Rank #1: JS006 Cognitive Effects of Caffeine and L-Theanine
Theanine is a compound that has similarities to amino acids such as L-glutamine which might help gut function, your immune system, and it provides “fuel” (nitrogen and carbon) to many different cells in your body. Theanine can be found in certain plants and fungal species, as well as green tea. In common preparations, such as teas and supplements, theanine is absorbed in the small intestine after oral ingestion. It can also cross the blood-brain barrier intact.
Many of us have ingested caffeine and experienced the jitters that come along with it. As well, some people experience high blood pressure, dehydration, trouble sleeping and increased anxiety. Ingesting caffeine and theanine together can help reduce or even eliminate the negative effects of caffeine alone.There have been numerous studies done indicating that theanine has positive impacts on mood, relaxation and alertness. Especially when taken with caffeine, the combination can improve focus and attention span. First I will discuss some researcher that has been done on theanine, as well as theanine taken with caffeine, and then I will discuss when and how much of each to take.
Research done in the journal of Nutritional Neuroscience by Gail N. Owen, Holly Parnell, Eveline A. De Bruin and Jane A. Rycroft studied the combined effects of L-theanine and caffeine on cognitive performance and mood. This study was done to compare 50mg of caffeine, with and without 100 mg of L-theanine on the cognition and mood of healthy volunteers. Researchers wanted to test the effects of the combination of caffeine and theanine on word recognition, rapid visual information processing, critical flicker fusion threshold, attention switching and mood, and compared the results to a placebo in 27 participants. Performance was measured at the baseline, 60 min interval, and 90 min after each treatment, and these treatments were separated by a 7-day washout period. Caffeine alone improved subjective alertness at the 60 min interval, and accuracy on the attention-switching task at the 90 min interval. The combination of Theanine and caffeine improved both speed and accuracy of performance of the attention switching task at 60 mins, and reduced susceptibility to distracting information in the memory task at both the 60 min and 90 min interval.
Consuming caffeine alone cause us to get a jolt of energy, but we may find it hard to focus on one task. Caffeine causes our Beta wave brain function, which is responsible for for alert, energetic, and distracted type thinking, to increase. L-Theanine encourages alpha wave brain function, which is typically created when we are daydreaming or consciously practicing mindfulness or meditation. The bonus is that L-Theanine overrides caffeine’s stimulatory effects that promote beta wave function.Theanine can enhance your alpha brain wave activity, and consequently your mood, relaxation and alertness. Studies done at Unilever Food and Health Research Institute tested that L-Theanine significantly increases activity in the alpha frequency band which indicates that it relaxes the mind without inducing drowsiness.
Another study done at the Cognitive Neurophysiology Laboratory in New York used 100 mg of L-Theanine and 50 mg of caffeine to measure both cognitive behaviour, as well as brain waves in 16 healthy subjects. Subjects were given either a placebo, 100 mg of L-theanine, 50 mg of caffeine, or L-theanine and caffeine combined. They were tested each day for 4 consecutive days. The theanine alone, nor the caffeine alone had any discernible effects, however, together they improved the subjects performance on cognitive tests. Brain waves were also tested in the subjects, and alpha brain wave activity increased in those taking the combination of theanine and caffeine. Alpha brain waves are associated with effortless alertness, and are believed to be the underlying mechanism for the cognitive benefits.
To supplement caffeine and L-Theanine:
- for veteran coffee drinkers, take 200 mg of each supplement 30 minutes before you need increased focus and attention
- People that are not used to caffeine should start with a 100 mg L-theanine dose taken alongside 50 mg of caffeine
- Taking caffeine and L-theanine on an empty stomach can increase the rates of absorption. If this upsets your stomach, please take with food.
Feb 15 2016
Rank #2: JS050 VERBAL COMMUNICATION (Part 3)
Jul 12 2016
Rank #3: JS030 PERFECTIONISM: Mental barriers of SUCCESS (Part 1)
Perfectionism can result from a rigid mindset in which you don’t change your expectations based on present situation your are in. For example, you started a business or a creative endeavor, you set certain standards and expectations for your business. But now as you get into this business even further or going deep into the creative process, you realize that only if you had access to extra resource things would be even better.
