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Anxiety Symptoms That Many People Overlook

18. August 2017 - 14:00

“Anxious” is a word with two faces. Sometimes it means eager excitement. “I’m anxious to see you!” we say, as we get off the phone with a friend who’s coming to visit. The other side of “anxious” is a bit darker: “I’m anxious about that test,” we say, when we’re worried about the results. We call the second meaning “anxiety,” and most of us experience it from time to time.

In common usage, both meanings of “anxious” describe our responses to fleeting, time-limited events. But anxiety can also have a much more powerful grip on many of us. Without the right kind of attention, it can rule our lives.

I’m a psychotherapist in private practice north of Boston, Massachusetts, and I’ve worked with many clients who have anxiety. In this, the first of two articles on a psychotherapist’s views on anxiety, I’ll describe what anxiety is and how you can tell whether you or someone close to you is suffering from it. In Part II, I’ll go into its causes and treatments, as well as the best ways to help heal from anxiety disorders.

Anxiety is more common than people think

More people in the United States have anxiety disorders than any other mental illness. Anxiety affects more than 40 million adult Americans and about one in eight children. Some experts put the estimate much higher, because many people don’t know they have anxiety, are diagnosed incorrectly, or don’t seek help for it.

In my psychotherapy practice, nearly all my clients have some form of anxiety. Sometimes it’s the main reason they came to therapy, and sometimes it’s an underlying issue that shows up after we’ve handled the immediate reason they came for help.

Only about one-third of people who have anxiety disorders seek treatment.

Many anxious people know they have anxiety, but many more do not. They think catastrophizing, expecting the worst, worrying about what people think of them, or staying up late at night worrying about just about everything is normal.

It feels normal because that’s what they’ve been used to most of their lives – but it doesn’t have to be. Most people with an anxiety disorder can overcome it with treatment, support, and self-help strategies.

The difference between feeling worried and having anxiety

An anxiety disorder is different from feeling worried or being afraid. Worries about new or uncertain situations are normal, and feeling afraid in potentially dangerous situations is not only normal, but can sometimes save your life. Worrying about how you will perform on an exam might motivate you to study harder. Worrying about an erratic driver in front of you might help you drive more defensively. Feeling fearful about driving on a winding road in a storm might get you to wait for safer weather conditions.

Also, not everybody who worries a lot has an anxiety disorder. You might feel anxious because of too much work, too much stress, too little sleep, too much coffee, or low blood sugar.

The biggest distinction between normal worry or fear and anxiety disorders is that anxiety disorders involve some form of chronic anxiety, and the anxiety interferes with normal functioning.

7 specific anxiety disorders

There are several kinds of anxiety disorders, and they each look and feel different from one another. One person might have intense panic, another might avoid social situations, another might be unreasonably frightened by dogs, and someone else might worry about nearly everything.

All anxiety disorders share a persistent fear or worry in situations where most people would not be afraid. Specific anxiety disorders have other, specific symptoms.

1. Social Phobia

People with social phobias are afraid of embarrassment or judgement in social situations and may blush, feel tongue-tied, go blank, have rapid heart rate, or show other signs of anxiety in those situations. They will avoid social situations whenever possible.

2. Special Phobias

People with special phobias might be unreasonably afraid of animals such as dogs or spiders, natural events like storms or lightning, heights, open spaces, enclosed spaces, and other parts of the normal world. They may go to extremes to avoid these things.

3. Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Symptoms of Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) can include feeling nervous most of the time, a sense of impending doom, feeling helpless, rapid breathing, increased heart rate, sweating, trembling, a queasy feeling, and tension in the neck, shoulders, or both.

4. Acute Stress Disorder and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Both of these anxiety disorders sometimes occur after people have witnessed or experienced a physical threat. Symptoms include disturbing memories, flashbacks of the event, trouble sleeping or concentrating, and feeling either tense or numb. Acute Stress Disorder symptoms begin within a month of the traumatic event, while PTSD symptoms typically begin later. Symptoms can last for many years without treatment.

5. Panic Disorder

People with panic disorder have unexpected, severe anxiety attacks during which they are afraid they might die, pass out, or that they are suffocating. They often avoid places where panic attacks occur, which can lead to agoraphobia.

6. Hypochondria

People with hypochondria (now called Illness Anxiety Disorder) worry about having illnesses they probably don’t have. They catastrophize minor or imagined symptoms into a worst-case scenario. For example, they may be convinced that a headache means they have a fatal brain tumor.

7. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Sufferers may check obsessively, count when counting is unnecessary, and in general do ritualized behaviors. They feel unbearably anxious if they do not perform these rituals.

The most common anxiety disorders, in approximately this order, are: Social Phobia, Specific Phobias, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Acute and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders, Panic Disorder, Hypochondria, and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

In my practice, I most often encounter Generalized Anxiety Disorder and PTSD, though I have also had many clients with Panic Disorder, Hypochondria, Social Anxiety Disorder, and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. Sometimes, people come in with more than one anxiety disorder. Hypochondria and Generalized Anxiety Disorder, for example, often show up in the same person, as do Social Anxiety Disorder and perfectionism which, though not an “official” anxiety disorder, contributes greatly to most forms of anxiety.

Signs of anxiety disorders

If you identify with any of the following symptoms, you might be dealing with an anxiety disorder.

  • You’re almost always worried or on edge.
  • You have irrational fears that you just can’t shake.
  • You’re often afraid that bad things will happen if you don’t do things in a particular way.
  • You avoid everyday situations or activities because they make you anxious.
  • You have sudden, unpredictable attacks of heart-pounding panic.
  • You almost always expect the worst.
  • You have trouble getting to sleep or staying asleep.
  • Your muscles almost always feel tense.
  • You often feel overwhelmed.
  • You expect more from yourself than most people do
  • You tend to focus on your health and personal problems more than other things in your life.
  • Your anxiety interferes with work, school, or family life.
  • You have one or more of the following physical symptoms: pounding heart, sweating when you’re not exercising or in a warm place, headaches, frequent upset stomach or diarrhea, dizziness, shortness of breath, shaking or trembling.
Some anxiety disorders are harder to spot

In my experience with psychotherapy clients, PTSD is usually the most difficult to spot because its symptoms don’t always cleanly match the standard definition. PTSD can look like depression, several other forms of anxiety disorder, ADHD, or a combination of mental illnesses.

An example: I once worked with a client who seemed to cycle through several anxiety disorders within a few months. She first displayed typical signs of panic disorder, and we quickly worked through them. But then OCD symptoms appeared. Again, we worked through them in what seemed like record time. Irrational fears and intrusive, disturbing thoughts soon followed.

It was a few months before we understood that what she was actually suffering from was the aftermath of childhood trauma. She had what I now think of as free-floating anxiety – a form of anxiety that unconsciously attaches itself to other anxiety syndromes. A clue to understanding how to help her was that she had majored in psychology and knew about various mental illnesses. Her half-remembered knowledge of common anxiety disorders gave her free-floating anxiety a place to focus. Working through the trauma helped her resolve all her anxiety symptoms.

Stay tuned!

In this article, we’ve looked at how worrying and fear are different from anxiety disorders and have identified the main symptoms of common anxiety disorders. In Part II of this two-part series, we’ll go into the causes of anxiety disorders, their treatments, and some self-help practices people with anxiety disorders and their loved ones can do.

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10 Best Pillows To Choose For A Good Night Sleep

18. August 2017 - 13:29

Stress is an ever-present part of modern life. Getting a good night of sleep is more important than ever. If you get the recommended 8 hours of sleep per night, then you spend roughly 33% of your lifetime slumbering. When we aren’t able to get enough sleep, it affects how our bodies and minds work. Taking the opportunity to get enough rest is one of the best gifts that you can give to yourself.

You can’t underestimate the power of having an excellent pillow. Just like you wouldn’t want to spend your work day walking in shoes that don’t fit properly, you won’t want to spend nap time on a lumpy and uncomfortable pillow.

Just think about the structure of your neck for a moment. Your cervical spine is comprised of the most delicate and most mobile vertebrae along your spinal cord. The structure allows us to turn and tilt our heads, but those tiny bones are also prone to injury and misalignment. If you’ve ever “slept funny” or strained your neck, you know how miserable it can be.

