and family, but often underrated when it comes to being more productive. You need to socialize in order to maintain a sense of well being, and also to gossip and debate and sometimes just to talk drizzle. It helps to wind down from stress, and that is the most important element of this point; by reducing stress we automatically become more productive and happy. You might struggle if you have children or other hard hitting commitments, but if not then there is no real reason to not socialize! Go out after work with colleagues and spend time watching some football, eat a meal or play golf! Best times would be after work and weekends of course, but don’t limit it to a Friday or Saturday, be the guy or girl in the office who likes to head out midweek to the opera or concert and take someone with you!

 

So, there you go. Try incorporating these 5 awesome tips into your life and hopefully you can reap the benefits yourself. If you have any suggestions please feel free to comment!

Good luck!

 

Christmas Is Coming

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/chaotic/

When talking about chaos and madness do you think of the events that always seem too late to prepare for? I am thinking of Christmas, an event observed the world over by everyone…well most people.

What do you need to get for that one day? There is going to be a barrage of people at the markets and shopping centers the few weeks approaching the day, so best go now and avoid the rush. But is it really needed? All that fuss for one day? NO! Stretch the chaos over the entire week. Instead of worrying about the day and getting it perfect just accept that it’s okay to have things on the day after, it’s okay to eat a turkey the day after or before. Take it easy because stress is detrimental. It certainly makes everyone around the stressed person stressed!

Aside from the usual gifts and food and treats, what else do you want from this Christmas? It is a night alone watching a movie? Or a day spa? The good thing is it can be anything you want, so long as is it within your budget. Something I enjoy doing is looking around city Christmas markets. Not necessarily because I want to buy things, but because I enjoy the atmosphere, the people and the always friendly experience to be had. Which brings the chaotic season down a notch. The next point:

If anything the holidays should be relaxed and spent with family, or helping others. I say this, when the holidays are over you should still do that! Those little acts aren’t that difficult to do all year round, just because Christmas is here you shouldn’t use that as an excuse for maybe a week of family visits. The experiences can seemed rushed, stressful and not fulfilling like you expected.

Let me know your plans, what you usually do this vacation and comment!

 

 

Jumping For Life

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/jump/

via Daily Prompt: Jump

A short post today. I haven’t posted for a little while, so here I go. Another post that tries to convey the importance of enjoying the moment.

Jump for joy each morning, jump right out of bed and realize you just woke up on earth. You are alive and that is worth jumping for. There are many people in the world whom will not be able to jump for life, because they are extremely ill, possibly stuck in a chair for life or worse, they lost limbs. Make those jump moments stand out. You’ll be doing your heart a massive favour too. By jumping you are doing a body weight exercise, in turn increasing fitness and circulation. You should for at least one day of the upcoming month or year, jump!

Animals jump, the main one that comes to mind are frogs. cats jump, dogs jump, hell even a sheep jumps when it needs to! It is energizing and really invigorates you. You may be the one person who stands out in a crowd but that is good. Stand out!

So jump for life and love it!