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L-Theanine: a 4000 Year Old Brain Secret

For thousands of years monks have been drinking tea in order to remain in a state of “mindful alertness” during their long periods of meditation. Over the past few years I’ve been researching different ways that help improve the brain and was curious about how monks do it without any of the drugs that many doctor’s now prescribe.

After researching this, I came across many studies that shed light on why tea has this effect on the mind. The two elements in tea that help bring this “mindful alertness” are both caffeine and L-theanine. It’s the combination of these two elements that make tea unique from any other drink.

What can L-theanine and Caffeine do for the Mind?

  • Promote a mindful state of relaxation
  • Increase our ability to multi-task, and multi-task well
  • Increase speed of perception
  • Increase performance under stress
  • Improve learning ability and concentration
  • Decrease anxiety
  • Reduce task-induced fatigue

The Science

L-theanine is an amino acid that is responsible for increasing alpha brain wave activities, which has been found to promote relaxation. When L-theanine is used with caffeine, as is the case with tea, it induces a feeling of increased concentration over a longer period of time, compared to caffeine alone. Some people will tell you that tea releases its caffeine into your body slower than coffee releases the caffeine, but in reality L-theanine is what slows down the distribution of caffeine.

Recent studies have shown that tea “. . . taken throughout the day can significantly benefit speed of perception and more consistent levels of simple task performance. L-theanine appears to antagonize the stimulatory effects of caffeine by decreasing seratonin levels that have been artifically elevated by caffeine” . As a result of this, your body sustains a feeling of alertness that cannot be obtained by the caffeine in coffee or soda.

L-theanine is not normally found anywhere in nature other than tea and in a single species of mushroom. It is synthesized in the roots and concentrates in the leaves of tea which sunlight then converts the L-theanine into polyphenols. When tea leaves are stuck in the shade too much, such as shade-grown teas, they have higher concentrations of L-theanine because the amino acid is not converted into polyphenols as much as when the tea leaves are exposed to full sun

In the end…

Due to the unique combination of L-theanine and caffeine found in tea, there are many reasons as to why this can be another alternative to coffee and soda, especially when looking for a jump-start to the day, or a way to maintain concentration for hours of coding and/or studying. It is best to experiment with different teas and find out how each tea affects you. A good starting point to discover different and appealing teas is the “Hacker’s Guide to Tea.

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Chris Hughes

Chris is an Internet Entrepreneur, Juggler, Traveler and loves learning. Chris is out to enjoy life while building profitable businesses that allow people to have more fun in their lives.

Connect with Chris on Google+.

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Video Review of The Learn More, Study Less Course

In this video I give you an in-depth review of the Learn More, Study Less course by Scott Young.

Get the Learn More, Study Less Course

Chris Hughes

Chris is an Internet Entrepreneur, Juggler, Traveler and loves learning. Chris is out to enjoy life while building profitable businesses that allow people to have more fun in their lives.

Connect with Chris on Google+.

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Chris Hughes

Chris is an Internet Entrepreneur, Juggler, Traveler and loves learning. Chris is out to enjoy life while building profitable businesses that allow people to have more fun in their lives.

Connect with Chris on Google+.

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How Can You Better Manage Your Social Media Interactions?

Did you know it’s been proven that Social Media has shown that you and other employees are blowing $10,375 in productivity each year according to a recent survey from social email software provider, harmon.ie and Social Media Distractions are costing businesses major money. Did this come to a shock to you? It sure did to me when I read that article, which is exactly why I wanted to write about how you can better manage your social media interactions so that they turn into profitable relationships and save you time.

Social Media can be considered one of two things ….

1) Waste of Time
2) Profitable Marketing Tool

I want you to think back on a day when you were really in the zone with your work. You were doing a lot of work and seeing positive results with checking off things on your To-Do list. All of a sudden you receive an email notification that someone commented on your wall on Facebook through your Outlook Express email notifications. You can learn how to turn off Facebook email notifications.