Now imagine the angle of your neck when you sleep. If you’re using a standard pillow, chances are that your neck sits at an awkward angle during sleep–possibly for several hours at a time. A recent study demonstrated that of orthopedic, contoured memory foam pillows, and down pillows, those stuffed with goose-down were the least-supportive.[1]

The perfect pillow will look different for every person depending on their sleeping position.[2] Ultimately, the pillow that supports the natural curves of your spine will serve you best. I know it can seem like a lot to take in, but any old pillow simply won’t do when your spinal health is on the line. Luckily, Lifehack has rounded up our top ten favorite pillows to help you get a good night of sleep.

The 10 best pillows for getting a good night of sleep and waking up refreshed 1.Snuggle-Pedic Ultra-Luxury Bamboo Shredded Memory Foam Pillow Combination With Adjustable Fit and Zipper Removable Kool-Flow Micro-Vented Cover

If the thought of having a pillow stuffed with goose down makes you sneeze, then the Snuggle-Pedic would be a good choice for you. This pillow is made of a mixture of two types of shredded memory foam, which makes its lightweight and soft without all the feathers.

Regardless of your preferred sleeping position, the Snuggle-Pedic is designed to conform to your shape to give you excellent spinal support. The Micro-vented Bamboo keeps your head cool by allowing air to flow through the pillow. The breathability combined with the orthopedic support make this a solid option for everyone.

Best pillow for: side, back, and stomach sleepers, people with allergies, pregnant women, people who tend to overheat while they sleep

Snuggle-Pedic Ultra-Luxury Bamboo Shredded Memory Foam Pillow Combination With Adjustable Fit and Zipper Removable Kool-Flow Micro-Vented Cover, $49.99

2.Sleep Innovations Cool Contour Memory Foam Pillow with Soft Microfiber Cover

Back and side-sleepers, this one is for you. The contoured shape of this memory foam pillow offers your neck the support it needs. The microfiber cover keeps you cool so that you’ll spend less time chasing the cool side of the pillow and more time in dreamland.

Best pillow for: side and back sleepers, people who overheat while sleeping

Sleep Innovations Cool Contour Memory Foam Pillow with Soft Microfiber Cover, $40.08

3. My Pillow Premium Series Bed Pillow

As its name suggests, the MyPillow is all about you. You choose from one of four loft levels based upon your size and whether you are a stomach, back, or side-sleeper. One of the most frustrating things about standard pillows is that they tend to go flat. The special interlocking fill in the MyPillow maintains its shape throughout the night.

This pillow also holds up to machine washing and drying, which makes it easy to clean. Easy care and a product tailored to fit your needs make the MyPillow experience worthwhile.

Best pillow for: stomach, back, and side sleepers, machine washing, users who need a customized experience

My Pillow Premium Series Bed Pillow, Standard/Queen Size, White Level, $79.95

4. Coop Home Goods – PREMIUM Adjustable Loft – Shredded Hypoallergenic Certipur Memory Foam Pillow

We don’t need the same pillow every night. Depending on what you do during the day, you may feel that you need to increase or decrease the padding in your pillow. Coop’s Certipur Memory Foam pillow is designed to allow you to add or remove stuffing at your leisure.

If you change your sleep position often, you can make this pillow work for you. The bamboo-derived cover is breathable so that you can stay cool as you rest. Hypoallergenic and dust-mite resistant materials make this an excellent pillow for the allergy-prone as well as those who just want an orthopedically-sound experience.

Best pillow for: all sleep positions, allergy sufferers, people who need to adjust their pillows often, people who need tend to overheat while sleeping

Coop Home Goods – PREMIUM Adjustable Loft – Shredded Hypoallergenic Certipur Memory Foam Pillow with washable removable cooling bamboo derived rayon cover, $79.95

5. Buckwheat Pillow – Zen Chi Organic Buckwheat Pillow Queen Size (20″ X 30″)- 100 Percent Cotton Cover with Organic Buckwheat Hulls

For readers who would like to step away from the synthetic memory foam options, the Zen Chi Buckwheat Pillow can provide all the same benefits minus the chemicals. Buckwheat hulls are a natural product that not only conform to the shape of your spine, but also keep you cool.

Using buckwheat hulls for mats and pillows has been a practice for centuries–think of this filler as the original memory foam.

Best pillow for: environmentally conscious consumers, people who overheat during sleep, all sleeping positions

Buckwheat Pillow – Zen Chi Organic Buckwheat Pillow Queen Size (20″ X 30″)- 100 Percent Cotton Cover with Organic Buckwheat Hulls, $39.95

6.Cooling Gel Memory Foam Pillow

In case you haven’t noticed, staying cool is critical to falling into a relaxing sleep. The Cooling Gel Memory Foam Pillow is (as you’d expect) made of 60D memory foam with a gel layer to channel heat away from you.

The curved shape of this pillow makes it an excellent choice for side and back sleepers. The foam offers your neck the support it needs so that you can wake up feeling rested and refreshed. The hypoallergenic and dust mite resistant materials keep you from having the allergic response you might have to other materials.

Best pillow for: side and back sleepers, allergy sufferers, people who overheat during sleep, people with chronic neck and back pain

Cooling Gel Memory Foam Pillow, $29.83

7. BioPEDIC Ultra-Fresh Anti-Odor Standard size Pillow

The BioPEDIC Ultra-Fresh is a fresh take on a standard pillow. The exterior is 100% cotton, which wicks moisture away from you. The polyester interior is hypoallergenic and anti-microbial.

If you need to wash your pillow often due to allergies, the BioPEDIC is a great choice.

Best pillow for: allergy sufferers, machine washing

BioPEDIC Ultra-Fresh Anti-Odor Standard size Pillow (pack of 4), $39.99

8. Mediflow Original Waterbase Pillow

In a Johns Hopkins University study, this pillow was the top scorer in all five categories tested, including relief of neck pain and perception of sleep quality.

The Mediflow pillow’s design is unique in that it takes your standard polyester-fiber filled pillow and improves on it by adding a water pouch. You can adjust the internal water base to give the pillow more or less firmness depending on your sleeping position and preferences. If you prefer the sleeping experience of a standard pillow over a contoured memory foam pillow, this will give you the familiarity of the old standby with a little extra oomph.

Best pillow for: a customizable experience, neck pain

Mediflow Original Waterbase Pillow, $49.97

9. Royal Hotel’s Down Pillow – 500 Thread Count Cotton

Nothing says luxury like these 500 thread count down pillows from Royal Hotel. This pillow is the middle ground between too-soft down and too-firm memory foam. Royal Hotel uses a combination of bacteria-free down and small feathers to achieve that firmer-than-regular-down feel. If you love the pillows you sleep on at fancy hotels, you’ll enjoy these.

Although you can’t toss these into the washing machine, you can throw them in the dryer to fluff them.

Best pillow for: people who need a pillow softer than memory foam but firmer than regular down

Royal Hotel’s Down Pillow – 500 Thread Count Cotton, $159.99

10. Z by MALOUF 100% Natural Talalay Latex Zoned Pillow

I will admit that when I heard that these were made of Latex, I was a bit wary about how comfortable they could be. The latex material in these pillows, which contains no synthetic additives, comes from the sap of sustainable rubber trees which undergoes a process to give it a consistency similar to foam.

The natural latex interior never needs to be fluffed, doesn’t retain moisture, and it’s dust mite resistant. The shape of this pillow is best for back and side sleepers, but it may prove too firm for stomach-sleepers. The bamboo covering is soft and breathable so that you can stay cool throughout the night.