Now, in order to obtain these resources you start focusing on ways to get more resources so you can achieve the standards and expectations you had initially set for this product....continue reading
Mar 16 2016
Rank #4: JS048 INTRO to COMMUNICATION (Part 1)
Jun 27 2016
Rank #5: JS027 How sugar impairs MEMORY and causes COGNITIVE decline
Elevated blood sugars damage blood vessels causing progressive decline in brain function. Studies conducted on subjects living with diabetes indicated deficits in learning, memory, motor speed and other cognitive functions. Frequent exposure to high levels of sugar lowers brain capacity, as higher HbA1C (hemoglobin A1c - used to measure plasma glucose concentration) levels is associated with greater degree of brain shrinkage. According to a 2011 study, there was a positive correlation between higher sugar intake and lower cognitive function, which was measured by......continue reading
Mar 12 2016
Rank #6: JS034 SOCIAL APPROVAL: Mental barriers of SUCCESS (Part 5)
Human beings are social creatures. We need social interactions in order for us to be happy and to thrive. Also, this same notion of being social was responsible for the growth of our civilization, it all happened by sharing ideas, developing them and critiquing them.
Because of the social interactions we...continue reading
Mar 20 2016
Rank #7: JS005 How to Increase Emotional Intelligence (Social Skills, Motivation, Self- Awareness)
JOLSID.com - Emotional Intelligence is something we all hear about but most of us either don’t have a clear understanding of it or have understood EI to be some overly exaggerated trait.
Here is the history of Emotional Intelligence. The term emotional intelligence was first used as a reference in a paper written by Michael Beldoch in 1964. The first use of the term was in Wayne Payne’s doctoral thesis in 1985, A Study of Emotion: Developing Emotional Intelligence. It wasn’t until 1995 that the term became widely known. The best-selling book written by Daniel Goleman, Emotional Intelligence - Why it can matter more than IQ lead to the popularity of EI.
In simple terms “Emotional intelligence can be defined as the ability to monitor one's own and other people's emotions, to discriminate between different emotions and label them appropriately and to use emotional information to guide thinking and behaviors”.
Currently there are 3 main models of EI.
- Ability Model
- Mixed Model
- Trait Model
Today we will be discussing the most popular model, that’s the Mixed Model.
The 5 key components of the Mixed model of Emotional Intelligence are:
- Self-awareness – the ability to know one's emotions, strengths, weaknesses, drives, values and goals and recognize their impact on others while using gut feelings to guide decisions.
- Self-regulation – involves controlling or redirecting one's disruptive emotions and impulses and adapting to changing circumstances.
- Social skill – managing relationships to move people in the desired direction
- Empathy - considering other people's feelings especially when making decision
- Motivation - being driven to achieve for the sake of achievement.
There are three different parts to our brain. The First Brain, the Emotional Brain, and the Rational Brain.
The First Brain (brain stem) is where all of our automatic responses come from, as well as where our habits are formed. This is the most basic form of our brain out of the three that we are discussing. The first brain links us to our external world through our skin, pores and nerves. It controls which impulses we recognize and which will be passed on to the two higher levels.Our habits are formed in this brain by imitation, avoidance, and repetition. Information enters this brain usually without any conscious awareness. We have the opportunity to make this information conscious and use it to our benefit, as biofeedback and hypnosis have shown us.
The Emotional Brain (limbic system) is where our “hunches, intuitions, and gut reactions” come from. These reactions become stronger as we move through life because we have more experiences which store more information in our limbic system. Intuition is the emotional learning we have gained over years. A 14 year olds intuition will not be as stronger as a 50 year olds because they have not experienced enough life to make connections between experiences. As we grow older, we gain more reliable emotional data that can offer us valuable clues in our life, as well as it can guide our behaviour, if we become aware its existence and learn to interpret it.
The Rational Brain (neocortex) is the part of the brain that helps us solve problems, make decisions, question things, plan, and generate new ideas; as well as assisting us with functions related to thinking and language. The rational brain and the emotional brain are connected, allowing them to influence one another. This helps provide our brain with rich data on which to draw conclusions and initiate action.
Our emotional responses have been around for centuries. They helped our ancestors with their survival responses. Emotional responses are milliseconds faster than our cognitive, or thinking responses. This could mean the split second of survival when an animal is chasing you.
