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Why you are not losing belly fat

Why you are not loosing belly fat

From missing out on sleep to genetic factors, there are plenty of reasons why your abdominal fat may be stubbornly sticking around

Getting rid of your belly bulge is important for more than just vanity’s sake. Excess abdominal fat-particularly visceral fat, the kind that surrounds your organs and puffs your stomach into a “beer gut”- is a predictor of heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance and some cancers. If diet and exercise have not done much to reduce your pooch, then your hormones, your age and other genetic factors may be the reason why.

Read on for 11 possible reasons why your belly fat will not budge.

Getting older
As you get older, your body changes how it gains and loses weight. Both men and women experience a declining metabolic rate, or the number of calories the body needs to function normally. The good news: you can fight this process. Read on.

Wrong workout
A daily run or spin class is great for your heart, but cardio workouts alone will not do much for your waist. You need to do a combination of weights and cardiovascular training.  Strength training increases muscle mass, which sets your body up to burn more fat.

Muscle burns more calories than fat, and therefore you naturally burn more calories throughout the day by having more muscle, I recommend 250 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise or 125 minutes of high-intensity exercise a week.

Eating processed foods
Refined grains like white bread, crackers and chips, as well as refined sugars in sweetened drinks and desserts increase inflammation in our bodies. Belly fat is associated with inflammation, so eating too many processed foods will hinder your ability to lose belly fat.

Natural foods like fruits, vegetables and whole grains are full of antioxidants, which have anti-inflammatory properties and may therefore actually prevent belly fat.

Wrong fats
The body does not react to all fats in the same way. Research correlates high intake of saturated fat (the kind in meat and dairy) to increased visceral fat. On the other hand, monounsaturated fats (the kind in olive oil and avocados) and specific types of polyunsaturated fats (mainly omega-3s, found in walnuts, sunflower seeds, and fatty fish like salmon) have anti-inflammatory effects in the body, and if eaten in proper portions may do your body good.

But Patton warns that eating too much fat of any kind increases your calorie intake and could lead to weight gain, so enjoy healthy fats in moderation.

Weak workout
To banish stubborn belly fat, you have to ramp up your workouts. In a study published in the journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, people who completed a high-intensity workout regimen lost more belly fat than those who followed a low-intensity plan.

In fact, the low-intensity exercises experienced no significant changes at all. You need to exercise at full intensity because the end goal is to burn more calories, and high intensity exercise does just that.

High intensity workouts mean you are going all out for as long as you can. If this sounds intimidating, think of it this way: you will burn more calories in less time.

Wrong exercises
Doing crunches until the cows come home? Stop it! When you are down to your final inches of belly fat, the dreaded crunch will not be the exercise that finally reveals your six-pack. You can not spot reduce.

Instead, I suggest doing functional exercises that use the muscles in your core — abdominals, back, pelvic, obliques — as well as other body parts. These exercises use more muscles, so there is a higher rate of calorie burn while you are doing them.

Planks are my favorite functional exercise — they activate not just your core muscles but also your arm, leg and butt muscles.

Stressed out
Tight deadlines, bills — whatever your source of stress, having too much of it may make it harder for you to drop unwanted pounds, especially from your middle. And it is not just because you tend to reach for high-fat, high-calorie fare when you are stressed, though that is part of it.

It is also due to the stress hormone cortisol, which may increase the amount of fat your body clings to and enlarge your fat cells. Higher levels of cortisol have been linked to more visceral fat.

Sleep
If you are among the 30% of Americans who sleep less than six hours a night, here is one simple way to whittle your waistline: catch more Zs. A 16-year study of almost 70,000 women found that those who slept five hours or less a night were 30% more likely to gain 30 or more pounds than those who slept seven hours.

The National Institutes of Health suggest adults sleep seven to eight hours a night.

Unmotivated
Are you committed to the work needed to lose belly fat? Reducing belly fat takes a combination approach of a low-calorie diet that is high in fiber and low in carbohydrates and sugar along with cardiovascular and weight training.

If you are willing to do the work, you can move past genetics and lose it.