One of the first things that has helped me drastically is turning off e-mail notifications. After I turned off email notifications and re-read part of The 4-Hour Work Week, I created a vacation setting for my email that automatically responds to people that I’m only checking email once per day. I know this might seem impossible for you to do, but I’m willing to be that if you test this out for 2 weeks, those emails that you thought were an emergency can be just as easily be responded to the next day. If there is a problem, the person can always call you and tell you its urgent, if this is the case you can open your email and respond to it.

The next step to managing your social media interactions is to start tracking how much time you spend on social media sites each day. RescueTime is a tool that is simple and extremely powerful for tracking where you are spending your time. Track your activity online for a week or two to find out how much time you spend online during this test period. After you identify exactly how much time you spend, you can choose to cut that time in half and will notice that you’re getting the same amount of work done but saving time.

Dedicate Time Limits

Image: Suat Eman / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

If you are like me, you’ve logged onto Facebook just to update your status and ended up hanging out in different groups or commenting on friends pictures or walls. Two hours later you ask yourself, “what the heck just happened?”

There is an addicting aspect to different social media sites and you absolutely need to set limits on how long you will be on different social media sites. If you find yourself using social media for hours on end, decide to only spend 20-30 minutes on these social media sites. You’ll notice that you are only connecting with the people you needed to follow up with. When your time limit is up, close the browser with the social media site in it. You might not accomplish everything that you needed to, but you will learn how to be more efficient with your time.

Use Tracking Tools

Tools like TweetDeck allow you to easily track your Twitter conversations and tools like HootSuite allow you to schedule messages to be sent out periodically throughout the day. This keeps your messages in one area and allows you to save time with having to track the messages back and forth on Twitter.

Tools like Ping.fm will allow you to post a single message across multiple social networking sites at once. This will save you a ton of time when distributing content among your different social networks.

Learn how you can use Friends Lists to save time by grouping friends into lists. Learn how to do this in the article, Save Loads of Time on Facebook with Friends Lists.

There’s also the old school way of having a daily planner and keeping track of who you need to contact daily in order to grow your business. This is one of the most effective ways that you can keep track of things and also will serve as a constant reminder about what tasks need to be done. By physically checking off who you’ve contacted and made a note about how the interaction went, you are moving towards a more effective use of social media without using social media.

 

Image: Idea go / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

Take The Interaction OFFline

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Here is a short slideshow of some of the people I’ve met via Social Media 🙂

Too many people who consider themselves Social Media Strategists or advisors only speak about using social media to get in contact with people. I still believe that you need to be using social media to further enhance your relationships, but meeting with a person face-to-face really changes the interaction. It allows you to truly bond with a person and this will actually increase the chance that they will do business with you. I’ve found that when I meet up with people offline and have coffee or a beer with them, it really gives us an opportunity to bond and create a real friendship.

GET OUT THERE AND MEET PEOPLE!

Business is all about doing business with people that know, like and trust you so you might as well start to meet up with these people in person. If you’ve connected with someone online through a referral or recommendation and they are near where you’re living or traveling then meet up with them! I absolutely love when my online relationships turn into offline relationships and I get to sit at a table with this person. It really allows for you to connect with the person, and did I mention it also helps to build trust and will most likely lead to more sales? I know that personally for me, when I go to networking events and meet people I end up connecting with people who I can either help or who can help me.

The truth is that social media is here to stay, whether it’s spending time on Facebook or Twitter or if a new network comes on. It simply allows for people to connect at a further level and leads to better business and personal relationships.

Do you have any other tips or tricks that you can recommend that have helped you better manage your social media interactions? Please comment below…

Chris Hughes

Chris is an Internet Entrepreneur, Juggler, Traveler and loves learning. Chris is out to enjoy life while building profitable businesses that allow people to have more fun in their lives.

Connect with Chris on Google+.

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