Craving Carbohydrates

>> Friday

I've been watching Man Versus Wild and I've noticed no matter what wild environment he's in, he always finds more protein than carbohydrates. He finds it relatively easy to find protein to eat, and very difficult to find any carbs to eat.

Our ancestors for millions of years of our evolution were in similar environments, and not until the invention of agriculture would carbohydrates become abundant.

But agriculture was only a brief moment ago in evolutionary time, so the brain mechanisms causing our cravings are not adapted to our current situation (a constant availability of abundant carbs).

In other words, our bodies and brains are assuming protein is our mainstay, so when our brains want to make more serotonin, we crave carbs, not protein.

Anyway, as I said in the article, What Goes In, we have a simple rule to follow that doesn't require counting calories or weighing food or keeping track of grams of protein: Always mix carbs and protein in every meal (and in every snack) and you'll be getting the maximum amount of tryptophan into your brain. Your brain will have what it needs to make enough serotonin, so you'll feel better more often and you won't have an unnaturally voracious appetite.

All the research is fine and dandy, but the real test that counts is the one in your own life. Give it a shot and find out what happens.


Can Posture Make You Feel Better?

WHEN YOU change your posture, you can change your mood. Someone who feels down tends to slump. Someone who is happy tends to sit up straighter, walk more upright with the head held up, looking forward instead of down.

If you have been paying attention, you know this already. Posture tends to be a reflection of mood.

What you might not have realized is that it goes the other way too: You can change your posture and it will influence your mood. Experiment today and find out for yourself.

One thing you'll discover is that when you slouch or slump, it is harder to take a deep breath. And the way you breathe influences your mood, too.

When you change anything physical, it might potentially change your mood. A researcher told his volunteers to rate how funny a series of cartoons was in their opinion. They looked at a cartoon, and marked its score, picked up another cartoon, and marked its score, etc. Half of them were told to keep a pen between their lips. The other half was told to keep the pen between their teeth.

The ones with the pen between their teeth rated most of the cartoons as funnier than the other group. Their mouth was in a sort of smile and it changed how amusing the cartoons were to them. Interesting, eh? When you want to raise your mood, your body posture, the look on your face, and how you breathe, are easy things to change without having to even stop what you're doing.

Read more about this idea: A Simple Way To Change How You Feel.


The Moodraising Effect of Comparisons

ONE WAY to change your perspective is to change what you're comparing your situation to. This is probably one of the easiest ways to change your mood quickly. For example, if you're feeling kind of grumbly about having to get up and go to work in the morning, if you gave it even ten seconds thought, you could find many things to compare it to that are much worse. You're not in prison. You're not in a concentration camp. You have enough to eat. You aren't worried about a tribe coming and chopping your arm off with a machete, etc.

You are already comparing your situation to something. Naturally and automatically, we usually compare our situation to something better. Although that's natural and automatic, we certainly aren't stuck with it. A little deliberate comparison can go a long way.

Think of something you are unhappy about. Now notice that the reason it makes you unhappy is that you are comparing it to something better. You're comparing your situation to something more ideal. But try this: Think of someone in this world who would take your situation over theirs in a heartbeat.

Whatever you are unhappy about, you can easily find a worse situation to compare it to. And from that perspective, you are lucky to have the problem you have, even though it is obviously not ideal. Who says the ideal is a legitimate thing to use as a comparison anyway? Something worse is at least as legitimate, and has a benefit too: You feel better.

This is how to feel grateful for what you have. Once you know how, it's very easy and works every time. Read more about this here: Comparison.



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