How to lose weight fast

How to lose weight fast

How to lose weight fast

For years, most exercise programs focused almost exclusively on only one kind of cardiovascular exercise, but that it no longer the case. There is a new kind of exercise that is exploding in popularity and it is called “high intensity interval training” – and it’s a welcome add-on to traditional “steady state” exercise.

If you are wondering about interval weight training and those extra pounds around your waist, then we might have gratifying news.

Steady State Exercise & Weight Loss Exercise Programs
Most of our most popular exercising regimes – like pedaling a bike, doing laps in a pool, jogging in the fresh air or walking briskly through a park – are referred to as steady state exercise because our activity level is fairly consistent. Individual experience and medical science recommends this type of exercise as a high-octane way to burn fat because we need the energy to execute these activities and our bodies use fat to provide the fuel for that essential energy.

Have you ever exercised and found that you were depleted in only minutes or were urgently pumping your lungs, attempting to inhale more air? If that is occurred, you have overdone your exercise and you are absolutely not burning fat efficiently.

Bad idea. Tens of thousands of people are dedicated to steady state exercise because they’ve lost lots of pounds by sticking with it.

High Intensity Interval Training
Interval training is not “slow and steady wins the race” – instead, it’s about extremely intense activity, followed by low intensity recovery sessions. If you sprint as fast as possible for about 30 seconds and alternate this with a two minute, much slower run, then duplicate the sequence for 20 minutes, you’re practicing interval training.

The consequences of such strenuous exercise are satisfying – for a minimum of 24 hours you will ignite calories like a furnace. A brilliant new star in gyms and fitness programs, interval training is exploding in popularity.

Interval training workouts are outstanding choices for individuals who do not have much time to exercise because these heart-pounding sessions should not occur more than three times each week. Interval training and fat loss will only happen if the strength of your workout is really, really high.

The end of your exercise periods should actually be painful and some suggest that if they do not feel like throwing up they are not doing it ‘correctly’.

Too extreme? An interval training program does not suit numerous people who believe it is too hard on the body. For those who avoid extremes, a more traditional, steady weight loss exercise workout is the solution. On the well-known 1-10 scale expect to engage in steady state exercise at least to a 5, if you expect to lose weight.

A window-shopping stroll is preferable to sitting in a chair, but you will not lose weight.

So If An Interval Training Program Is Tough, Why Bother?
Some physically fit people love interval training, whereas others detest it, so make a choice that you can be comfortable with. If it is tough, though – why bother? Simply because your weight loss exercise program will cause the weight to fall off fast, fast, fast!

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How working out will make you stronger mentally

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How is exercise good for your mind?

You know that feeling you get when you sip on a good cup of coffee, the friendly yet firm kick it gives you, arousing you mentally and giving you that extra edge? It is great!

Unfortunately, as we all know, too much of the black stuff is not great for us. It can cause a lot of stress in the body.

What if there was something else that could give you this same kick as coffee, without the negative side effects?

The good news is: there is!

The not so good news is: you have to actually move – it is exercise!

Fitness and productivity just go together. No denying it.

There is no need to break into a cold sweat though. This doesnot mean you need to drop and give me 60 or sign your free time away to train for a triathlon. What it does mean is that exercising regularly is a sure way to relieve stress, enhance mental clarity, empower your mind, energise your body, help you sleep, make you feel calmer and ultimately make you more productive.

Exercise relieves stress and enhances mental clarity.

When you exercise, especially cardio – running, cycling, and swimming – feel good neurotransmitters called endorphins are released in your brain making you feel better and more relaxed.

This super happy hormone also fights against the stress hormone cortisol thus reducing stress is the body.

It is a no brainer really, exercise makes us feel better.

What usually happens when you are stressed? Do you have a cigarette? Some chocolate maybe? Does it take a glass of wine for you to decompress in the evenings? Would it not make more sense if you could relieve this stress in a healthy more constructive way? Exercise can do this. It helps to clear your mind and gives you time to process.

It empowers your mind and energises your body.

When your brain is a mush of ideas, obstacles, problems and questions, there id just no clarity. You will not be surprised to hear me say that exercise can help here too. I actually think this is one of the most significant benefits of exercise.

