You have already worked a lot to increase your intelligence and this is something you don’t want to lose. Many things you probably do every day have a negative influence on your brain and kill your intelligence. Fortunately, there are ways to avoid them.

1. Multitasking

Reading this article while watching TV and answering your text messages may make you think you are simply doing more things in a shorter amount of time, but it actually is not a good idea. Multimedia multitasking lowers gray matter density, affecting your cognitive and emotional control. People who constantly use gadgets can not concentrate and recall information as well as those who don’t. So, in fact, multitasking is less productive than doing a single thing at a time.

2. Poor Nutrition

You should be concerned about consuming saturated fats and sugar not only for the sake of your health but also because such kind of foods reduce your cognitive flexibility, which is the ability to adapt to changing situations, and can affect your memory and ability to learn. Your brain (as well as your stomach) will also thank you for not taking the easy way by eating pre-cooked and processed foods, since they can lead to excessive cravings and contain ingredients that have the ability to affect your behaviors and cognitive functioning. And don’t think caffeine is truly the best way to start your day since it easily causes headaches and makes you less calm. Eating healthy homemade food is what is going to give you the energy you need.

3. Googling vs Being an Expert

Searching the Internet makes people believe they know more than they really do as they can find almost any answer online. However, that doesn’t mean that your brain is doing the work. Knowing you can easily access information, you don’t remember it that well, which also affects your critical thinking. Even if you are an expert in your field and use your own brain, psychologists have found that people who think they know much about a topic are more likely to claim that made-up facts are true. In fact, we are more likely to believe the statements that prove us right and thus tend not to question them.

4. Being Asocial

Our brains are made for socialization and we need to be in contact with other people to think and function properly. Studies show that people who socialize much perform better on cognitive tests than those who don’t. Being with friends also gives you a chance to take a break and avoid too much stress, which can help enhance your memory and mental acuity. Not enough social life increases the likelihood of developing psychological disorders, which can potentially damage your brain, so you should think twice before sacrificing time you could spend with your friends to concentrate on your work.

5. Lack of Sleep

You love sleep because your brain loves it too. Poor sleep damages your thinking skills, which makes studying all night long before an exam a really bad idea. Being sleepy negatively affects your short-term and long-term memory, attention and planning skills, as well as the ability to understand other people’s facial emotions. Needless to say that this all makes it harder for your brain to work effectively. Even if you are tired not because of the lack of sleep but because of the physical and mental exhaustion, you should probably take a break. Sleepiness can even lead to mental disorders like depression and anxiety, so even if you have a lot of things to do, you better take some time to rest and recharge your batteries.
References:
  1. ‘’How the Internet is Changing Your Brain’’ On Academic Earth
  2. ‘’Bad Habits That Damage Your Brain’’ On Full Gospel Businessmen’s Training
‘’10 Things to Hate About Sleep Loss’’ On WebMD

Slavery may be deemed a historical term in many societies at this point, but it’s certainly not a thing of the past. Human trafficking, for instance, produces hundreds of billions of dollars in profit by trapping millions of people in unfathomable situations around the world. Human traffickers resort to violence, threats, deception, debt bondage, and other forms of manipulation to force people to take part in commercial sex or other services against their consent.
According to the International Labour Organization, there are an estimated  20.9 million victims of human trafficking globally, with 68 percent of them trapped in forced labor, 26 percent being children, and 55 percent being women and girls. The organization also estimates that forced labor and human trafficking is a $150 billion industry worldwide.
It’s unlikely you’ll hear of a human trafficker coming forward about their crime, but recently, one has done just that, going on the record and confessing during a filmed interview that he sold thousands of children into sex slavery and killed hundreds who he wasn’t able to sell off.
Ross Kemp, a British investigative journalist, was able to get a hold of the child trafficker for an interview. Kemp is an award-winning journalist known for his raw documentary making that exposes situations many others would fear.
According to the child trafficker, he admits to losing count of just how many young girls he killed. However, he estimates that it’s “somewhere between 400 and 500.”
In the interview, it seems clear Kemp displays immense discomfort and uncontrollable emotional unease as he sits face-to-face with the man, who admits to essentially dehumanizing so many innocent children, even killing hundreds of them.
Of the interview, Kemp revealed he had to fight back tears, saying he was “shocked” and “horrified” by the serial killer’s words. He said, “interviewing a guy who admits to killing 400 to 500 kids but doesn’t know exactly how many – that did make me cry.”
The trafficker, “Mr. Kahn,” hits Kemp with extreme confessions that would make even the most fearless journalist, never mind any bystander, squirm in their seat. Kahn revealed he had “trafficked three or four thousand” young girls, or perhaps even more. With such a revelation, Kemp goes on to ask the human trafficker if he sold girls as young as nine for sex. The man admitted to selling girls who are 12.
As for whether he ever returned children, Kahn said no. Rather, he simply killed them. Kahn said, “If they try to run away, or if there’s any trouble selling them, they are killed and buried.”
Kahn even convinced young girls he would marry them.
At the time of the interview, Kahn had 75 traffickers working for him, and was currently being investigated for over 25 different offenses, though he has never been tried for any of his crimes. He had been trafficking for seven years.
“We go to poor communities, often Muslim or tribal, and look for real beauties,” Kahn said of what he looks for in a victim. “The girls are auctioned, and go to the highest bidder.”