Best pillow for: back and side sleepers, environmentally conscious consumers, people prone to overheating during sleep

Z by MALOUF 100% Natural Talalay Latex Zoned Pillow, $139.99

Featured photo credit: Petr Kratochvil / Public Domain Pictures via publicdomainpictures.net

Reference [1] ^ Spine Health: Pillow Support and Comfort [2] ^ Clearwater Chiropractic: How a Pillow Plays an Important Role During Your Sleep function footnote_expand_reference_container() { jQuery("#footnote_references_container").show(); jQuery("#footnote_reference_container_collapse_button").text("-"); } function footnote_collapse_reference_container() { jQuery("#footnote_references_container").hide(); jQuery("#footnote_reference_container_collapse_button").text("+"); } function footnote_expand_collapse_reference_container() { if (jQuery("#footnote_references_container").is(":hidden")) { footnote_expand_reference_container(); } else { footnote_collapse_reference_container(); } } function footnote_moveToAnchor(p_str_TargetID) { footnote_expand_reference_container(); var l_obj_Target = jQuery("#" + p_str_TargetID); if(l_obj_Target.length) { jQuery('html, body').animate({ scrollTop: l_obj_Target.offset().top - window.innerHeight/2 }, 1000); } }

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Productivity Lessons from the Giants: Zuckerberg, Gates, Nadella, and Buffett

18. August 2017 - 13:00

Being productive is more than just sitting at a desk and working. We’re at an age where everyone is more reachable than ever, but this comes with a risk of losing focus and concentrating on the wrong things at the wrong time.

There is a difference between effectiveness, efficiency and productivity, with the focus for most working individuals and companies, on the latter.[1]

This is no coincidence, some of the world’s most influential people got to where they are by developing, maintaining, and improving productivity. High achievers like Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, Satya Nadella and Warren Buffett master the following skills to always stay productive to get what they want.

1. Make Every Communication Count

Communication can be a block to productivity. Devoting energy in the wrong place leads to time being wasted.

Co-founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates for example, is an advocate of communicating by email. And being a self-proclaimed master of emails is also one way business magnate Elon Musk stays productive; in his own words claiming the reason for this is, I’m very good at email.[2]

Minimizing communication by phone or through meetings frees up time to concentrate on more imperative issues. So until email is eliminated altogether, messages can be deferred and thus allow you take control of your own schedule.[3]

2. Optimize at Every Opportunity

Musk also advocates constantly questioning your productivity.[4] Ask yourself how you could do something more efficiently or better use your time daily for as many scheduled events, meetings, and projects as possible.

This idea of optimizing your time and work also runs true for Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, who likes to keep things simple. He eliminates the mundane, or in his own words, “silly or frivolous” decisions in life, which allows him to concentrate on his work and to be as productive as possible. One apparent example of this simplicity is his go-to grey t-shirt and jeans work outfit which he wears every day. Find out more about how keeping things simple leads to better decisions: Make Better Decisions by Knowing How Decision Fatigue Works

And he’s not the only one – the late Steve Jobs famously wore almost solely black turtlenecks, Albert Einstein was known for wearing the same grey suit and having unkempt hair, and you’ll only see Obama in either grey or black suits. Check out Why Highly Successful People Wear The Same Thing Every Day

Finding the most simple and optimized way of completing tasks and projects means energy spent on something trivial, can be retargeted towards more important decision for your business.

This is also applicable to getting the simple things done first. This way, smaller tasks and decisions aren’t a distraction from tackling the bigger ones. Here’s how to master your tasks in a productive way: How to Adjust the Task, Change Your Mood, and Boost Productivity

3. Bust Multi-tasking

Studies have shown that the brain doesn’t do things simultaneously, but rather switches between tasks. The implications for productivity means that rather than focusing on many things at a time, we are spending energy and brain-power on the action of switching from one task to another. If you still think that you can multi-task, read this: Why the Brain Can’t Do Two Things at the Same Time

Eliminating multi-tasking can therefore increase productivity. Being in the moment and concentrating on one specific task will allow you to complete it without agonizing about what’s going to happen later in the day, or in the next meeting.

One way of doing this is by delegating and collaborating with others. Microsoft’s Satya Nadella announced in 2014,[5] that the company will

“reinvent productivity to empower every person and every organization on the planet to do more and achieve more.”

With such a vast number of apps and services allowing for collaboration through video conferences, remote meetings, and even augmented and virtual reality, making use of these technologies (albeit almost exclusively those by Microsoft), helps the likes of Nadella stay productive.[6]

4. Stick to One Thing and Master It

Writing about Bill Gates, author Cal Newport recently argued that distractions minimize the impact of our work as well as our overall potential.[7] In a process, he refers to as deep working, the idea is that we can successfully maximize impact by spending a dedicated amount of time (even just an hour or two) working with urgency and eliminating all distractions.[8]

In fact, it is this ability to meticulously dedicate focus to one task at a time, that allowed Bill Gates to found a billion-dollar business in just a couple of months.

Another way of perfecting the art of focus comes from American business magnate Warren Buffett, who uses a 3-step productivity strategy (also known as the ‘two list’ strategy) to help his employees.

  • Step 1 – Make a list of twenty-five goals (these could be career goals, goals for a particular project, or even general goals for a specific week or month).
  • Step 2 – Review the list, highlighting the five most important goals, and then separating these on to a new, separate list. These are your ‘Top 5’.
  • Step 3 – Focus on achieving items from the ‘Top 5’ list first, disregarding the rest of the written goals until they are completed.

In this strategy, Buffett argues the focus should be on the ‘top 5’ list, treating the remaining twenty goals as a distraction.

Focusing on a smaller number of important goals first allows for a more manageable and thereby achievable way of working. As a result, you can set your own schedule and take control of your time.

Learn how Buffett prioritizes his life goals here: Most People End up Being Average Because They Don’t Keep This List

It’s Easier Than Ever to Get Things Done Fast

We live in an age where we no longer need to initiate an action or conversation to get the information we need. AI is moving into our workplace, and various Apps and services are now integrating features that predict our next step and optimize, prioritize, and multitask for us, which ultimately leaves us more time and brain-space to be as productive as possible.

It’s essential for everyone of us to identify our own priority, stick to it and minimize all distractions to achieve what we want most.

Reference [1] ^ Knowmail: Effectiveness, efficiency, and productivity – what do they really mean? [2] ^ Inc: Elon Musk’s 6 Habits for Staying Insanely Productive [3] ^ Venturebeat: Microsoft Cortana will soon help you declutter your inbox — and possibly eliminate email altogether [4] ^ Mashable: Elon Musk: Secrets of a Highly Effective Entrepreneur [5] ^ Fast Company: Satya Nadella’s Microsoft Wants To Make Productivity Sexy, Inspiring, And Futuristic [6] ^ Computer World: Microsoft’s Satya Nadella: 6 tips for better productivity using Office 365 and Windows 10 [7] ^ Business Insider: Bill Gates’ mastery of this productivity technique fueled his massive success [8] ^ Wharton: Deep Work: The Secret to Achieving Peak Productivity function footnote_expand_reference_container() { jQuery("#footnote_references_container").show(); jQuery("#footnote_reference_container_collapse_button").text("-"); } function footnote_collapse_reference_container() { jQuery("#footnote_references_container").hide(); jQuery("#footnote_reference_container_collapse_button").text("+"); } function footnote_expand_collapse_reference_container() { if (jQuery("#footnote_references_container").is(":hidden")) { footnote_expand_reference_container(); } else { footnote_collapse_reference_container(); } } function footnote_moveToAnchor(p_str_TargetID) { footnote_expand_reference_container(); var l_obj_Target = jQuery("#" + p_str_TargetID); if(l_obj_Target.length) { jQuery('html, body').animate({ scrollTop: l_obj_Target.offset().top - window.innerHeight/2 }, 1000); } }

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How a Lot of People Misunderstand Unconditional Love

17. August 2017 - 17:00

Unconditional love doesn’t happen right away. At the beginning of a romantic relationship, a ton of superficial factors come into play that draw you to another person and make you feel like you’ve fallen in love.

New love is always conditional

The first thing that grabs your attention is probably something like: their beautiful eyes or cute laugh. As the two of you get to know each other you learn that you have the same taste in music or that you both love the same type of food. You can’t get enough of this person and find all of their little quirks endearing.

This excitement makes you feel like you’re in love. But this isn’t unconditional love; it’s infatuation. In fact, it’s conditional love and relies entirely upon these superficial characteristics. As the relationship grows older, it loses its spark. That once adorable snort they make every time they laugh? Now it’s ordinary, maybe even annoying.