When I run, sometimes I think, sometimes I do not. The silence and solitude enables me to gain more perspective. It allows me to go within and look for answers or find peace. It is quite often a meditative activity.

It is also a space to think things through, outside the box, with a calmer perspective. Think about it. Concentrating on just what you are doing – running – removes the focus from the stressor.

Concentrating on the movement of your body, your feet on the pavement or the sounds of your breath helps you to remove yourself from your mind and allows you to let go of whatever it is that is causing you stress or pain giving you a fresh viewpoint on things.

We live a lot in the mind; we become our thoughts and the constant traffic of tasks. Imagine getting away from that regularly? How much more focused and in control would you feel?

I had no outlet to manage the stress that I was bringing home after a day/weeks work. My mind was often a wash with a multitude of thoughts and problems with no more ‘head space’ to think things through –  so I took up running and lifting.

While getting fitter was one of my reasons for taking up running and lifting the primary driver was stress management. Running and lifting provided me with that ‘thinking time’. Time without the ‘pollution’ of daily work/life demands.

I am the only person in my head when I am running/exercising, there are no external distractions.

I have lost count of the number of work problems I have solved when out running.

Exercise gives you the mental edge.

We all know that sluggish feeling in the morning. Your body is moving but your mind has not switched on yet. Imagine the impact on your day if you had a dose of endorphins before your morning meetings?

Exercising first thing is daunting, it is tough, but it truly sets you up for a wonderfully effective day. It gives you a positive, fresh outlook and a real head start. Adding exercise to your day means your productivity will increase because you arrive to work energised, focused and more organised than before.

You will be able to think more clearly, your energy levels will be higher throughout the day, you will be less stressed, more creative and better prepared.

Just think about it – you have done a workout, had breakfast and are up and at them, feeling amazing – and all before 9am!

Working out helps improve sleep.

Sleeping better allows you to be more productive, energised and empowers your mind. If you’re the type of person whose sleep is interrupted when stressed or busy, you have probably lay awake on numerous occasions figuring things out in your mind, going over the day, planning for the next.

Lack of sleep can wreak havoc on your mood and your productivity, we all know that feeling. Would it not make more sense to process all of this mind matter during a workout, at a time when you can actually make something of those thoughts?

Regular exercise boosts your self-image.

As you become fitter you feel more confident and enjoy your body more. Your body changes, your muscles firm up; your abs might even make an appearance. You begin to look at yourself differently, you feel good and have more confidence, all of this being great news for your personal life and your libido.

Yep, exercise is proven to boost sex drive, now if that is not a reason to dust off those trainers I do not know what is!

“But I just do not have the time to work out” you say…

I have heard this too many times. My response to this is – If Barack Obama can do it, you can too! His logic is that if he has his daily work out time, the rest of his time will be more productive. Try it.

Do not get me wrong, I know it takes time and planning. But if you have a job you schedule meetings and tasks, why can not exercise be one of these tasks? If you want to live a balanced, healthy life exercise needs to be a major player in it.

It does not have to be a long distance run or anything too strenuous. Start slow and build up, do what is right for you, 20 minutes of exercise can have incredible benefits on your body and mind.

Practical ways to fit exercise into your life:

  • Get up earlier and fit your workout in before work. You have done it for an important meeting so you can absolutely do it for yourself. Getting up earlier is incredibly uplifting; you feel so connected and it gives you an extra edge to seize new opportunities with lots of energy and inspiration. Get into a routine and it will get easier.
  • Schedule a weekly meet with friends or a personl trainer. This becomes routine, something you do weekly like taking out the bins. When you organise to meet someone you are less likely to cancel. You are accountable to someone else which is hugely important when achieving goals.
  • Walk and talk. Are there meetings during your day that you can take outside instead of sitting in a stuffy room? Make your meetings walking meetings. When people are taken out of the usual office environment it gives space for a more relaxed and creative conversation. This is a great way to get not only the blood flowing, but the creative juices too.
  • Exercise at lunch is a fantastic way to get your workout down and energise your afternoon. Rather than feeling lethargic and sluggish after lunch you will feel rejuvenated and recharged. Get your workout in at lunch and free up your evening for personal time to have fun and rest.
  • Work out in work. Lots of companies organise corporate training which really helps to boost morale and productivity. We all know a healthy workforce is a happy one and happy people are more productive.