The full interview, below, may present some disturbing facts, but it’s the awareness that’s needed regarding the awful crimes.

In the center of everyone’s being is a place of pure peace. But as we embark on life’s journey, we tend to taken away from this sense of self thanks to social conditioning and challenging life circumstances.
However, by practicing mindfulness, we can learn to become aware of these conditioned thought patterns and instead let go to feel a sense of liberation.

How to release negative thought patterns

The main reason we disconnect from our true selves is through habitual negative thinking. In the competitive society we live in, it can become rather easy to cast self-doubt or even critize yourself things that go wrong.
This can happen so regularly that you don’t even realize you’re doing it.
So, the first question is, how can you become aware of these conditioned negative thought patterns?
The best way is to use mindfulness to become an observer of your mind. By taking a step back and simply watching your mind, you can begin to recognize negative thoughts and realize that if you’re observing them, then they’re not really you.
The moment you recognize these thoughts is the very moment you’re able to challenge them.
Perhaps spiritual guru Osho says it best:
“Become an observer of the currents of thought that flow through your consciousness. Just like someone sitting by the side of a river watching the river flow by, sit by the side of your mind and watch….Don’t do anything, don’t interfere, don’t stop them in any way. Don’t repress in any way. If there is a thought coming don’t stop it, if it is not coming don’t try to force it to come. You are simply to be an observer….
“In that simple observation you will see and experience that your thoughts and you are separate – because you can see that the one who is watching the thoughts is separate from the the thoughts, different from them. And you become aware of this, a strange peace will envelop you because you will not have any more worries. You can be in the midst of all kinds of worries but the worries will not be yours. You can in the midst of many problems but the problems will not be yours. You can be surrounded by thoughts but you will not be the thoughts…
“And if you become aware that you are not your thoughts, the life of these thoughts will begin to grow weaker, they will begin to become more and more lifeless….”

Here is a 4 step mindfulness action plan to let go of negative thoughts

1) The first step to recognize and accept that you have having a negative thought.
2) Say “Stop!” in your head.
3) Challenge the thought asking questions, such as “What evidence is there for this negative thought?” It’s likely that there really isn’t any evidence.
4) Replace the thought with something more rational or positive. For example, if you think that “everyone dislikes me”, then try thinking of all the people who are your friends and who you’ve made feel happy before.
Simply by practising this as often as you can, you’ll learn to observe the mind and understand that these negative thoughts aren’t really you. By challenging these thoughts, you’ll also gradually rewire your brain to let go of negativity so you can be more positive.

(Via trueactivist.com) In what’s being called a modern day slave trade, recent reports from survivors of the trade have revealed that slave markets and prisons for laborers forced to work for free are still alive and well in Libya. An UN agency has confirmed the reports, and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) has heard similar stories from survivors that escaped the trade.
“The latest reports of ‘slave markets’ for migrants can be added to a long list of outrages [in Libya]. The situation is dire. The more IOM engages inside Libya, the more we learn that it is a vale of tears for all too many migrants,” said Mohammed Abdiker, IOM’s head of operation and emergencies.
What occurs is akin to human trafficking, but strongly resembles slave trades of olden times, something that many people believed was left in the past. Migrants from West Africa, who are vulnerable and willing to pay and do anything in order to find safety, first travel to Libya because they can secure a boat ride from there to get to Europe. Instead, the migrants, especially those with limited funds and no papers, get caught up with the wrong people and wind up being sold or imprisoned.
One survivor, a 34-year-old from Senegal, recalled how he paid to board a bus that promised to get him to Libya, where he would meet a boat. After everyone had boarded the bus, the driver suddenly informed the passengers that the middlemen that secured their spots had not paid the driver, meaning all of the passengers would now be up for sale. It didn’t matter that all of the passengers had paid their way; they were sold no matter what.
“The men on the pick-up were brought to a square, or parking lot, where a kind of slave trade was happening. There were locals – he described them as Arabs – buying sub-Saharan migrants,” said Livia Manante, an IOM officer based in Niger.
 Several other survivors confirmed this story and said that they had been at similar slave trade markets, while others were thrown immediately into privately-owned prisons that called their family members regularly to demand a ransom. Anyone who stayed at the facility too long without the ransom being paid would be killed if they hadn’t already died of disease or starvation.
Some became victims after trusting people that claimed they were part of an organization that helps migrants with their travels, which is an easy way to trap the refugees.
This outbreak of violence has reportedly stemmed from the overthrow of autocratic leader Muammar Gaddafi. As the conditions in Libya worsen, more and more migrants are wanting to instead return to their countries, which means they have turned to legitimate agencies like the IOM to help them.
“There are now more migrants coming back from Libya, so that’s also why all these stories are coming to the surface. And conditions are worsening in Libya so I think we can also expect more in the coming months,” said Giuseppe Loprete, the chief of mission at IOM Niger, who has arranged for the repatriation of 1,500 people just this year.
IOM and activists are attempting to warn migrants of the dangers they will face if they attempt to flee their country, a fate which is likely much worse than the one they are running from. IOM spokesman Leonard Doyle said that the best voices to inform the public are those that are returning after experiencing the horrors in Libya, though they are often exhausted after being physically and emotionally beat down. The only hope for those wishing to head for Libya is that they never go through with their trip.
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