Questioning what kind of love you have is normal

Your personal values come into play at this stage of the relationship. How your partner feels about personal, political or social issues suddenly becomes important. Because if you don’t share intrinsic values, you realize all you have left to keep you together is that laugh.

At this stage in your relationship, you start to really examine what sort of love you share. You might even have some worry or doubts, asking yourself, “is it conditional love or unconditional love?” What most people want at this point is to be absolutely sure they have unconditional love in their relationship. It’s the security of having this unconditional love that will keep the two of you together and help you make big life decisions, like deciding to live together, to get married, or to have kids.

It’s totally normal to start reassessing your relationship and even worrying about the love you share. This is the point in the relationship when you wonder if the two of you should stay together or not. When you reach this stage, it’s important to know exactly what unconditional love is. Unfortunately, most people believe some common misconceptions about unconditional love, which tends to complicate the decision making process.

Unconditional love is not “no matter what you do.”

Far too many people think that unconditional love means staying with a person no matter what they do. They think that true love means overlooking everything their partner does and never giving up on them. This misconception can actually be dangerous and has lead to a number of people staying in abusive relationships. The things your partner does every day affect your life, your feelings, and your well-being. You should never overlook their actions.

Unconditional love means you should love somebody no matter what happens to them. If your partner contracts a serious disease or illness, unconditional love means you’ll stay by their side while they undergo treatment. If they are in a terrible accident and have to go through physical therapy to recover, or if they lose their job due to downsizing, you’ll be there for them. This dedication in the face of adversity is unconditional love. You want to be their support system no matter what happens to them. Not no matter what they do to you.

Unconditional love is not codependency

Now, just because unconditional love means supporting your partner no matter what happens to them, it does not mean that they should take advantage of your love. Your partner shouldn’t rely on you to meet all of their emotional needs. Ultimately, each person is responsible for their own happiness. An unhealthy emotional reliance like this is actually codependency, not unconditional love.

How can you tell the difference? It’s codependency if either person in the relationship: relies on the other person to feel happy, loses your personal identity, or is no longer an independent party in the relationship. If you have no boundaries with your significant other and you have a hard time telling them “no”, you’re experiencing codependency, not unconditional love.

Unconditional love is not loving everything about your partner

Your significant other is a human and humans are flawed. You are not required to love every single one of those flaws. In fact, unconditional love means you will dislike a few things about your partner and that’s completely normal.

Loving every single thing means you are only focusing on the good characteristics. You refuse to believe your partner could have anything negative about them. That’s not rational, however, because nobody is perfect! Everybody has bad traits! If you choose to ignore them, you’re probably still in the infatuation stage of your relationship and haven’t yet reached unconditional love.

Unconditional love is not over-protecting your partner

Let’s get something straight: nobody wants to see something bad happen to the people they love. The desire to protect your loved ones is a natural response to your personal relationships. Sometimes, though, being overprotective stands in the way of their progress.

When you have unconditional love for your partner, you want to see them take steps to improve their lives and reach their goals. These steps, however, are often difficult to take and filled with the risk of failure. And with this failure comes disappointment and pain. If you truly love your partner, you’ll understand that some pain can’t be avoided and is even necessary to get them to where they want to be in life. Being overprotective can actually hurt them in the long run.

Real unconditional love allows the two of you to change and grow as individuals over time

When you have unconditional love, it allows the two of you to change and grow as individuals over time. Your love for each other is in your shared personal values and that won’t change over time. As you each develop and work toward becoming a better person for yourself and your future, unconditional love is what keeps you together. In fact, you are together because you want to support the person through these critical changes. You want to see them change and improve themselves. A couple with unconditional love will never “grow apart”. If you find emotional distance creeping its way between the two of you, it’s because your personal values don’t align. As you grow on a personal level, you’ll begin to notice these difference where unconditional love doesn’t exist.

Unconditional love also allows you to be happy without your partner. It means that you can be independent, each of you pursuing your own interests. Unconditional love gives you a certain freedom in your relationship. It’s the freedom to be your own person, to have solo time, to achieve your personal goals, and to live happily. When you are able to achieve your personal goals, you have a better understanding of yourself. Knowing yourself and loving yourself allow you to love another person unconditionally.

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How Long Term Relationship Couples Keep Their Passion For Sex

17. August 2017 - 16:33

Long passionate kisses. Ripping off each other’s clothes. Frequent sex. Trying multiple new sex positions. Not able to keep your hands off each other. If this wouldn’t exactly describe your current sex life with your partner. You’re certainly not alone.

Most couples experience stronger and more intense sexual urges at the beginning of their relationship (often referred to as the “honeymoon” phase); but as relationships progress, so too does our interest in sex.

It is rare for sexual desire to remain at that super passionate state past the first few months of a relationship. Somewhere between 6 months and 2.5 years, our sexual desire wanes as our relationship becomes more familiar. We become friends and companions, in addition to lovers.

As a relationship progresses we also turn our attention to other life demands like work, and taking care of our homes, social lives, pets and children. Evolutionary psychologists have even suggested our desire has to decrease because we literally could not sustain those early levels of passion and be productive members of our community. We would be late for work, miss out on seeing friends and forget to buy groceries. In essence, life continues and sex is forced to take a backseat.

But that doesn’t mean your sex life is doomed or has be in a permanent rut. In fact, there are plenty of scientifically proven things you can do to reintroduce passion into your relationship.

One of the biggest things found to predict higher levels of sexual satisfaction? Believing your sex life is something that can, and will, fluctuate – and that you can do something to help it get back on track. Specifically, researchers have found that individuals and couples who believe that their sexual desire is destined or that it is “fate” (i.e that lower desire and passion represents a problem in the relationship) are less sexually satisfied, while those who hold a growth perspective (i.e., we haven’t been putting effort into our sex lives – but we could and it might help!) were more sexually satisfied. So holding on to the very notion that your sexual desire and passion will ebb and flow actually leads you to be more satisfied.

In other words, if you’re open to working on your sex life you’re already half way to increased desire and passion. So what are the specific things you can try to increase your sexual passion? There are five big things that passionate people are doing:

1. Take Time To Focus Only On Your Partner

Communication is important on so many levels. And it has been repeatedly and consistently found to be a facilitator of sexual desire. When we talk openly with our partner we feel closer and connected and, for many people, feeling connected to their partner is a crucial step to feeling the urge to engage in sexual activity. We all know how different it feels to sit on the couch and have a meaningful conversation with our partner versus sitting on the couch zoning out on our smart phones. And while the latter is okay sometimes, most often we don’t feel connected in that scenario and sex is less likely to follow. So try taking time away from the other demands that naturally steal our attention (work, social engagements, kids, phones) to open up often and regularly with your partner.

2. Be Open To Talk About Sex

Okay so talking is important. We know this. But talking about sex – what we like and don’t like, what we want to try, and fantasies that turn us on but we may never actually want to try – are all important to help our partner better know what we like so they have a better chance of giving us sexually pleasurable experiences (and vice versa).

It is logical, but something that eludes many couples: if we aren’t having very good sex then we aren’t going to be excited about having it. So focus less on wanting to want sex and instead shift to what would make sex better and more enjoyable. It’s the difference between trying to get yourself psyched up to have cold leftover cheap pizza and the legitimate drooling that happens when you’re anticipating that piping hot gourmet pizza from your favourite spot.

So talk about sex. Even better? Talk about sex while having sex. And make sure that as much as possible you’re using positive reinforcement. Encourage what you like in the moment. It helps your partner learn what to do to please you so you enjoy what is happening. Not to mention that it helps you stay in the moment because you’re paying attention and giving feedback. Which just so happens to be another important contributing factor to sexual passion.

3. Putting In Effort and Make Sex a Priority

One of the wildest myths we hold about sex is that it should be spontaneous and effortless. After all, that’s kind of how it felt when we first started dating.

Except that it wasn’t. Despite how it felt, sex is not (and never was) spontaneous. It just felt that way. When we went on dates we planned them well in advance, put in plenty of effort during dinner to talk and connect. We would wear something nice. And so, if sex followed, it wasn’t really so random.