There’s nothing better than setting yourself a goal of working out and achieving it.

You feel like you can take on the world.

You feel so powerful and invincible afterwards.

This feeling of empowerment and strength that exercise gives transfers into other areas of life without you even realising it, giving you a more productive, positive, healthy life.

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Here is the supplement of all supplements

The supplement of all supplements
There are almost too many potential health benefits to count when it comes to
consuming whey protein — but whey protein isolate, in particular, is higher in protein and
lower in lactose than whey concentrate.

Here are the top four reasons it should be part of your personal muscle plan.

Lose fat and preserve muscle
Researchers in Minnesota conducted a 12-week study where subjects’ daily caloric intake
was reduced by 500 calories. Then some participants were given whey and the rest were
given an isocaloric mix beverage.

Those consuming whey lost significantly more body fat (6.1% total) and better preserved their muscles. If you have an urge to snack on something, try a whey protein shake.

Increase size and strength
Researchers at Baylor University in Waco, TX, took 19 men performing resistance
training over a 10-week period and gave some of them 14 grams of whey and casein
protein along with 6 grams of free amino acids, while giving the rest a 20-gram placebo.

Those who consumed the whey combo had greater increases in fat-free mass and muscle
strength.

Reduce hunger
Australian researchers had 28 obese men consume four different drinks. Those who
consumed the beverage containing 50 grams of whey had significantly reduced levels of
ghrelin (a hormone that tells your brain you’re hungry) up to four hours later.

So instead of munching on unhealthy party snacks, drink a protein shake beforehand.

Boost immunity
University of Alberta researchers found that male subjects involved in strenuous aerobic
activity suffered from significantly reduced glutathione levels that could impact such things
as the nervous, gastrointestinal, and immune systems.

However, they also discovered that by supplementing with whey protein, the subjects experienced significantly less reduction in glutathione levels. If you like extended cardio sessions, but do not want to risk compromising your body’s immune response and more, combat those effects with whey.

How much do you need?
I personally recommend looking for whey protein isolate with no less than 24 grams of
protein per serving, and no more than 5 grams of carbohydrates. Go with whey protein in
the AM and post workout.

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How to be a leader

How to be a leader

Many leaders and entrepreneurs are sold on the idea that hard work and paying your dues will guarantee future success. Indeed, the idea of pulling yourself up by the bootstraps is something we aspire to do.

On the subjects of leadership and success, nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.

Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.

Sure, perseverance and having grit have a great deal to do with being a successful leader. But that is not all there is to it. Here are lessons other lessons that true leaders always keep in mind.

1. Identify your purpose 
Steve Jobs once said, “The only way to do great work is to love what you do.”

Indeed, successful leaders identify their passions and life goals and leverage them to create businesses, help people and make positive impacts on the world. By making their unique dreams and aspirations the framework around which their companies operate, leaders fulfill their missions in life without ever feeling like they are really working.

Though this seems like common sense, it may be difficult to discern what fields or interests you should pursue long-term. I suggests starting the process by asking these three questions:

1. What do you love to do, that you would do even if you do not get paid for it?

2. What do other people say you are really good at?

3. What is the one thing you want to experience, or do, or accomplish, before you die, so that on your last day on earth you feel satisfied and have no regrets in that area?

2. Use the word: No
Warren Buffett once said, “The difference between successful people and very successful people is that very successful people say ‘no’ to almost everything.” Cutting the fat from both your individual actions during the work day and long-term ventures will lead to more successful outcomes.

Not just haphazardly saying no, but purposefully, deliberately, and strategically eliminating the nonessentials. Not just once a year as part of a planning meeting, but constantly reducing, focusing and simplifying.

Not just getting rid of the obvious time wasters, but being willing to cut out really terrific opportunities as well. Few appear to have the courage to live this principle, which may be why it differentiates successful people and organizations from the very successful ones.

After taking stock of what is absolutely essential, prioritize and focus on tasks that only you can or should do. Delegate those that are urgent but do not need your full time and attention. And do not forget to take time off.

