Weight Loss 

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Weight Loss 

Stop! You're Removing Your Eye Makeup All Wrong: If you wake up in the morni…

Stop! You're Removing Your Eye Makeup All Wrong: If you wake up in the morning and still have rims under your eyes (after scrubbing your face the night before) or find that your eyelashes fall out every time you take off stubborn mascara, then you're probably removing your eye makeup wrong. Source by POPSUGARBeauty

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If You Want to Lose Weight, Here's Why You Should Try Matcha

http://www.popsugar.com/fitness/What-Matcha-36942038

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Ready to take your morning caffeine habit to the next level? It may be time to replace your loose leaves or cup of coffee with matcha. A powdered form of steamed and dried green tea leaves that has been used in Japanese tea ceremonies for centuries, matcha tastes like a grassier, brighter version of the regular stuff. Think of it as the “healthy espresso of green tea,” say David Mandelbaum and Jessica Lloyd, owners of matcha purveyor Panatea. So just how healthy is the green powder? A study found that one serving of matcha has 137 times more disease-fighting polyphenols, called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), than a brewed mug of conventional China Green Tips — the equivalent of up to 10 cups of regular green tea! With such an antioxidant punch, it’s no wonder that matcha just may be the new superfood. Read on for why it could just be a miracle in a mug.

Weight-loss concentrate: EGCG has been shown in some lab studies to boost metabolism, and other research has shown that EGCG may help stop the growth of new fat cells. While more studies are still needed to confirm results in humans, add to this the fact that drinking green tea instead of sugary drinks can help you save calories, and opting for a healthy matcha-based drink (like this lower-calorie version of Starbucks’s green tea latte) may just be a wise weight-loss decision.

Disease-fighter: The concentrated levels of antioxidants in matcha are hard to beat, especially considering catechins in green tea have been shown to have cancer-preventing as well as immunity-boosting effects, including helping prevent high-risk health workers from catching the flu.

Daily detox: Matcha may just help keep your body functioning in tip-top shape; a lab study in rats with type 2 diabetes found that a daily dose of matcha provided a protective effect on their liver and kidney systems. Other research has found that green tea drinkers had a 33 percent lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes by helping reduce blood glucose levels — the more green tea they drank, the lower the risk.

Jitter-free energy: A serving of matcha has less caffeine than an espresso, but its nutrient makeup just may give you more energy. Because the tea leaves used to make matcha are protected from sunlight before being harvested and steamed, the leaves retain much of their natural chlorophyll (which is why matcha is so green), a substance that has been shown to help boost energy. Plus, green tea is an excellent source of the mind-calming amino acid L-theanine, which means you may just feel more awake and alert without the late-afternoon caffeine crash.

When buying matcha, be sure and check each product so you know you’re buying high-quality tea with the most health benefits. “The more vibrantly green the matcha is, the higher the chlorophyll and amino acid content,” David and Jessica advise. Also, check labels and watch out for additives and sugars, which some matcha products contain. For the perfect cup, David and Jessica recommend heating water until near boiling (180°F) and whisking in matcha powder in a “M” or “W” motion.

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Does Your Face Get Super Red Post-Workout? Here's How to Fix It

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When Tone It Up (TIU) hosted us in Southern California for its seaside retreat earlier this year, we got some amazing tips from its go-to makeup artist, Jennifer Naideth. Jennifer is a pro at creating the effortless, au naturel California beach babe look for TIU founders Karena and Katrina, as well as packing essentials for a gym bag, creating a post-workout quick makeup routine, and (our favorite) devising a quick fix to that red face most of us get after a hot and sweaty workout.

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While there’s nothing to worry about (your face turning red after exercise is totally normal!), if you’re on your way to the office, a date, or even just brunch out with your friends, we get that you might want to cool that face off and return to your normal complexion. Fortunately, Jennifer has a few great tips on how to calm the redness.