The limbic, or emotional brain sends a warning of crisis before the neocortex, or rational brain has even began processing the incoming signal. Because of this our body is alerted and is ready to act in the sign of danger.
In today’s world, physical survival is much less of threat than it was to primitive men, but none the less, the data from our emotional brain still gives us important clues to our surroundings and the actions we need to take. This is why our emotional brain has been conserved for so long.
How To Increase Your Emotional Intelligence
Take an Emotional & Social Competency Assessment (EI Quiz) to understand the baseline of your current EI.
Mood Meter app for increased Self Awareness & Self- Regulation. It helps track your emotional patterns over time. This app will train your Limbic System and with time you will learn to have controlled responses to complex emotions. It also teaches our brain to have a variety & complexity of emotions vs scaling them to be just sad and happy.
In order to improve your Social Skills, we don’t recommend that your start going out more and plan more events. Instead, spend time alone analyzing your daily interactions and decoding them in your journal in order to understand social cues and reading expressions.
More attention you pay during your daily interaction on things like body language, context and emotional significance of the topic in discussion better you will become with the interactions in social settings.
It's a totally wrong concept that people who talk more are effective communicators. Good listeners with a high degree of realization of reading expressions are highly regarded communicators in social settings. It's not what you say it's about how others feel when they are around you.
Feb 12 2016
Rank #8: JS036 PERSUASION: How to INFLUENCE (Part 1)
Persuasion is an art, because too much of it can make you look aggressive and too little makes you a pest. But when applied right Persuasion can get you what you want.
Persuasion’s first written accounts are found in ancient Greece, where all trials were held in assembly or in public setting, both Prosecution and Defence rested their case as it's done today but the more persuasive you are, the higher the chances of the decision being in your favour.
Persuasion was so essential that Artistotle even provided 3 reason why someone should learn Persuasion.
- According to Aristotle if you lose a case or trial it’s due to lack of Persuasion skills. Therefore you must learn Persuasion in order to defend yourself.
- It is an excellent tool for teaching - Because as a teacher your need to have students attention so your message as a teacher can be conveyed effectively. Also, as a teacher your need to gain respect of your students and that can only be accomplished if they see you as an influencer.
- A good communicator must be able to argue from both end of an argument
Furthermore, Aristotle provided 3 key ingredients that an effective persuasion master must have:
- ethos (credibility)
- logos (reason)
- pathos (emotion).....continue reading
Apr 04 2016
Rank #9: JS049 NON VERBAL COMMUNICATION (Part 2)
Jul 04 2016
Rank #10: JS035 How to INFLUENCE and ENGAGE
Imagine that you’re an employee trying to transition to an entrepreneur life. You will need resources to jumpstart a great business idea. How do you get people to help? How do you convince clients or customers to go with you and not with their current vendor?
If your target audience are global then how would you communicate to global audience without running into cross - cultural differences? Another situation could be as a leader you need your employees or team to change the direction of a project, with ease without significant opposition?....continue reading
Mar 28 2016
Rank #11: JS038 COMMITMENT & CONSISTENCY (Persuasion) - How to INFLUENCE (Part 1.2)
Consistency is what psychologists call a “decision heuristic” or a shortcut for us to make decisions. Life is complicated enough already. Consistency is a practical survival skill in this complex world by giving us....continue reading
Apr 18 2016
Rank #12: JS004 Psychology of Effective Time Management
A lot of people suffer with time management skills. So today’s topic is focused towards some tips and tricks you can try and implement in your life to be more productive.
1- Try Pomodoro.
This is a pop-psychology technique created by entrepreneur and productivity consultant Francesco Cirillo. The basics: Set a timer and work for 25 minutes straight, without any interruptions or distractions, then take a five-minute break. After four cycles, take a longer, 15- to 20-minute break. Repeat until your task is finished. and Cirillo's book The Pomodoro Technique has been read by more than two million people.
2 - Think of Saying Thank You
“When you are thankful and grateful for what you're doing in life, even when you are spread thin, it helps immediately with giving you the energy and motivation to get things done,” says Larry Marks, a clinical psychologist at the University of Central Florida. In one study at the University of California, Davis, participants who kept a daily journal of things they were thankful for showed more enthusiasm, energy and determination than people who wrote neutral entries or kept track of annoyances.