In longer-term relationships it’s important to remember this and not get discouraged that sex has been less frequent or less fun because you haven’t found yourself suddenly in bed with your clothes off. Find time to be together. Schedule it. If one of you works late and the other gets up early, find a day that you’re both home at the same time and make that your sex day. If you haven’t had sex in a while. Talk about it. Say – “lets try to make that happen tonight”. Knowing that sex is on the horizon can even help the anticipation build and feed into those passionate feelings.

4. Doing Something New and Exciting

It’s easy to fall into a familiar sexual routine with a partner. We find out what we like and we often keep doing it. Again, and again. And again.

And while that’s all good and well, every now and then it’s important to invite some freshness into your relationship. And that’s because this mimics some of the excitement that occurred during that honeymoon phase we talked about earlier. When we start being sexually active with our partner everything is new and different. Everything we try is fresh and exciting. So inviting some of that newness feels fun and exciting and also reminds us of passionate times of the past.

Maybe it means trying a new position. Maybe it means having a quicky in the morning before work instead of waiting until Sunday afternoon. Or maybe buy a new sexy pair of underwear.

5. Stay Mentally Present During Sex

It’s easy to let our mind wander during sex. We may make a to-do list for what we need to get done tomorrow or can replay an awkward or unpleasant conversation at work over and over again. But when we do this we don’t tune into the sexual sensations and we miss out on potentially pleasurable feelings.

But staying mentally present isn’t always easy. Some therapists recommend that if you practice mindfulness (observing your thoughts versus judging them) and slowly and surely take in each touch and caress (and not rush through sex) that desire and passion increase. You can try this even during sexual foreplay or holding hands. If you catch your mind wandering just invite it back to the moment and focus on your senses and those sexual sensations.

Ultimately there is no magic potion to keep passion alive. Sex, like all parts of our lives (romantic, professional, social) takes effort. And putting in that effort, through communication, mental presence, positive sexual feedback and trying something new could just give your sex life that boost you’re looking for.

The post How Long Term Relationship Couples Keep Their Passion For Sex appeared first on Lifehack.

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10 Clever Kitchen Gadgets You Don't Even Know Exist

17. August 2017 - 15:00

Traditional kitchen gadgets are useful, but boring. Cooking and being in the kitchen doesn’t have to be a serious business. With a little creativity, kitchen gadgets can be fun. Even if you don’t like cooking, you’d love to have one of these (or all of these) in your kitchen.

Lifehack has handpicked 10 clever kitchen gadgets that go beyond your imagination.

1. MasterPan Non-Stick 3 Section Meal Skillet

This genius pan is designed to allow you to cook everything you need in one spot. Whether you’re trying to cook in a small dorm, or you just don’t have a lot of kitchen counter space, this pan will be your best friend. With its Riveted Steel handle featuring a silicone grip, you won’t risk burning your hand while cooking.

It even features a XYLAN PLUS double layer non-stick coating which is PFOA free. Plus it ensures your food doesn’t wind up stuck to the pan instead of in your stomach. Along with being oven-safe, this brilliant pan is dishwasher safe, too!

MasterPan Non-Stick 3 Section Meal Skillet, $33.24 2. The “Bolo” Rolling Knife

This innovative knife set comes with the Handle, Precision Steel Blade (420J2 steel), Tenderizing Blade (420J2 steel) Pastry Blade (ABS) and 2 Blade Covers.

This rolling knife has a sharp blade, it dices, cuts, slices and minces a variety of ingredients such as vegetables, spices, herbs, meats, pizza, sandwiches, desserts, fruit and so on. This tool saves you room because you have all the blades you need in one handle!

The “Bolo” Rolling Knife, $29.95 3. The Salad Cutter Bowl

With this, you can make a salad in under a minute.

It’s the perfect size for a personal salad, but it does so much more than allow for easy cutting. It also acts as a strainer and salad spinner. If you want a quick and easy way to slice veggies for your salad, you can toss them in here and cut away.

And for those of us who wind up with nicks and cuts when preparing a meal, this gadget allows for worry-free cutting. Plus it’s easy to clean and saves a ton of space.

The Salad Cutter Bowl, $9.99 4. Magisso Cake Server

Cutting and plating a slice of cake is always a mess, plus it usually requires someone touching a side of the cake with their fingers, and that’s gross. This cake server makes cake cutting clean and easy.

Once you get the cake plated, you always have the few that request a smaller piece. This utensil ensures everyone gets the exact same size and shape cut.

Perhaps best of all, it’s easy to use. Just press the cake server through your dessert, squeeze it gently for lifting the piece onto the place, release slightly once you’ve set it on the plate and your done!

Magisso Cake Server, $9.17 5. Culina Designs Small ABS Bag Sealing Device

Now you can throw out all those twist ties you’ve been hoarding! Sealabag is a compact gadget that can be used to seal a variety of kitchen staples.

Its design allows it to be used on your counter, or even mounted inside of a cupboard so no one has to know how you keep all of your breads so fresh.

Culina Designs Small ABS Bag Sealing Device, $7.95 6. Dreamfarm Savel – Flexible Food Saver for Wedges, Halves and Wedge-Outs

This flexible gadget covers cut foods, such as fruits and veggies, and keeps them fresh. You don’t have to waste any more plastic bags or try any silly hacks to keep your items fresher longer.

The silicone strap stretches to ensure the perfect fit while keeping the item secure. The base is food-safe and prevents any air exposure.

Dreamfarm Savel – Flexible Food Saver for Wedges, Halves and Wedge-Outs, $8.72 7. Dreamfarm Spadle – Silicone Sit Up Scraping Spoon That Turns Into a Serving Ladle

When used as a spoon, this spoon-ladle crossover features a flat squeegee tip to scrape pans without scratching, a deep ½ cup scooping head and useful measuring lines.

To transform it into a ladle, just twist the handle. It doesn’t even require a spoon rest; a clever bend in the handle to sit up off your counter to keep it clean.

It’s non-stick and heat resistant up to 200°C/392°F. And it’s dishwasher safe!

Dreamfarm Spadle – Silicone Sit Up Scraping Spoon That Turns Into a Serving Ladle, $19.99 8. Ankomn Savior Non-Electric Vacuum Food Storage Container Marinator

With a simple push of a button, this non-electric vacuum storage container will keep everything fresh, from cereal to dried fruits and nuts.

It doesn’t require any complicated wires or batteries, plus it’s easy to clean and BPA free. You can even store it in the fridge and toss it in the dishwasher when it needs to be cleaned.

Ankomn Savior Non-Electric Vacuum Food Storage Container Marinator, $64.99 9. KEFIRKO – Kefir Fermenter Kit

This easy kefir-making system includes a unique 20 oz concave glass jar, strainer lid, secure cover lid, citrus juicer attachment, swizzle stick, user guide and recipe booklet. You can make kefir milk or kefir water by simply adding kefir grains and liquid. The Kefiko can even be used as a sprouter!

A measuring cup for the kefir grains is integrated in the top cover, and the included juicer allows you to squeeze juice into your water kefir for extra flavor.

KEFIRKO – Kefir Fermenter Kit, $39.95 10. Stainless Steel Magnetic Knife Holder

This magnetic knife holder is an aesthetically pleasing way to store and display your knifes. It’s super simple to install and includes mounting screws and hardware.

The magnetic strip is a quality stainless steel, and all the materials are non-toxic, food safe and easy to clean.

Stainless Steel Magnetic Knife Holder, $16.97

The post 10 Clever Kitchen Gadgets You Don’t Even Know Exist appeared first on Lifehack.

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Does a Romantic Candle Lit Dinner Help To Drive Better Sex?

17. August 2017 - 14:03

Sunset picnics on the beach. Romantic candle lit dinners. Lovers feeding each other chocolate fondue. It seems like there is no shortage of associations between food, romance and sex. But are these familiar scenes just go-to content for lazy rom-com writers and first dates? Or do these meals actually lead to more exciting and enjoyable sex when the lights are turned down low?

In other words, are couples really more likely to have sex after consuming certain foods?