The cold towel face mask. This trick calls for cold water from the sink and any hand towel your gym or studio might provide. “Hold it on your face like a face mask for a few minutes,” said Jennifer. This should start to reduce some of the red hue.
Cold shower and washcloth. Take the washcloth trick into the shower — a cold shower! This should help send the blood back, away from your face. So instead of taking your usual warm post-workout shower, cool it down, and bring the mask in with you.
Use essential oils. Jennifer’s favorite tip is to apply essential oils to her face like “lavender, tangerine, peppermint, and wild citrus.” She noted that she’s fond of doTERRA essential oils and keeps them in her gym bag.
Ice your neck. This tip is from our own experience — a pack of ice on the neck can start to cool the blood going to your face to reduce redness. We’ve tried it post-half-marathon, and it’s crazy how quickly your face goes from freakishly red to slightly flushed. If you don’t have ice, try a cold water bottle and put it onto the soft part of your neck where it meets your jaw bone (under your ear).

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If You Want to Lose Weight, Here's Why You Should Try Matcha

http://www.popsugar.com/fitness/What-Matcha-36942038

Thank You for visiting www.judgeweightloss.com. This is the spot for all of your fitness, workout, healthy lifestyle, supplement, and just general get healthy information. Enjoy

Ready to take your morning caffeine habit to the next level? It may be time to replace your loose leaves or cup of coffee with matcha. A powdered form of steamed and dried green tea leaves that has been used in Japanese tea ceremonies for centuries, matcha tastes like a grassier, brighter version of the regular stuff. Think of it as the “healthy espresso of green tea,” say David Mandelbaum and Jessica Lloyd, owners of matcha purveyor Panatea. So just how healthy is the green powder? A study found that one serving of matcha has 137 times more disease-fighting polyphenols, called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), than a brewed mug of conventional China Green Tips — the equivalent of up to 10 cups of regular green tea! With such an antioxidant punch, it’s no wonder that matcha just may be the new superfood. Read on for why it could just be a miracle in a mug.

Weight-loss concentrate: EGCG has been shown in some lab studies to boost metabolism, and other research has shown that EGCG may help stop the growth of new fat cells. While more studies are still needed to confirm results in humans, add to this the fact that drinking green tea instead of sugary drinks can help you save calories, and opting for a healthy matcha-based drink (like this lower-calorie version of Starbucks’s green tea latte) may just be a wise weight-loss decision.

Disease-fighter: The concentrated levels of antioxidants in matcha are hard to beat, especially considering catechins in green tea have been shown to have cancer-preventing as well as immunity-boosting effects, including helping prevent high-risk health workers from catching the flu.

Daily detox: Matcha may just help keep your body functioning in tip-top shape; a lab study in rats with type 2 diabetes found that a daily dose of matcha provided a protective effect on their liver and kidney systems. Other research has found that green tea drinkers had a 33 percent lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes by helping reduce blood glucose levels — the more green tea they drank, the lower the risk.

Jitter-free energy: A serving of matcha has less caffeine than an espresso, but its nutrient makeup just may give you more energy. Because the tea leaves used to make matcha are protected from sunlight before being harvested and steamed, the leaves retain much of their natural chlorophyll (which is why matcha is so green), a substance that has been shown to help boost energy. Plus, green tea is an excellent source of the mind-calming amino acid L-theanine, which means you may just feel more awake and alert without the late-afternoon caffeine crash.

When buying matcha, be sure and check each product so you know you’re buying high-quality tea with the most health benefits. “The more vibrantly green the matcha is, the higher the chlorophyll and amino acid content,” David and Jessica advise. Also, check labels and watch out for additives and sugars, which some matcha products contain. For the perfect cup, David and Jessica recommend heating water until near boiling (180°F) and whisking in matcha powder in a “M” or “W” motion.

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11 Celebs on Why Photoshopping Seriously Needs to Stop

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Vocal powerhouse Meghan Trainor is known for her hit songs about self-love and female empowerment, so when she realized last week that producers had digitally whittled her waist in her new music video “Me Too,” she pulled it from the Internet immediately. The next day, Trainor’s video was re-released, un-retouched. “The real #metoo video is finally up! Missed that bass,” she wrote in a caption of an Instagram post that showed side-by-side pics of her photoshopped body and her natural curves.