You can’t do everything at once and now that’s where most of us feel overwhelmed because we have so much to do but not sure where to start. Simple rule is what is the one thing on your to do list you can’t afford to do tomorrow. Or the one that will have the biggest impact on you or your business.
Start from that and have a checklist that you can cross things off, I personally prefer to write that checklist on my outlook calendar day and this helps me even
4- Spend your 1,440 wisely
There are 24 hours in day and therefore 1,440 minutes. Spend them wisely.
According to a survey by Salary.com, the average person gets one interruption every 8 minutes and the average interruption lasts 5 minutes. 80% of those interruptions are typically rated as “little value” or “no value”, creating approximately 3 hours of wasted time per day
Next time someone comes to your office and asks if you have a minute, say “yes, i have 1,440 minutes”. They will probably be confused and ask what you mean. Explain that we all have 1,440 minutes in one day. By explaining this to people you are reminding them that our time is finite. We shouldn’t be so careless with our minutes.
You have every right to be selfish with you time and make the most of every minute in your day.
The single most important thing when it comes to time and productivity isn’t a tactic or a trick—it’s a shift in mindset.
Self-made millionaires, Olympic athletes, straight-A students and other highly successful people think about time differently. They experience time differently.
Money can be lost and made again. Close friends often go away and are replaced with new friends. We can be sick and return to health, and if our disease is actually terminal it is emotionally devastating because so little time is left.
Time is unique. You can never lose time and get it back again. You can’t spend time and go out and earn more of it. You can’t buy it, rent it, or borrow it. Time is our most important asset.
Feb 11 2016
Rank #13: JS007 3 Neuroscience Hacks to Decode Procrastination
Procrastination - we all do it in some shape or form. We make plans to do something, but then don’t take any action, or we stop halfway. We leave our assignments to the last minute. But why do we do this to ourselves?
This problem is so common to all of us and dates back centuries. Let’s go back 1,000’s of years ago to the ancient Greeks. Aristotle and Socrates developed a word for procrastination, Akrasia.
Akrasia, according to the Oxford dictionary is defined as “the state of mind in which someone acts against their better judgement through weakness of will.”
We all try to overcome procrastination, but it affects some of us more than others. There is growing evidence that indicates procrastination negatively impacts our happiness, and our future success.
Science of Procrastination:
There is a behavioural economics term called “time inconsistency” which helps to explain why procrastination rules our lives. Time inconsistency refers to the tendency of the human brain to value immediate rewards more highly than future rewards
When our brain makes long-term plans for ourselves, like losing weight, or writing a book, or learning a new language. You are essentially making plans for your future self. You are visualizing what you want your life to be like in the future. While you are conceptualizing your future self, it is easy for your brain to see the value in taking action for these long-term benefits.
But when the time actually comes to taking action on the plan that you had made earlier, you are no longer taking actions for your future self, you are now working on your present self. According to researchers your brain finds higher value in the present than in the future. And your present self likes instant gratification, not long-term payoff.
This is one of the reasons why you might go to bed feeling motivated to make a change in your life, but when you wake up, you find yourself falling into old habits.
A study conducted by the department of Psychology and Neuroscience at Duke University studied 1000 children from birth until the age of 32 years. The study revealed that self-control as an executive function helped to promote the brain’s frontal cortex. This is the part of the brain responsible for planning complex cognitive behaviour, personality expression, decision making, and moderating social behaviour. Low self control is direct contributor of early mortality, psychiatric disorders, wealth related problems and criminal convictions.
How to decode Procrastination:
- IMAGINATION - Imagination is a powerful technique for improving willpower. The body often responds to imagined situations in the same way it responds to experienced ones. Close your eyes, or write out a detailed description of what you want to achieve.
- Manage your STRESS - Stress depletes your willpower. When we are stressed our body releases a hormone called Cortisol. Cortisol increases our cravings for carbohydrates. Which can lead to unhealthy habits like overeating and alcoholism or simple sugar intake. Eventually this becomes our habit to deal with stress and it depletes your willpower. Best way to reduce stress is music or something that can elevate your mood.
- CAFFEINE - A caffeine-triggered surge of adrenaline and dopamine works to enhance your motivation. Caffeine can positively alter how we experience what we are doing. An article in Scientific American suggests that taking caffeine consistently can artificially induce a sense of interest in what we would otherwise find uninteresting and might help us tolerate a long-term goal.