3. Listen
The benefits to active listening are two-fold. First, it will help you get a better idea of what is really going on before making informed decisions. Former chairman of IBM Lou Gerstner partially attributed the success of the company at the turn of the century to listening.

In his book Who Said Elephants Can’t Dance? Inside IBM’s Historic Turnaround, he wrote, “For the first month, I listened, and I tried very hard not to draw conclusions.” This strategy led to IBM’s success, as he was responsible for increasing the company’s stock market value by 800%.

Second, simply listening instead of reacting will allow you to build effective working relationships that help your organization reach the next level. To say that a person feels listened to means a lot more than just their ideas get heard. It is a sign of respect.

Listening is one of the easiest ways to get good karma and establish positive relationships with everyone around you.

4. Inspire 
If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, you are a leader. Indeed, one of the defining features of being a leader is the ability to excite and motivate other people.

Being inspirational does not mean giving out awards and bonuses every year and calling it a day. It is more about instilling continuous, long-term motivation and trust in your supporters, giving them a reason to get out of bed every morning.

It is about firing up people and sparking their innate creativity and desire to innovate, even when they did not think they had the capacity. Making sure someone feels like their work is vital to achieving the company’s goals is one of the easiest ways to encourage your colleagues to be the best they can be.

5. Focus on emotional intelligence
Before you can even think about inspiring your followers, you also need to be well-versed in emotional intelligence, a mix of self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy and social skill.

Having a high level of emotional intelligence is imperative to knowing how to empathize with, encourage and challenge your team members to reach their highest potential.

Daniel Coleman, a psychologist and journalist who was the first to associate emotional intelligence with leadership, found, “When I compared star performers with average ones in senior leadership positions, nearly 90 percent of the difference in their profiles was attributable to emotional intelligence factors rather than cognitive abilities.”

Travis Bradberry, another emotional intelligence researcher, identified a few easy ways to build up your emotional intelligence including being self-aware of your strengths and weaknesses, practicing self-confidence, letting go of mistakes, neutralizing toxic people and being compassionate.

6. Learn and learn
Even if you are one of the top experts in your field, staying up-to-date about new developments by reading articles, magazines and reports will keep you at the top of your game. Also, joining professional associations and local clubs and going to their events could allow you to network with other ground-shakers, get caught up with the newest technology, and learn more about issues relevant to your field.

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How to learn a new language: leverage your listening habits

How to learn a language

Languages has a lot of slang, colloquialisms and idioms. The only way to
master these is by listening. Listening will improve your speaking capabilities hugely.
You will learn the correct pronunciation, vocabulary, grammar, accent, and intonation.

One can apply what you hear in your daily life.

● Make it a point to listen to the radio, or T.V. while doing random chores.
All human beings learn a language by listening. Make sure you watch a movie
without subtitles.

● Singing is a great fun way to improve your pronunciation. It can also
develop fluency.

Remember, developing your English, Spanish or French listening skill is not only important to learn a language. It is also important because a person is not going to repeat himself over and
over waiting for you to understand.

Watching a movie without subtitles will teach you
how to keep up with what a person is saying.

● Role-playing also helps in improving speech. Watch an movie in the language that
you are fond of over and over again till you understand it complete, and then
enact the movie yourself.

Repeat this exercise with another movie. This will
not only improve your speech, it will also improve your ability to listen.
Listening and repeating is the best way to learn a language.

I know people who have learned a complete language perfectly just by watching the movies and listening to the songs. Of course, this works better if the language you are trying to learn is closer to your own native language.

However, remember that English for example is a mix of a number of different languages.

How to Strengthen Listening Habits?
Now, in order to strengthen your language listening habits for an extra leverage, let us
take a look at the three types of listening one must indulge into and further ways to
improving your skills in each.

Type 1: Passive or Inactive Listening
Passive listening plays a dormant role in the communication process. The listener
simply listens and absorbs the meaning of the language and is not expected to react or
put his views across.

As a foreign learner, passive listening allows you to acquaint the
verbal form of speech and take time to assimilate what you listen. It is the most
comfortable way of taking massive input.