Trainor isn’t the only star outraged by the incessant photoshopping that makes it that much tougher for women to feel joyful and proud in their own skin. Here, 10 more celebrities vent how they really feel about digital nips and tucks.

RELATED: Chrissy Teigen Shares Her Honest Makeup-Free Selfie

On the importance of being honest

If any magazines want to guarantee they’ll let my stomach roll show and my reddened cheek make an appearance, I am your girl Friday. Anything that will let me be honest with you. But moreover, I want to be honest with me. This body is the only one I have. I love it for what it’s given me. I hate it for what it’s denied me. And now, without further ado, I want to be able to pick my own thigh out of a lineup.”
—Lena Dunham, Lenny Letter, March 2016

On being “enough” just the way you are

“I was very taken aback and very uncomfortable about looking at an image that I did not recognize as myself…. That is not OK with me because that echoes that little girl who thought, ‘I wasn’t enough.’ I know that I’m enough. So don’t make me feel like I’m not enough by changing me to fit some idea of what you think I’m supposed to look like. What I look like is OK.”
—Kerry Washington on her Adweek cover, Oprah Women’s Network Super Soul Sessions, April 2016

On models photoshopping themselves

“It’s gotten to the point where they’re not smoothing their skin anymore, they’re actually changing the shape of their body. Nobody can compare to that when you’re fixing yourself so much. It’s so unfair…. It started with Botox and everything, of course, but now it’s just grown into this photoshop phenomenon—and I’ve seen these women in person—they are not like that. Please know that. I’ve shot in barely anything with them, and it’s just amazing what people do to tweak themselves.”
—Chrissy Teigen, The Meredith Vieira Show, April 2015

On creating unrealistic ideals

“Had a new shoot come out today and was shocked when I found my 19 year old hips and torso quite manipulated. These are the things that make women self conscious, that create the unrealistic ideals of beauty that we have. Anyone who knows who I am knows I stand for honest and pure self love. So I took it upon myself to release the real pic (right side) and I love it.”
—Zendaya, Instagram, October 2015

RELATED: The Powerful Message Behind This Fitness Blogger’s Photoshopped Selfie

On baring it all

“For someone who’s had body image issues since they were a child, I went from hating every inch of my body to showing every inch of my body to the entire world and without touching up anything… A lot of times I get frustrated because people will, without my consent, Photoshop my body and it doesn’t look like my own body. Like, no no no, my thighs are bigger than that, can you put them back to the way they were? I’ve literally done that before where I’m like, ‘No, put my legs back on me. Those aren’t my legs.’”
—Demi Lovato on her nude and unretouched photo shoot for Vanity FairE! News, October 2015

On accepting your “flaws”

—Lorde, Twitter, March 2014

On the impact of media

“The media plays such a big role in how women measure themselves against other women, so I can be in a position where I can say beauty comes from within, we’re not all perfect, and the covers of magazines are of course retouched. We do not look like that… I have wrinkles here, which are very evident, and I will particularly say when I look at movie posters, ‘You guys have airbrushed my forehead. Please can you change it back?’ I’d rather be the woman they’re saying ‘She’s looking older’ about than ‘She’s looking stoned.'”
—Kate Winslet, Harper’s Bazaar, July 2009

On body pride

—Amy Schumer, Twitter, April 2015

RELATEDThe Most Powerful Body-Positive Celeb Selfies We’ve Ever Seen

On being unique

“I love that feeling of, you know, we are women, we are so different, our imperfections are what make us unique and beautiful.”
—Gisele Bundchen on her makeup-free campaign for BLK DNM, Fashionista, May 2013

On how extreme editing can get

Saw this floating around…hope it’s not the poster. Our faces in this were from 4 years ago…and we all look ridiculous. Way too much photo shop. We all have flaws. No one looks like this. It’s not attractive.”
—Ashley Benson, Instagram, December 2013

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Common Eye Problems, Solved

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Thanks to new technology—from disposable contacts to LASIK—it has never been easier to guarantee perfect vision without having to wear clunky specs or reading glasses. (And even if frames are your thing, you can get trendy ones cheaper than ever through mail-order sites, like warbyparker.com.) The latest science can also keep unsightly crow's-feet and dark circles at bay.