Feb 16 2016
Rank #14: JS043 ART OF WOO (Persuasion Theory) - How to Influence (Part 2.1)
Needing to know the person you are planning on pursuing is the key to any theory of persuasion. Get to know their motivations, values, personality, goals and also their challenges. The better you know your target...continue reading
May 23 2016
Rank #15: JS008 Science of being Alone and Success
Science of Being Alone and Success
There is a lot of talk nowadays about introversion and extroversion. You might already know which one you identify with, but do you really understand the difference between the two. The way our brains are wired and our brain chemistry can help us understand what’s really going on in the minds of introverts and extroverts that make them who they are.
In the 1960s, a psychologist named Hans Eysenck proposed a theory that extroverts had a lower level of something called “arousal”. He believed that extroverts required more stimulation from the world to feel more alert and awake than introverts. Introverts were easily over-stimulated. This theory helps to explain why extroverts require constant social company, and have a stronger sense of risk-taking and challenges. These activities stimulate them. Introverts on the other hand prefer alone time, thriving in place such as their own home, libraries and peaceful parks. Introverts are working on lowering their overstimulation.
This theory helped paved the way for scientists to dive a little deeper into our minds to help understand what defined these two different personalities.
A 2012 study completed by Randy Buckner of Harvard University discovered that introverts tended to have larger, thicker gray matter in their prefrontal cortex than extroverts. This is the region of the brain that has been linked to personality, expression, decision making, and abstract thought. Buckner concluded that this might be the reason why introverts’ tended to sit alone and thoroughly think things through before making a decision, while extroverts’ ability to live in the moment and take risks without fully thinking everything through.
But research completed over several decades has shown that the brains of introverts and extroverts are activated differently depending on their circumstances, and it has a lot to do with dopamine, a neurotransmitter that controls the brain's reward and pleasure systems.
In 2013, a study conducted by Cornell University’s Richard Depue showed a difference in the release of dopamine levels in each of the two personality traits. For extroverts, dopamine was released at a greater rate upon receiving a reward. Introverts who prefer to spend some time alone experience less dopamine releases, thus they do not seek rewards in the same way as extroverts.
But it’s not always black and white. We all exist on a spectrum between introversion and extroversion, demonstrating qualities of each depending on the circumstance we are in. If you have partied all weekend, then your extroverted side has been more present. And on Monday you might want to just veg out and watch Netflix in your pajamas by yourself and let your introverted side come out. Being an introvert has many negative connotations to it but it doesn’t mean being a hermit, it just means your need some alone time to recharge.
Real LIFE application
- Choose with Confidence (Better Decisions)
Letting your introverted side come more often isn’t a bad thing. When you enjoy your alone time and really get comfortable with yourself, you become your own best friend. This can actually serve you well for many different reasons. One of the main reasons is that you become more confident in yourself and in the choices you make. You will have less stress around what other people think and you become less focused on being a member of a group, you can start to focus on what is in your own best interest.
One of the reasons introverts don’t seek the approval of others is explained by Jonathan Cheek, a psychologist at Wellesley College: “Some people simply have a low need for affiliation.”
- Analytical Thinking
Referring back to the 2012 study done at Harvard University and stating that introverts have more grey matter in the prefrontal cortex than extroverts do, leads to the fact that introverts are more analytical thinkers. Introverts love to spend time alone and to think more analytically about their choices. When it comes to making big decisions, this can significantly increase the likelihood of selecting the best possible option. Dr. Maryam Jahdi, a physician at Ohio State University, explains that for those who prefer time alone, “behavior is guided more by consequences and less by rewards.”
Being less impulsive can help with all sorts of challenges — everything from wasting money on the latest new trends - to fitting in - to holding out for that bigger, but more elusive, promotion. Holding back, analyzing the situation, and contemplating precisely what move is the best option will help you get ahead.3. Be in control of your Life
For those who know consequences matter more than rewards, it can be much easier to spend money wisely. Those who love to spend time alone know how to think through decisions and come up with the best possible solution for themselves. This is perfect for making financial decisions which require, “avoiding bad decisions, negative consequences and missed opportunities,” according to Dr. Jahdi.
