Can You Change Your Life in 3 Min­utes?

A minute can be as pow­er­ful as an hour, if only you use it well. Cosmo tells you how.

Cosmopolitan (India) - - CONTENTS - By Nam­rata Achowe

1GET

Re­search re­veals that solv­ing Cross­word puz­zles stim­u­lates the brain, im­proves mem­ory and ups your vo­cab. Also, it dis­tracts the mind from prob­lems and chal­lenges the brain in a non-stress­ful way. Les­son: spend a cou­ple of min­utes a day work­ing a puz­zle.

2 BE AN ARTIST

A study pub­lished in Ap­plied

Cog­ni­tive Psy­chol­ogy, South­ern Eng­land showed that peo­ple who doo­dled re­tained more in­for­ma­tion than those who didn’t. (Es­pe­cially at bor­ing con­fer­ences and sem­i­nars.)

3CHECK

YOUR BAL­ANCE

Spend­ing a few min­utes bal­anc­ing your checkbook, not­ing ex­penses, and or­gan­is­ing bills, will help you han­dle ex­penses, plan bet­ter, and also pre­pare for fu­ture tax work. Do­ing it in small in­stall­ments also makes it a lot less an­noy­ing.

7DE-

CLUT­TER 4 BREW

In a re­cent study, Univer­sity Col­lege, London, re­searchers noted that drink­ing a cup of tea, four to six times a day, re­duces stress hor­mone lev­els in your body. Here’s a tip to brew it per­fectly—leave the bag in the water for at least two min­utes, and keep the cup cov­ered while the tea is

brew­ing.

5HYDRATE

De­hy­dra­tion is one of the key rea­sons of fa­tigue. If you drink less than eight glasses of water a day, you may be slug­gish. Use ev­ery free minute to drink as much water as pos­si­ble. Try it for a week and watch your gen­eral en­ergy lev­els rise.

6FLOSS

AWAY

Den­tists keep say­ing it, and we’ll say it again: floss­ing re­moves bac­te­ria, pre­vents gum dis­ease and the loss of teeth. Spend a minute or two each day to re­move the bac­te­ria be­tween your teeth.

Take the time to clear your draw­ers of old re­ceipts, pa­pers and trash you’ve been col­lect­ing over the months. “Sim­pli­fy­ing your life in any way can help you find more bal­ance,” says Us-based Denise Lan­ders, CEO of Key Or­gan­i­sa­tion Sys­tems Inc.

8LAUGH

Sci­en­tists say the ef­fects of laugh­ter and ex­er­cise are quite sim­i­lar. You may not have time for a full-fledged car­dio ses­sion, but you can take out three min­utes to watch a funny clip on Youtube.

9BREATHE

Breath­ing cor­rectly can cure anx­i­ety. The right way to do it: stand up, stretch and take a cou­ple of deep breaths. Stretch your arms, back, legs, and neck. Take a deep breath through your nose, hold it,

10

EAT A FRUIT

The USDA (United States Dept. of Agri­cul­ture) rec­om­mends two fruits a day to help meet your nu­tri­tional re­quire­ments. Ap­ples are your best bet—they are rich in anti-ox­i­dants, Vi­ta­min C. Eat them with their skin on for max­i­mum

re­sults. and let it out slowly and force­fully. Re­peat sev­eral times.

11PRIORITISE

Make morn­ing time plan­ning time. Set goals, write them down and place them where you’ll see them all day. It will give you a sense of con­trol and em­pow­er­ment.

12

IN­DULGE

Not too much, but if you’re go­ing to have some candy, pick choco­late.

Re­search re­veals that we get an en­dor­phin buzz from choco­late and an en­ergy boost from the slight bit of caf­feine in it. You’ll agree, it’s a de­li­cious way to use

spare time.

13LEARN

A WORD

Sign up for a web­site that will de­liver a new word to your in­box ev­ery day, then spend a cou­ple of min­utes learn­ing it. In a month, you’ll have a brand new, im­pres­sive vo­cab­u­lary.

14REFRESH

Sit­ting in the same po­si­tion for hours can be ex­haust­ing. Roll up and down on your toes. This stim­u­lates your cir­cu­la­tory sys­tem, and de­liv­ers oxy­gen and glu­cose through­out your body.

15SING

Stud­ies in mu­sic ther­apy show that singing pro­motes well­ness, man­ages stress, and im­proves com­mu­ni­ca­tion. Most songs last about three min­utes, so sing your favourite out loud.

16

MAKE A CALL

Lost touch with peo­ple? Make a short

call to one per­son ev­ery day, just to say hi—it could be an old friend from col­lege, an ex col­league, or some­one you’d like to net­work with. Re­peat that call af­ter one

month.

17CHANGE

OF SCENE

Browse the In­ter­net to find a sooth­ing nat­u­ral scene as your desk­top back­ground. Stud­ies con­ducted by the Univer­sity of Washington have reaf­firmed na­ture’s restora­tive pow­ers and ca­pa­bil­ity to re­duce stress.

18LOOK

AWAY

Re­search has found out that tak­ing vis­ual breaks can re­lieve sore eyes. Ev­ery two hours or so, look at an ob­ject 20 feet away for a few sec­onds. This will re­lax your eye mus­cles, in­stantly.

19FILTER

Cre­at­ing e-mail fil­ters will help you keep your in­box free from un­wanted mails. Make sep­a­rate fold­ers so that the next time you are search­ing for a su­per im­por­tant e-mail, you won’t waste any time lo­cat­ing it.

20UPDATE

YOUR RE­SUME

Keep­ing your re­sume up-to-date means when a great job op­por­tu­nity comes your way, you won’t be rush­ing to add stuff.

She’d used up her three min­utes to buy a cool, new hat

Un­til she could af­ford the car, she didn’t mind lean­ing on it and laugh­ing

She had a prob­lem say­ing no to any­one!

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