But while it's great to look and see better, you want your eyes to feel better, too, whether it's by preventing itchy, watery allergy symptoms or staving off age-related eye diseases. So we went on a vision quest to round up the tests, treatments and warning signs you need to know about so you'll see clearly into your next decade and beyond.

Problem No. 1: Presbyopia

The lowdown. Presbyopia—difficulty making out close objects, like writing on a menu or digits on a phone—usually sets in by the time you're 40. That's because, as you age, the lens of your eye gradually starts to lose flexibility. (Farsightedness, or hyperopia, has a similar effect but is due to the shape of your eye and is usually something you're born with.) Unfortunately, there's nothing you can do to prevent it.

What it feels like. Your vision is blurred at a normal distance. You may also notice eye strain and headaches when you're doing close-up work, like sewing.

Rx. Although presbyopia is a natural condition, you should still see your eye doctor when you notice it to make sure you don't have a more serious condition, like glaucoma, says Bruce Rosenthal, MD, professor of ophthalmology at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. If it is presbyopia, he'll likely recommend reading glasses. Already wear glasses or contacts? Relax: You won't have to switch to old-fashioned granny glasses, thanks to new bifocal contact lenses and glasses known as no-line bifocals, which use progressive, multifocus lenses and look like regular specs.

Problem No. 2: Allergic conjunctivitis

The lowdown. If you have seasonal allergies, you recognize this as the annoying redness and itchiness that afflict your eyes in response to pollen from grass, trees or ragweed. You might also get these symptoms if you're allergic to pet dander or mold. "When the allergen comes into contact with your eyes, it causes cells known as mast cells to release histamine and other substances," causing swelling and wateriness, explains Richard Weber, MD, president of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.

What it feels like. Itchy, red, watery eyes. You might also have other allergy symptoms, like sneezing.

Rx. An eye doctor or an allergist can prescribe prescription antihistamine eyedrops and, if needed, oral antihistamines (available either over-the-counter or by prescription). "Just avoid over-the-counter redness drops—they work by constricting blood vessels in your eye, and you can develop a rebound effect—when you stop using them, the vessels dilate again," Dr. Weber says.

 

Next Page: Dry eye syndrome

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Problem No. 3: Dry eye syndrome

The lowdown. This condition occurs when you don't naturally produce enough tears to lubricate your peepers. "It's very common among women in their late 30s and early 40s, probably because of hormonal changes such as a decrease in estrogen and testosterone production leading into perimenopause," says Robert Cykiert, MD, an ophthalmologist at NYU Langone Medical Center. Certain meds—like antidepressants, antihistamines and decongestants—can also dry out your eyes, as can cold outdoor air.

What it feels like. A scratchy, gritty sensation. You may also have red eyes and blurred vision.

Rx. You can usually treat mild symptoms with an over-the-counter, preservative-free artificial tear solution, like Alcon's. If that doesn't work, see your eye doctor, who can prescribe eyedrops called Restasis. Wear contacts? Consider switching to daily disposables: One study found they improved dry eye by about 20 percent. For severe cases, your doc might recommend prescription eye inserts, which release a lubricant. You can also take an omega-3 supplement, which research suggests may ease symptoms, adds Jimmy Lee, MD, director of refractive surgery at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City.

Problem No. 4: Conjunctivitis

The lowdown. We're talking about pinkeye—inflammation or infection of the conjunctiva, a thin layer of tissue that lines the inside of your eyelid. The most common cause is a virus, usually an adenovirus—the same type that causes respiratory infections. There's also bacterial conjunctivitis, caused by staph bacteria from contaminated eye makeup or touching your eye with germy hands.

What it feels like. One or both eyes will be red, puffy, painful and swollen. The viral kind produces watery discharge, while a bacterial infection usually leads to thick, yellowish-green gunk.