There is some evidence of a surface level connection between food and sex

Specifically, certain foods are more associated with sex than others. And this is largely thought to be the case because the shape of some foods resembles male and female genitalia. Think about the phallic shape of a banana (not to mention the widely used eggplant emoji as sexual innuendo!). And then there are foods that are thought to resemble the shape of a vulva, such as figs and oysters. Because these foods are thought to make us think about our (and/or our partner’s) genitals, it has been suggested that eating them may put sex on our brains and make us more likely to act on those impulses.

There is also some evidence that certain foods can stimulate our bodies in ways that mimic our natural preparation for sex. Blood flow is an essential component of sexual arousal for men and women. The increased blood flow to the genitals produces an erection for men and blood flow to the vagina intensifies sexual sensations for women.

It has been suggested that spicy foods (like ginger, curry, and cinnamon) are found to increase blood flow which has the potential to feel a bit like sexual arousal and could potentially have a positive impact on our sexual enjoyment. Therefore, consuming spicy foods could lead to better sex on account of the increased genital sensations.

However, the association between food and sex is more about the psychological interpretations and meanings we assign to those foods

For starters, we can never discount the power of the placebo effect. That is, if we believe something is going to have a positive impact, chances are it will. So, if you believe that eating chocolate will make you more interested in having sex, there is a higher chance that upon eating a piece of dark chocolate you will think about sex or want to engage in sexual activity. On the other hand, if you think that chocolate just tastes good and has no relationship to your sexual interest or enjoyment, likely you won’t feel any sexual urges post chocolate binge.

Another psychological element at play when associating a particular food with sex is what psychologists have termed classical conditioning. That is, if we repeatedly see chocolate fondue enjoyed during a romantic evening and that is followed by a sexual encounter, we begin to associate chocolate fondue with sex. The more often we see this connection being made in movies, TV shows, and in our real life, the more we are primed to think about sex when we see or eat fondue.

This association can even happen with less expected food items. In my Psychology 101 class our professor shared a story about a woman being turned on by the smell of onion on account of her sexual partner being a frequent eater of french onion dip! So if you want to create a romantic or sexual setting with food, consider picking your staple, pre-romance appetizer. Over time it just may become a cue that this is the night for romance.

What About Alcohol? Is It A Sex-Driver or Killer?

And then there is the spurious variable that often accompanies all of the romantic scenes I described earlier: wine (or some other alcohol variation). In other words, it may be less about the chocolate fondue, oysters, banana or cinnamon, and more about the alcohol that accompanies those meals. That’s because alcohol has been found to positively impact our interest in sex as alcohol make us feel more relaxed and laid back which can reduce our inhibitions and lead to a greater chance for sexual activity.

It’s important to be aware that there is a balancing act when it comes to how much alcohol to consume. Too much alcohol can get in the way of good sex by making us sloppy or tired. However, a glass of wine (even if it’s paired with chips and dip) may put you in the mood for sex.

The Setting Of Your Meal Is More Important Than The Food Choices

Finally there is the contextual setting of a romantic or sensual meal that goes far beyond whatever food is being consumed. Eating oysters with your grandmother at 3pm on a Sunday probably isn’t going to get you all hot and bothered. Whereas eating oysters with our romantic partner, at sunset with a glass of wine and candles just might do the trick.

Research has found that both men and women indicate that romantic settings play an important and positive role in their sexual desire. And that’s because a lot more is happening during a romantic meal than just the food on the table. A candle lit dinner takes time, effort and energy. It requires two people stepping away from their busy lives, making time for one another, and talking (hopefully without their smart phones on the table!). It could also include that glass of wine we discussed earlier. So even though a meal is part of this scenario, it’s really not the star of the show.

Consuming foods as aphrodisiacs definitely won’t hurt your sex life. In fact, depending on how they are used they just may bring some spark and enjoyment to your sexual experiences. And if you and your partner associate foods with positive romantic and sexual scenarios, chances are that eating those foods together will put sex on the brain.

But it’s also important to focus on the context of a romantic date over a shared meal. So don’t minimize the attention needed on the other components. Good conversation, undivided attention, and the effort of cooking a meal together could mean that spaghetti and meat balls or even ramen noodles could be your personal aphrodisiac.

The post Does a Romantic Candle Lit Dinner Help To Drive Better Sex? appeared first on Lifehack.

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How to Say No When You Feel You Can Only Say Yes

17. August 2017 - 14:00

For years, I was a serial people pleaser. Known as someone who would step up, I would gladly make time especially when it came to volunteering for certain causes. I proudly carried this role all through grade school, college, even through law school. For years, I thought saying “no” meant I would disappoint a good friend or someone I respected.

But somewhere along the way I noticed I wasn’t quite living my life. Instead, I seem to have created a schedule that was a strange combination of meeting the expectations of others, what I thought I should be doing, and some of what I actually wanted to do. The result? I had a packed schedule that left me overwhelmed and unfulfilled.

It took a long while but I learned the art of saying no. Saying ‘no’ meant I no longer catered fully to everyone else’s needs and could make more room for what I really wanted to do. Instead of cramming too much in, I chose to pursue what really mattered. I started to manage my time more around my own needs and interests. When that happened, I became a lot happier. And guess what? I hardly disappointed anyone.

Successful people aren’t afraid to say no

When you learn the art of saying ‘no’ you begin to look at the world differently. Rather than seeing all of the things you could or should be doing (and aren’t doing) you start to look at how to say yes to what’s important.

In other words, you aren’t just reacting to what life throws at you. You seek the opportunities that move you to where you want to be.

Oprah Winfrey considered one of the most successful women in the world confessed that it was much later in life when she learned how to say no. Even after she had become internationally famous she felt she had to say yes to virtually everything. It was only when she realized that after years of struggling with saying no, “I finally got to this question: What do I want?”

Warren Buffett views no as essential to his success. “The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything,” he said.

When I made ‘no’ a part of my toolbox, I drove more of my own success focusing on fewer things and doing them well.

How we are pressured to say yes

It’s no wonder a lot of us find it hard to say ‘no.’

From an early age, we are conditioned to say ‘yes.’ We said yes probably hundreds of time in order to graduate from high school and then get into college. We said yes to find work. We said yes get a promotion. We said yes to find love and then yes again to stay in a relationship. We said yes to find and keep friends.

We say yes because it feels better to help someone. We say yes because it can seem like the right thing to do. We say yes because we think that is key to success. And we say yes because the request might come from someone who is hard to resist like the boss.

And that’s not all. The pressure to say yes doesn’t just come from others. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves. At work, we say yes because we compare ourselves to others who seem to be doing more than we are. Outside of work, we say yes because we feel guilty we aren’t doing enough to spend time with family or friends.

The message no matter where we turn is nearly always, “You really could be doing more.” The result? When people ask us for our time, we are heavily conditioned to say yes.

How to say no when you feel that you can only say yes

Deciding to add the word ‘no’ to your toolbox is no small thing. Perhaps you already say ‘no’ but not as much as you would like. Maybe you have an instinct that if you were to learn the art of ‘no’ that you could finally create more time for things you care about. But let’s be honest-using the word ‘no’ doesn’t come easily for many people.

Incorporating that little word ‘no’ into your life can be transformational. Turning some things down will mean you can open doors to what really matters. Here are some essential tips to learn the art of no.

Tip #1: Check in with your obligation meter

One of the biggest challenges to saying ‘no’ is a feeling of obligation. Do you feel you have a responsibility to say yes and worry that saying no reflect poorly on you?

Ask yourself whether you truly have the duty to say yes. Check your assumptions or beliefs about whether you carry the responsibility to say yes. Turn it around and instead ask what duty you owe to yourself.

Tip #2: Resist the fear of missing out or FOMO

Do you have a fear of missing out or FOMO? FOMO can follow us around in so many ways. At work, we volunteer our time because we fear we won’t move ahead. In our personal lives, we agree to join the crowd because FOMO even while we ourselves aren’t enjoying the fun.

Check in with yourself. Are you saying yes because of FOMO or because you really want to say yes? More often than not, running after fear doesn’t make us feel better.

