Our main goal in life is to make the most of it. In this busy world however, most of us have the habit of intentionally or unintentionally ignoring things. Believe it or not, when we pay attention to small things, it can sometimes do wonders and affect our lives in a positive manner. For instance, learning a new language actually rejuvenates the brain. Did you know that a couple of cups of coffee a day can keep the doctor away? Just like these, we have gathered a list of facts that will help you focus better in life.
1. LED lights can strain your eyes as well as disturb sleep.
Most people prefer LED lights over incandescent ones since LED’s have a longer lifespan. In fact, most TV’s, computer screes and lightbulbs are made of LED’s, since they provide a higher contrast. According to a study conducted by the French health authority, LED lighting can actually be harmful to our eyes, damaging the retina, as well as disturbing our sleep. The study explains that the “phototoxic effects” of short-term exposures to high-intensity blue light can cause macular degeneration, says French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety, known as ANSES. Another American study also supports this finding, but explains that the effects were only seen when the wavelengths were below 455 nanometers and when the intensity was quite high. (source 1, 2)
2. Learning a new language helps improve your thinking skills and memory abilities.
Being bilingual or multilingual has its advantages. Researchers found that learning a second language can have a positive effect on the brain, even if the task is performed during adulthood. During the study, 262 participants were tested before and after they learned a second language. At the end of the study, which is published in Annual Review of Linguistics, reading, verbal fluency and intelligence improved in all 262 participants. According to researchers, taking up a second language or multiple languages, slows down brain aging. Another study also discovered that taking up a second language enhances our cognitive abilities, improves attention, focus and may even delay the incidence of Alzheimer’s disease. (source)
3. A few cups of coffee every day keeps the doctor away.
Coffee is one of the world’s most popular beverages. Besides being enjoyed by millions everyday for the taste and aroma, coffee is also good for your mental performance. It not only increases alertness and concentration, but also keeps the doctor away. According to the British Medical Journal, 2 to 4 cups of coffee a day can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. While two cups of coffee can increase alertness for several hours, it takes on average 20 to 30 minutes to take effect. (source)
4. Optimists live longer than pessimists.
Researchers followed various participants for several years and found that being an optimist has its benefits. Not only do optimists live longer than pessimists, but they also have a healthier lifestyle. According to researchers, being optimistic makes people focus on their life and romantic relationships, which in turn boosts positive thoughts. In addition to that, optimists were also found to have longer romantic relationships than pessimists. Another study found that optimists were less likely to fall ill more often, as well as recover at a faster rate. (source)
5. Overworking, being stressed all the time and inconsistent sleeping patterns can speed up the aging process.
According to a study published on Molecular Cell, overworking, being stressed and the lack of sleep can speed up the process of aging. Researchers also discovered that those who are stressed, coupled with poor quality of sleep are more likely to be ill than those who sleep well at night and have the least stressful jobs. While most people do not consider sleep to be of the utmost importance, our bodies require a steady sleep cycle. Not only does it provide the muscles with the required rest, but it also replenishes energy levels. In order to improve quality of life, researchers suggest taking measures to tackle sources of stress. (source)
6. Oatmeal stimulates serotonin production, a chemical responsible for our general wellbeing and happiness.
For millions around the world, oatmeal is part of their breakfast routine, since it is considered a healthy alternative. Studies however show that oatmeal not only provides us with the required nutrients, it also plays a huge role in our mood. According to NCBI, the chemical serotonin has a hand in every type of behavior, such as eating, sleep, circadian rhythmicity and neuroendocrine function. A bowl of oatmeal is capable of stimulating the production of serotonin, which can positively affect our mood. Serotonin also plays a role in correcting the circadian rhythm. (source)
7. In order to accurately remember things, close your eyes.
If you are having a hard time remembering where you placed your car keys or phone, close your eyes since it will help you remember accurately. According to researchers from the University of Surrey in the UK, closing our eyes increases short-term memory, which is why eye witnesses are often asked to close their eyes when recalling an incident. By closing our eyes, we are allowing our brains to visualize the details of the event as well as focus on audio information since it reduces other distracting factors. (source)