Rx. See your eye doctor promptly, since these symptoms can also indicate a corneal infection. If it's viral, your eyes should revert back to normal within a week or two, though your doctor can prescribe steroid eyedrops for relief if you're in serious pain. Bacterial pinkeye usually clears up with a course of prescription antibiotic drops.

 

 

 

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Health and fitness with Alexa Towersey

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We chat to September cover model, Alexa Towersey about all things fitness, health, career and self-love. Check out the exclusive cover story interview below!

 

ON CAREER

I’ve been in the health and fitness industry for over 15 years. I’ve played pretty much every sport known to man including American football, boxing, soccer, skiing and horse-riding. I completed a Bachelor of Science in biology and psychology and went on to do a post-graduate diploma in sports management and kinesiology, and then I interned with an All Blacks-endorsed Pilates studio.

ON EXPERIENCES

When I was 27 I moved to Hong Kong, where I was the senior strength and conditioning coach at a mixed martial arts (MMA) gym. I decided to get into half-Ironman events and I took two years to qualify for the world champs. Living in Asia gave me the opportunity to travel and learn; I spent five years commuting between HK and the United States, learning from the legendary Gym Jones (the outfit responsible for training the cast and crew for the movies 300, The Immortals, Repo Men and Superman) and internationally recognised strength coach Charles Poliquin.

ON PASSION

When I was younger, I was bullied for being too skinny.  My nickname at school was Alexa Anorexia. I started going to the gym when I was 15 on a mission to create muscles and it was the first place I ever truly felt in control of my body and my mind. I want to be able to educate, empower and instil that passion in everyone I work with.

ON HEALTH

Both my parents passed away from lifestyle-related diseases – my mum from lung cancer and my dad from alcoholism.  This led to me giving up alcohol six years ago and is the reason I remain such a passionate advocate of living a healthy lifestyle.

ON DREAMS

For years, I was limited by own lack of self-belief. It wasn’t until I moved to Australia two years ago and immersed myself in a community of likeminded people that I really pushed myself out of my comfort zone. I truly believe that if you’re driven by passion and positivity rather than profit, then success is organic.  

ON BODY IMAGE

I think it’s a really exciting time to be in the industry as the landscape is definitely changing for the better. Women seem to be less focused on wanting to lose weight and be a size zero and more excited about getting stronger, feeling better in their own skin and wanting to develop shape.  

ON CREATING CURVES 

I love celebrating the strength of the female form. For me, as both a trainer and a female, there’s nothing more rewarding than seeing a woman become empowered in the gym and watching how this translates into the rest of her life. 

ON SELF-LOVE 

I have a very holistic approach with both myself and my clients. I’m a big advocate for learning to listen to your body and trusting your gut instincts. Your body is a very clever instrument and it will tell you in no uncertain terms what it likes and dislikes.

ON WHAT’S NEXT

I’m rolling out my Creating Curves workshops internationally, including Kuwait, the US and New Zealand. I’ve almost finished my second e-book program with Renae Ayris (former Miss Universe Australia). I’ve also recently started public speaking on behalf of the charity Livin, which is an organisation aimed at educating people about mental health issues and suicide prevention. I love being able to be involved in such an incredible and relevant cause. Twenty-sixteen is shaping up to be a huge year, so watch this space!

 

Alexatowersey.com // @actionalexa

Photography: Emily Abay // @emilyabay_photographer

Hair & Make-up Artist: Mae Taylor // @maetaylor_makeupartist

Dressed in: PE Nation // @p.e.nation courtesy of StyleRunner // @stylerunner

 

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6 Life Lessons from LegendaryCosmoEditor Helen Gurley Brown

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As the editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan magazine from 1965 to 1997, Helen Gurley Brown was famous—and famously criticized by feminists—for doling out endless advice on how to lose weight and how to catch a man. And while she often deserved the flak, she also dispensed gems of wisdom on countless other subjects, from balancing a budget to becoming an individual, at a time when most women’s magazines taught housewives how to whip up the perfect pot roast and wax the floors before their husbands got home. Here are some of the best life lessons, both big and small, I discovered while writing a new biography of HGB, Enter Helen: The Invention of Helen Gurley Brown and the Rise of the Modern Single Woman ($29; amazon.com).