Tip #3: Check your assumptions about what it means to say ‘no’

Do you dread the reaction you will get if you say no? Often, we say ‘yes’ because we worry about how others will respond or the consequences of saying no or because of the consequences. We may be afraid to disappoint others or think we will lose respect from others. We often forget how much we are disappointing ourselves along the way.

Keep in mind that saying ‘no’ can be exactly what is needed to send the right message that you have limited time. In tip #X below, you will see how to communicate your no in a gentle and loving way. You might disappoint someone initially but drawing a boundary can bring you the freedom you need so that you can give freely of yourself when you truly want to.

Tip #4: When the request comes in, sit on it.

Sometimes, when we are in the moment, we instinctively agree. The request might make sense at first. Or we typically have said yes to this request in the past. Give yourself a little time to reflect on whether you really have the time or can do the task properly. You may decide the best option is to say ‘no.’ There is no harm in giving yourself the time to decide.

Tip #5: Communicate your ‘no’ with transparency and kindness

When you are ready to tell someone no, communicate your decision clearly. The message can be open and honest to ensure the recipient that your reasons have to do with your limited time. Resist the temptation not to respond or communicate all. But do not feel obligated to provide a lengthy account about why you are saying no. A clear communication with a short explanation is all that is needed. I have found it useful to tell people that I have many demands and need to be careful with how I allocate my time. I will sometimes say I really appreciate that they came to me and for them to check in again if the opportunity arises another time.

Tip #6: Consider how to use a modified ‘no’

If you are under pressure to say yes but want to say no, you may want to consider downgrading a “yes” to a “yes but…” giving you an opportunity to condition your agreement to what works best for you. Sometimes, the condition can be to do the task but not in the time frame that was originally requested. Or perhaps you can do part of what has been asked.

Remember a few key things as you learn the art of no

You will need to get out of your comfort zone

Let’s face it. It is hard to say no. Setting boundaries around your time especially you haven’t done it much in the past will feel awkward.

You are the air traffic controller of your time

Remember that you are the only one who understands the demands for your time. Think about it. Who else knows about all of the demands on your time? No one. Only you are at the center of all of these requests. are the only one that understands what time you really have.

Saying ‘no’ means saying ‘yes’ to something that matters

When we decide not to do something, it means we can yes to something else. You have a unique opportunity to decide how you spend your precious time.

Start to say ‘no’ from now on

What do you have to lose? Beginning right now, you can change how you respond to requests for your time. When the request comes in, take yourself off autopilot where you might normally say yes. Use the request as a fresh request to draw a healthy boundary around your time. Pay particular attention to when you place certain demands on yourself. If you are the one placing the demand on yourself, try to evaluate the demand as if it were coming from somewhere else.

Try it now. Say no to a friend who continues to take advantage of your goodwill. Or, draw the line with a workaholic colleague and tell them you will complete the project but not by working all weekend. Or, tell someone in your family you can’t loan them money again because they never paid you back the last time. You’ll find yourself much happier.

The post How to Say No When You Feel You Can Only Say Yes appeared first on Lifehack.

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How to Get Rid of a Sore Throat: 10 Simple and Natural Home Remedies

17. August 2017 - 13:00

Nobody likes to be sick, but at times it is unavoidable. Whether a sore throat is caused by allergies or a virus, when you experience that pain, all you want is fast relief.

A sore throat can be the first sign of a cold, a side effect of strained vocal cords, or an indication of something more serious like strep throat. While some cases will always require a doctor visit, there are home-remedies you may want to consider first. Here are 10 natural solutions on how to get rid of a sore throat fast.

1. Gargle with Saltwater

While it feels a lot like getting a mouthful of ocean, the salt helps to flush out irritants and bacteria.

To try this:

  • Dissolve half a teaspoon of salt in a cup of water (ideally warm).
  • Gargle with this mixture 3 to 4 times a day.
  • Spit the water out when you’re finished gargling.

Tip: If the salty taste is too unpleasant, add a very small amount of honey to help sweeten it.

2. Drink Garlic Tea

Garlic is a natural antibiotic. It contains antioxidants that are thought to strengthen immunity and ward off infection.

To make this tea:

  • Cut some fresh garlic into medium-sized slices and place them in a mug.
  • Fill with boiling water.
  • While the water is still hot, remove the pieces of garlic.
  • Add a bag of your favorite tea to help the taste (and smell).
  • Add some honey or other natural sweetener to aid the taste and make the recipe a bit more drinkable.

Drink this as much and as often as you please.

3. Get a Cinnamon Fix

Cinnamon is another naturally healthy food, as it is high in anti-oxidants. Its sweet aroma also helps to open sinuses. When you have a sore throat, that’s an added bonus as it lessens the production of mucus and drainage and will help you breathe a bit easier.

Like the previous remedy, you want to make this into a tea as well.

  • Grab 1 or 2 cinnamon sticks ,1 to 1-1/2 cups of boiling water and tea of your choice.
  • Once your water begins to boil, add the cinnamon sticks and let boil for 3 minutes.
  • Remove the sticks and steep your favorite herbal or green tea as recommended by the label.
  • Once it’s cool enough to drink, enjoy.

More great benefits about cinnamon can be found here: Cinnamon Is A Powerful Spice That Offers Amazing Health Benefits

4. Enjoy a Bowl of Chicken Soup

The sodium in the broth may actually have anti-inflammatory properties, and it can feel good going down.

When you don’t feel well, the last thing you want to do is prepare anything difficult, so soup is a go-to anyway. But it also helps ensure you’re getting nutrients which can be challenging when eating hurts.

Vegans and vegetarians, fear not! Any dairy-free soup can be substituted for chicken. A vegetable broth would do the trick too.

5. Drink Ginger Water

Ginger is an expectorant, it helps loosen and expel mucus from the respiratory system. It acts as an anti-inflammatory, and fights off bad bacteria. It boosts circulation, increases oxygen flow and flushes out toxins. More benefits about ginger here: 11 Benefits of Ginger That You Didn’t Know About

  • Grab some fresh ginger root (about 2 inches is perfect), some honey, a veggie peeler and cutting board, 3 cups of water and some wax paper.
  • Wash the ginger and peel it.
  • Slice the peeled ginger into small pieces, place on the cutting board and cover with the wax paper.
  • Crush it with a mallet (or any sturdy kitchen utensil-even the flat side of the knife works).
  • Boil the water over medium heat and add the ginger.
  • Let that boil for about 5 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and add honey.

I like to add lemon to mine as well, but that’s up to you. If you don’t want any ginger in your sips, you can strain before drinking. Just make sure you drink this while it’s still warm.

6. Invest in a Humidifier

When your throat hurts, the worst thing you can do is breathe in dry air. Humidifiers fill the air with moisture, making it easier to breathe and less painful for your throat.

Humidifiers come in a wide range of sizes, and some offer scents like eucalyptus. Here’s a guide on how to choose a good humidifier.

7. Enjoy Some Apple Cider Vinegar

It’s not the most delicious remedy, but it is a helpful one. It’s rich in acidity, which is effective at killing bacteria. Now add honey and you’re basically coating your throat with relief. Find out more about apple cider vinegar here: 15 Benefits Of Apple Cider Vinegar

Mix 1 tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar, 1 tablespoon of honey and 1 cup of very warm water. Drink up!

Tip: If the taste is too strong for you, try 2 tablespoons of the vinegar mixed with 1/2 cup warm water and gargle once a day instead.

8. Hold a Warm Compress to Your Throat

When you experience back pain, you often reach for a heating pad. So you should not treat your throat differently.

Try a warm compress such as a small heating pad, a hot water bottle or a warm, damp cloth. Just be careful not to burn yourself.x

9. Try a Spoonful of Honey

Honey’s antimicrobial properties can help you heal faster. If you don’t think you’re ready to drink vinegar just yet, this could be a good place to start instead.

Simply enjoy a spoonful of raw, local honey. It’s as simple as that!

Check out more benefits of honey here: What Happens When You Start Drinking Honey Water Every Day

10. Make Popsicles

Dairy can worsen a sore throat, so don’t reach for ice cream because the idea of something cold sounds soothing. Instead, opt for a popsicle. Licking a cold popsicle can temporarily ease a sore throat by numbing the pain. Rather than indulging in a sugary, syrupy pop, try this recipe:

  • 1 13.5-oz can coconut milk
  • 1 Tbsp. matcha powder
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt

Combine all ingredients in a blender; blend until smooth. Start with 1/4 cup honey and add more to taste. Pour into pop molds and freeze for at least 4 hours.