Here are some important aspects you can instill to maximise learning from passive listening:
Focus on understanding each word in individual sense and in correlation with the
constructed sentences.

Do not deviate your concentration in putting emphasis on
preconception of the context while listening.

● Rehearse and summarise in your mind what you comprehended from the
speech as an aftermath.

● Take note on how vocabulary is used interchangeably to get a hand on
varied ways of expressive ability.

● If possible, pen down the main frame of sentences in short hand for further
reference.

● Keep observation on the pauses used while conveying the emotion of the
context. There are clause, sentence and paragraph pauses in conversationalspeech in a rhythmic pattern which you must focus on while listening to the language you want to learn.

● As a foreign listener, at times the speech might sound out of your pace to
absorb the meaning of it. Do not get intimidated with the volume of words and
sentences while listening as it might keep you from taking whatever input you
can anyway.

● In case of listening live to a speaker, note the lip movement made while
pronouncing the syllables, vowels and consonants differently.

Type 2: Extensive Listening
Furthermore and beyond specific information, Extensive listening includes listening to
long textual narratives which in return builds the listener’s stamina to take in more and
more bulk of conversational language and understand the contextual reference in larger
lengths.

After listening to a particular audio book on repetitive mode, you will observe
that you are consciously picking up the pronunciation and can fairly summarise the
meaning in portions.

Extensive listening is a great self tutoring method for learning
second languages. While making extensive listening a habit, keep the following points in
mind for exceptional learning.

● Use different mediums like audio books, recordings, videos,
entertainment pieces, musicals, debates and dialogues for extracting a variety
of accents, speech alterations and genres of the vocal in the language.

● To avoid hurtling up while listening extensively, pick a topic of interest and
listen through till the end.

● Since mostly you can repeat and take a pause while listening to prerecorded
mediums, list down new words and phrases you come across and
look up for the meaning of complex vocabulary to keep up with the flow of
speech.

● One of the best way to keep a log of different pronunciations while listening
to voluminous text is to pen down the words as they sound. This will give you
an edge on the phonic tone to understand what you listen better.

Type 3: Responsive Listening
In interpersonal communication, responsive listening is the half kernel of the two way
process. Now as a non native learner, getting into habit of responsive listening is a
place where you are active as a listener as well as a speaker.

Engaging yourself with this type of listening will build your grasping speed and make you spontaneous with the language. Once you start practising it as a habit, you can further optimise listening through these elements:
Responsive listening is a behavioural act. Keep the focal point on listening calmly
rather than getting anxious about how you would frame your response.
Ask the speaker to reiterate if you do not get the context clearly.

It is always betterto seek clarification rather than responding in irrelevance. Take time to apprehend what you listen before jumping to a response It is observed that very often people practice prejudiced listening and neglect the minutes.

As a settler to the foreign language you must keep a flexible and open mind while listening so as to ingest the actual meaning of what is being spoken.

“Do It Right Now”: Steps to Start Improving instantly
Step 1: Watch an movie int the language you are learning

Step 2: Make an honest list of all the words that you thought were pronounced in a
different way.

Step 3: By the end of the movie, if your list is small, your pronunciation is not so bad.
However, if your list is long, you need to work on pronouncing those words.

Step 4: If you are not sure about the pronunciation, use the help of Internet tools or
download a dictionary app on your phone to help with correct yourself.

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Bruised and battered: How to get back on the horse

How to get back on the horse
How to get back on the horse

One of my best friends is currently in a slump. He is an entrepreneur, a dad, and a great guy. And he feels like a complete failure.

I had coffee with him last week and listened to the despair in his voice and the hopelessness. I could relate to everything he was saying.

You see, I have been through many slumps in my life. Slumps that felt like they were going to last forever. Slumps that I thought I was never going to be able to get out of.

But I always did.

These 13 simple techniques can help you become more positive and motivated, and break you out of any slump.

1. Acknowledge
A slump is no different than any other problem or obstacle in life, you can not simply stick your head in the sand and deny that it exists.

Admit that you feel really low right now. Acknowledge that there is a problem. Start here.