Take your pleasure seriously

“What is a sexy woman? Very simple. She is a woman who enjoys sex,” Helen wrote in her 1962 bestseller, Sex and the Single Girl. It was a shocking message at the time (nice girls weren’t supposed to have sex before marriage, let alone enjoy it), and it’s one that she continued to deliver for the rest of her career: The more pleasure you get, the more pleasure you give.

Work hard and pay your dues

As a young woman, Helen worked 17 secretarial jobs before she became a high-powered and high-paid ad copywriter à la Peggy Olson. In Sex and the Single Girl, she shared what she learned along the way. Rule Number 1: “DON’T DEMAND INSTANT GLAMOUR.” “Give yourself time to get useful before you get difficult,” she advised.

Pack your lunch

I know it’s not the sexiest advice, but it is sound. When I worked at a magazine in Manhattan, I easily dropped $20 on an average meal, spending up to $100 a week! In Sex and the Office, Helen provides two Brown Paper Bag Plans designed to fill up the working girl without draining her wallet. “Home-lunch can be delicious glamor-girl fodder instead of junk,” she wrote, adding that you can even “save enough money to spend Christmas in Jamaica.”

RELATED: 5 Mental Blocks That Are Ruining Your Sex Life

Listen to people

“Never fail to know that if you are doing all the talking, you are boring somebody,” Helen wrote in her 1982 book, Having It All. A conversation should be two-sided. Sometimes it’s better to listen and learn.

Sit up straight

Helen gave a lot of nutty beauty advice over the years (she advocated wigs, plastic surgery, and lots of makeup), but this tip is timeless: “Sit up straight, stand up straight, posture, posture, posture!” she wrote in her 2000 book I’m Wild Again. “Good posture can make more difference in how you look than virtually anything else”—and the best part is, it’s free.

Let your problems be your fuel

A self-described “mouseburger” from Arkansas, Helen told and retold the tale of her childhood: Her father died young, her mother sunk into depression, her sister contracted polio, and the family fell on hard times. But those hard times also fueled Helen’s need to succeed. “Early-in-life problems can be the yeast that makes you rise into bread!” she once wrote. In other words, when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Take it from HGB—or Beyoncé.

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The 5 Steps to Quitting Anything Gracefully

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Volunteering in a pediatric playroom at a cancer hospital is a pretty good thing to do, right? So I felt downright evil for wanting to quit. I was in my 20s; I had gotten a job with long hours, which meant I sometimes ended up stuck at work and had to bail on my 6 p.m. volunteer shift. Being unreliable wasn’t fair to those kids, but I still couldn’t bring myself to resign.

A lot of us delay quitting anything—jobs, activities, relationships, fitness routines, and even bland books—because we think we should have the grit to see it through, women warriors that we are. Extreme endurance is a virtue, if not an essential for succeeding in today’s competitive work and Match.com market. Besides, most of us have been brought up to believe that winners never quit. We can do it! Even if it makes us miserable!

Quitting can be scary, but it’s vital for overall satisfaction, not to mention joy. "Life is too short to waste time and energy on things you find unrewarding or unproductive," says James E. Maddux, PhD, senior scholar at the Center for the Advancement of Well-Being at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va. "Replace your source of dissatisfaction with something more fulfilling and you’ll find more happiness."

RELATED: The Best Advice From the Healthiest People on the Planet

So what makes us stay the course when we’re disgruntled or uninspired? It’s human nature to adapt to circumstances, as frustrating, stressful, or just plain annoying as they may be. "It’s like having a bad knee—you learn to live with it, paying attention only when it really hurts," notes Maddux. Of course, you don’t have to tough out that tempestuous neighborhood association or tepid hot yoga class. Time is not infinite, and by ending something punitive, you make room for something pleasant.

