Practical Tips for Exam Anxiety

Our teenage years can be one of the most challenging times of our lives.  Not only do teenagers have to contend with bodily changes and hormones, but also external aspects such as school, with the need to gain qualifications and the pressure to be a certain way. The large numbers of issues teenagers face can result in feelings of inadequacy, low confidence and low self-esteem. All this can  lead to exam anxiety. Unfortunately, stress, anxiety or panic attacks are all too common. This can surface in many ways. If depression or stress and anxiety begin to develop, then this together
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6 Surprising Benefits of a Good Night’s Sleep

We have all been told from an early age that getting enough sleep is important for good health and wellbeing. But what are the actual benefits of a good night’s sleep and how does sleep affect our overall health? Some of these may surprise you. Sleep has an enormous impact on the brain Sleep helps cognition (thinking) and improved thinking is closely related to many important brain functions. Getting enough sleep will improve your memory as well as your attention span. For school children and students, this means improved grades. For adults, this provides increased productivity, better decision-making ability as
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8 Steps to Changing Habits to Achieve Your Goals

January – the time of the year when we want to improve our lives. We make resolutions, set goals, vow to change our habits only to be back at square one by the end of the month. But some people manage to keep their resolutions and meet their goals, even if they’re just a small minority. So what is their secret? The secret lies in how you go about changing habits. Most of what we do is shaped by habits that we have picked up and carried on doing subconsciously. We eat healthily or unhealthily out of habit; we exercise
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Enjoying Seasonal Eating

In many cultures traditional celebrations are based around food and drink, and why not? Food is a great way to bring people together, share and socialise. Think of Christmas parties, Chinese New Year, barbecues, birthdays, bar mitzvahs, Eid-ul-Adha, Diwali, Easter, dinner parties, leaving dos, family occasions. Yes, they all involve eating and drinking, don’t they? At Christmas, for example, we tend to put on an average of 0.5 – 1 kg. This can be hard to lose at that cold time of year. Seasonal eating is often used as an excuse for weight gain. The more food on show, the
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Eating Healthily Can Reduce Stress

The main reason some people accumulate more fat around their middle than others is specifically because of the action of the stress hormone cortisol. How can eating healthily influence this? Millions of years ago, our bodies were designed to react quickly to danger. We were on constant alert so we could run, freeze or fight if threatened. When your brain thinks your life is in danger it stimulates the release of adrenaline and cortisol. This fight or flight response is incredibly efficient and it provides instant energy for 5-10 minutes allowing you to react quickly to dangerous situations. These days,
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The Importance of Portion Size for Weight Loss

“My diet is so healthy; I don’t know why I’m so overweight”, is something I hear often. We are all bombarded with health messages: “eat your 5 a day”, “move more, eat less” and we often comply with these and think we are being healthier. Something we don’t always think about is exactly how much we do eat. Our expectations with regard to portion size have changed so much over the years. Who’s old enough to remember the 80’s? Remember the New Romantics and Nouvelle Cuisine? The frilly shirts and the huge plates and miniscule portions? Unfortunately, we kept the
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The Effects of Sugar on Our Body

Sugar is always in the news these days, isn’t it? Why is it sometimes demonised? Who doesn’t like the sweet taste of sugar, whether it is honey, processed foods or a lovely homemade cake? Read on to find out how to avoid eating too much sugar and the effects of sugar on our bodies. What experts say about the effects of sugar “When we eat refined sugar e.g. cane sugar, vitamins and minerals are drawn from the body in order to transform it into useable energy. This process requires minerals such as magnesium, zinc and iron. In addition, vitamins such
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What is Mindful Eating?

Mindfulness is a buzz word at the moment. We hear it everywhere, but what does it really mean? And can mindful eating help with weight loss? “Mindfulness is the awareness that emerges through paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment and non-judgementally to things as they are. It allows us to see clearly whatever is happening in our lives” This definition is by Jon Kabut-Zinn, the man who brought Eastern meditation to the Western academic community and into the mainstream. We spend so much of our lives on auto-pilot, not really noticing how we feel
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