2. Acceptance
This is how you feel right now. There is no getting around it. Accept it. Say a couple of things like this to yourself:

“This won’t last forever.”
“I feel like a failure but I know I will get better.”
“This too shall pass.”

And it will…

3. Letting go
Do you know someone who always has some kind of drama in their life? And they always seem to love to tell you about it?

They are stuck in perpetual victim mode, and it is an easy (but painful) place to live.

If you want to get out of your slump, you have to be willing to let it go. Do not look for sympathy, look for solutions.

4. Be open about it
When we get stuck in a dark place, we start thinking that we are the only ones who have ever felt this bad. But once you start to talk to people and really open up, you begin to realize that everyone has been there at different points in their lives.

5. Do not pity yourself
You feel down, you feel like a failure, you feel like things are never going to get better. So what do you do? You throw a pity party.

You tell more and more people about how unfair things are. You want their pity. You want them to tell you that you are justified and that you should feel bad.

But this only has the effect of prolonging it. When you are in this mode, you are not looking for any solutions, you are just looking for people to feel sorry for you.

Cancel your pity party. Focus on getting out of it instead.

6. Positive mentality.
While I was talking to my friend and trying to help him get out of his slump, he started to tell me about all of the terrible things that were currently going on in the world.

It turns out that he has been watching the news. A lot. His mind is getting filled up with negativity and it is making things worse.

We have to be very careful about what we allow into our minds on a consistent basis. The news, sad music, negative people, darkness – it can all make us feel worse.

It leads to fear and aggression, and hinders your creativity and ability to think deeply.

Read, watch, and listen to things that are going to uplift you, not depress you.

7. More energy
When you are feeling down, you need to do things that are going to raise your energy level. The old adage “Move a muscle, change a thought” is certainly true.

Go for a walk. Do a quick workout. Do a few pushups. Do anything that is going to get you out of yourself for a few minutes and get your blood flowing.

8. Embrace it
Everything in life is a lesson; it is just up to you to see it that way.

What can be learned from this slump? What is it telling you? How is it helping you to change?

As hard as it might be, be thankful for this experience. Be thankful for the lessons it is teaching you.

And once the storm is over, you will not remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You will not even be sure, whether the storm is really over.

But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you will not be the same person who walked in. That is what this storm’s all about.

9. Stay with positive people
You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.

Are you spending most of your time with negative people? Take a close look at whom you are with the most and what their attitudes are like. If they are disproportionately negative, make some changes.

Start seeking out people who are positive and are going to lift you up.

This one might be hard at first (who wants to be around a really happy person when you feel like dirt?) but it is crucial.

10. Shock yourself
Sometimes it is a matter of changing everything up. Or just changing one big thing to shock your system.

Many time slumps come from getting in a rut and then they slowly get worse as you get more and more comfortable in that rut (even though you gradually feel worse and worse). So you need to do something to shock your system into action.

Are you a night-owl? Try waking up early for a week.
Are you super serious? Make laughter a priority for a few days.
Always online and on your phone? Try a digital detox.

11. Help others

One of the best ways to change your entire mood is to help someone else. It is quite possibly the most effective (and gratitfying) way to truly get out of yourself and give back.

Often, when I am not sure where to start, or have a mountain of daunting tasks piling up, I begin by asking someone else if they need help with anything.

To me it is probably the single best motivational/productivity tip I can think of. Sure, it is slightly counterintuitive, as you are potentially taking on work, but the rewards are mighty.

I find that after I spend some time helping someone else get started (or finished), I am refreshed and ready to get going on my own stuff.

Try it. It works every time.

Feeling overwhelmed and down? Simply help someone else.

12. Gratitude
When you are stuck in a slump, it is easy to feel like there is nothing good in your life, but I have found that this could not be further from the truth.

No matter what was going on in my life (business problems, I was sick, someone cut me off in traffic, whatever) there was always something that I could find to be grateful for.

All you have to do is think about one thing that is good in your life. And now add another one to the list. And another. Soon you will see how blessed you really are.

13. Action
It is now time to take action. Decide on one step that you can take to pull yourself out of this slump.

What are you going to do right now? Start really small. The whole point is to just do something. Something that will make you feel better.

Start right now.