There are even health payoffs to knowing when to throw in the towel. Research has shown that people who are better at bailing on unattainable goals have lower levels of cortisol (the stress hormone) and fewer headaches than those who have a harder time. In one pivotal study, University of British Columbia psychologists tracked teenage girls for a year. The ones who more easily stopped pursuing hard-to-reach goals had declining levels of a protein that indicates bodily inflammation, linked to heart disease.

These are the simple steps for giving the heave-ho to what’s not working and getting to a better, happier place. It’s mainly a mind shift—you focus as much on what you hope to gain as what you plan to lose from your life.

RELATED: 12 Worst Habits for Your Mental Health

1. Quit calling yourself a quitter

The word quitter is associated with failure, notes Maddux, and feeling like a loser is dispiriting, so reframe your perspective. Try this financial analogy: "Think, 'I am going to divest from this and reinvest my energy and efforts in something that will have a better payoff,'" he suggests. "Once you stop seeing yourself as a quitter, it’s easier to disengage."

2. Get real about your misery

Sometimes it’s hard to admit just how fed up or overwhelmed you are, especially if you’re the Little Engine That Could type. "Stoicism is first cousins with masochism," says Alan Bernstein, a psychotherapist in private practice in New York City and coauthor of Quitting. Whether you’re assessing how you feel about your job, your marathon training or a biography you’re slooowly reading, it helps to consider if you have "flow"—when you get so absorbed in what you’re doing that you lose a sense of time. It’s one of the purest forms of contentment around, and if it’s lacking, you’re missing out.

RELATED: Eat Your Way to Health and Happiness

3. Ask yourself one little thing

A question to ponder: Who, exactly, are you doing this for? That’s the advice from Molly Mogren Katt, 33, of Minneapolis, who left her position as a communications director for a celebrity chef—which her friends considered the coolest job—to become a writer, one she finds to be the coolest. Now she regularly interviews accomplished quitters on her blog, Hey, Eleanor! It’s named after Eleanor Roosevelt, who famously said, "Do one thing every day that scares you." "People I speak with often say they were doing things they didn’t love because they felt people or society expected them to," says Katt. "One of my favorite stories is about a makeup artist who put in so much effort to look younger. Then she quit coloring her hair at 49—and landed a job as a model for Dolce & Gabbana. Once she embraced who she was, she got a great gig."

4. See the future

The more you focus on what you’re going to do with that extra free time, the easier quitting is. "Writing down what you want next is motivating, empowering and invigorating," says Bernstein. So if you want out of a relationship, say, mull over the essential qualities you’re looking for in a future partner. True, it’s not like you can order a boyfriend off Amazon (even via drone), but you’ll feel more inspired to make it happen. As for times when there is no "next," like when you just feel like ditching your role as PTA treasurer because you’re overbooked, picture the benefits of life without it: Hello, more free time with your kids (not to mention your Hulu queue).

5. Rehearse your exit

Thinking ahead to what you’ll tell a boss or your weekend tennis partner when you end things can quell paralyzing anxiety. "Couch it in an empathic way: 'Although it may not be convenient for you…,'" advises Bernstein. "The point is to connect to the other person’s needs as well as yours." No matter how much you dread telling someone that you’re bailing, the reality may surprise you. There’s a chance that if you’re feeling it, others are, too, as I discovered the day I finally told the coordinator I had to stop volunteering. She said she knew I was headed in that direction. And then she offered to let me volunteer on holidays, which I did for years to come. Proof that I’m a quitter? Hardly—I’d call that a win-win.

Permission to quit, granted

Watch only the good seasons of Orange Is the New Black/House of Cards/Luther.
Unfriend people on Facebook who regularly post "meh" updates. Who cares if she’s powerwashing her deck?
Accept that you’ll never do a triathlon. Not now. Not next year. Not ever.
Give up making smoothies so healthy you have to hold your nose to drink them.
Forget about getting the kids to make their beds. The neat police will not descend on your home.
Quit forcing yourself to read the entire Sunday paper.
Leave your hairdresser. She will survive.
Abandon the hope of putting all your family photos into albums—iCloud for the win!

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