You don’t need to look any further than Warren Buffet to see this is a key to success. In a US News interview, Buffet is described as “a classic example of an introvert taking careful, well-calibrated risks.” If there is one thing that can help someone achieve success, it’s being smart with money.
So, embrace your alone time and use it wisely — it may be your key to a successful life.
Feb 17 2016
Rank #16: JS039 SOCIAL PROOF (Persuasion) How to INFLUENCE (Part 1.3)
Apr 25 2016
Rank #17: JS037 RECIPROCITY (Persuasion) - How to INFLUENCE (Part 1.1)
Apr 11 2016
Rank #18: JS044 ATTRIBUTION THEORY (Persuasion) - How to Influence (Part 2.2)
How people explain things, that’s attribution theory. It’s a theory that explain why and how people perceive events the way they do. How the perceiver gathers information together to form a.... Continue Reading
May 30 2016
Rank #19: JS046 COGNITIVE DISSONANCE Theory (Persuasion) How to Influence (Part 2.4)
Jun 13 2016
Rank #20: JS002 Scientific findings about Blueberries, Memory & Focus
JOLSID.com - Blueberries became the biggest superfood a few years ago and people were consuming them like crazy, but did they know why? They have many benefits to them, but I am going to focus in on one in today’s blog – Memory and Focus.
Neuronal Growth Factor (NGF) – Neurons are cells in our nervous system that function to process and transmit information in our brain. An adult brain contains about a 100 billion neurons, which branch out to more than 100 trillion points. This network in our brain is what is responsible for forming the basis of our memories, thoughts and feelings. So without neurons we really wouldn’t be able to do much. They make up one of the core components of our brain.
It was once believed that we were born with all the neurons we were ever going to have, meaning we had all the branches we were ever going to have. New research has shown that blueberries can help increase the activity of a growth factor called neuronal growth factor in our brains.
Essentially NGF helps neurons grow, and when they grow they can branch out towards each other making it easier for the neurons to communicate. Just imagine if your friend was standing on the other side of the room from you at a party and you really needed to tell her something secretive. You would need to exert energy to either walk over to her, or to somehow communicate your message to her without other people hearing. Whereas if she was standing beside you, you could just talk to her and not need to exert any more energy than is actually needed. This is the same the neurons developing more branches to communicate with one another.
Reversing Age Related Deficits in Memory - Researchers working at the School of Food and Biosciences and Psychology in Reading and the Institute of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences at the Peninsula Medical School in Exeter supplemented a regular diet with blueberries over a 12-week period and found that the candidates showed improvements in their spatial working memory within 3 weeks and this improvement continued throughout the study. Spatial working memory related to neuroscience is the part of our memory responsible for recording information about our environment and our spatial orientation.
Just imagine how easy it is for you to travel around the neighborhood you grew up in. This is your spatial memory at work. It is recalling all the familiarities about your surroundings to help you navigate around. Blueberries, like other phytochemical-rich foods, are high in flavonoids, which gives them their antioxidant effects.
Blueberries in particular are high in anthocyanins and flavonols which cross the blood brain barrier after dietary intake. Research is being done by Dr. Jeremy Spencer, a lecturer in Molecular Nutrition at the University of Reading suggesting that flavonoid compounds have some kind of effect of memory. “The research team was able to show that the ability of flavonoids to induce memory improvements are mediated by the activation of signalling proteins via specific pathway in the hippocampus, the part of the brain that controls learning and memory”
I’m sure many of us have been told to eat our fruits and vegetables, but we aren’t always told what is the optimal amount to consume. Blueberries can be consumed via blueberry extract, frozen or fresh blueberries, or isolated anthocyanins. The Optimal Doses are as follows:
- Blueberry Extract - Approx. 5.5 - 11g daily
- Fresh Berries - Approx. 60 - 120g daily
- Isolated Anthocyanin Supplementation - Approx. 500 - 1,000mg
With the recommend amounts above, the higher end is usually more effective, and should be consumed daily. (Please start with the lower amounts in order to test your tolerance, the dose will vary from one person to another)
Blueberries are a heat sensitive fruit, therefore blueberries and blueberry supplements should be refrigerated. However, blanching blueberries has been shown to increase anthocyanin bioavailability, but exposing them to too much heat can degrade the anthocyanin content, so be careful. To blanch blueberries plunge them into boiling water for 25-30 seconds.
Feb 09 2016