The number of pops this recipe yields depends on the size of your popsicle molds. If you have 4-oz molds, you’ll get 4 pops. Smaller molds yield more.

Decide What’s Best for Your Body

While all of the recipes and tips above are worth trying out, you know your body best. Choose what’s best for you from the above natural remedies, but see a doctor if your sore throat lasts more than three days or only seems to get worse.

Your doctor can look at your throat, discuss your symptoms, and perform tests to help you recover more quickly if you should need antibiotics.

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10 Best Acne Treatment You Need To Use Instead of Popping Your Pimples

17. August 2017 - 12:27

We’ve all been there. You’re heading to an event, and your skin breaks out. Acne is such an annoyance, and it always seems to crop up at the most inconvenient times.

When you see a pimple rearing its ugly head, it can be tempting to pop it. It’ll get rid of some of the pressure, and maybe the blemish will look a little less obvious for your event. That sense of relief is short-lived. Not only can you cause scars that are difficult to conceal, but popping that zit can also spread bacteria and cause more blemishes.

Then there are the horror stories, such as the woman from Austin, Texas, who popped a pimple and paved the way for a nasty staph infection on her face.[1] Instead of damaging your skin or causing an infection, it’s always better to use an acne treatment. You can painlessly tackle the problem without leaving any marks.

If you’re already looking at your skin and feeling guilty about the acne scars on your face, don’t panic. There are treatments available to minimize and reverse that type of damage as well.

To get rid of your pimples and heal acne scars, try one of these 1. Mario Badescu Drying Lotion

If you need something that works quickly and effectively, this spot treatment by Mario Badescu is a great option. The salicylic acid and calamine (the same ingredient used to treat poison ivy) can dry out a pimple overnight. Instead of spreading bacteria on your face, use this drying lotion to shrink whiteheads and heal acne.

This treatment is so simple that you don’t even need to rub it in. Just dab it on, let it dry overnight, and then rinse your face in the morning. A little bit goes a long way.

Mario Badescu Drying Lotion, 1 fl. oz., $17.00

2. Mederma Advanced Scar Gel – .7 oz.

Those tough acne scars will gradually disappear if you use Mederma Advanced Scar Gel. Use this once daily to reduce or eliminate scars–regardless of how long you’ve had them. This is a great product to have on hand because it works for many different types of scars, not just those caused by acne.

Mederma is recommended by doctors and pharmacists over other brands because it’s proven effective in clinical trials. Adding this product to your medicine cabinet can help you with existing scars, and it’ll ensure that you’re prepared for any scar-inducing situation that could crop up in the future.

Mederma Advanced Scar Gel – .7 oz., $14.78

3. Bio-Oil Liquid Purcellin Oil, 4.2 Fl Oz

When you have sensitive skin, applying products can cause more irritation. A scar-remover might not seem worth the extra damage that it could cause. Bio-Oil is hypoallergenic, and its non-greasy formula means that it won’t clog your pores and make matters worse. This product has not only aced clinical trials, but it has also been the top-ranked scar-reducing product in 18 countries.

We usually think of treating acne and scars in teens, but this formula works well on aging skin too. Uneven skin-tone and dry skin are also no match for Bio-Oil.

Bio-Oil Liquid Purcellin Oil, 4.2 Fl oz, $12.32

4. Nexcare Acne Absorbing Covers

If you find it truly difficult to resist the urge to pop a zit, these acne absorbing covers by Nexcare may be a good bet for you. Since they cover the blemish, you’ll be less likely to try to squeeze it.

The covers are drug free, and non-drying, which means that they’re great if you’re someone who doesn’t respond well to salycilic acid and drying agents found in many medicated acne treatments. This products works by soaking up the pus, oils, and bacteria in the blemish. The color of the cover changes to let you know that it’s working.

Nexcare Acne Absorbing Cover, Two Sizes, 36 Count, $6.39

5. Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay Deep Pore Cleansing

If you prefer to go the natural route, this bentonite clay skin treatment is a good option. It doesn’t contain any additives, fragrances, or animal products, and it will deep-clean your pores. This clay is sourced from Death Valley, California, where it bakes in the sun for at least six months.

This method of cleansing the skin and healing insect bites and acne has been around for centuries. Although this one is tried and true, it may not be best for those with sensitive skin.

Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay Deep Pore Cleansing, 1 Pound, $9.80

6. Amara Organics Vitamin C Serum for Face 20% with Hyaluronic Acid & Vitamin E

This is another great all-around product. It’s effective at healing and reducing acne, but it is also works on scars. You can use this if you’re battling outbreaks, and it’s an excellent choice for making aging skin more radiant.

Amara is 100% organic, cruelty free, and fuss-free. You won’t need to worry about walking around with an oily or sticky acne treatment on your face. It absorbs quickly, leaving you with smooth and healthy skin.

Amara Organics Vitamin C Serum for Face 20% with Hyaluronic Acid & Vitamin E, 1 fl. oz, $19.95

7. Neutrogena Rapid Clear Stubborn Acne Daily Leave-On Mask

Don’t let the word “mask” in the title fool you. This isn’t one of those masks that you have to peel off your face after a few minutes. This product absorbs into your skin–you don’t have to spend time washing it off. It applies in a thin and even layer so that you can even use it underneath makeup. Let this one work while you’re at work–nobody will be able to tell that you’re treating your skin as you go about your day.

Benzoyl peroxide, the acne-fighting ingredient in the mask, is a gentle and effective way to treat acne daily. This product will decrease the inflammation and size of pimples in as little as four hours, and it prevents future blemishes from popping up.

Neutrogena Rapid Clear Stubborn Acne Daily Leave-On Mask, 2 oz. (pack of 3), $20.92

8. Neutrogena Rapid Clear 2-in-1 Fight & Fade Acne Toner

Neutrogena is well-known for their skin-care products, which is why the brand has a second mention on our list. This Rapid Clear Toner not only reduces acne, but it can also minimize old acne scars. A build up of oil and dead skin cells, common causes of pimples, don’t stand a chance against this product.

The salicylic acid and exfoliating ingredients in this toner can reduce acne in as little as 8-hours. If you get pimples on a frequent basis, this is a product that you could use daily to alleviate the issue.

Neutrogena Rapid Clear 2-in-1 Fight & Fade Acne Toner, 8 fl.oz., $10.69

9. InstaNatural Vitamin C Serum with Hyaluronic Acid & Vitamin E

InstaNatural harnesses the power of plants to nourish and beautify your skin. This Vitamin C serum helps to remove signs of aging by reducing the negative effects of everything from pollution to UV rays. This is a solid choice for alleviating acne scars.

Regardless of your skin’s sensitivity or moisture level, this product works with your unique body chemistry to make your skin radiant. You can use this as a standalone product, or you can incorporate it into your favorite mask or moisturizer to give it a boost.

InstaNatural Vitamin C Serum with Hyaluronic Acid & Vitamin E, $17.97

10. Neostrata Enlighten Pigment Controller

If you have discoloration on your face from acne scars, NeoStrata’s blend can help to remedy it. Your skin constantly sheds cells, but this product causes this to happen at an accelerated rate. This paves the way for more even-toned skin to take its place, and the tyrosinase-inhibiting formula prevents new discoloration from occurring.

The Vitamin E in NeoStrata nourishes and protects your skin, while ingredients such as Retinol have proven anti-aging benefits. Say goodbye to the remnants of all those pimples you popped in your teenage years and hello to clear healthy skin.

Neostrata Enlighten Pigment Controller 30ml Treatment Beauty Product, $38.18

You don’t have to pop your pimples or live with the scars

With so many products for various skin types, there is no excuse to waste another minute leaning over the bathroom sink trying to bust a zit. The scars and the potential for infection are simply not worth the momentary relief.

Instead of giving into the pimple-popping craze that’s gained so much popularity on the internet, treat your skin with the respect it deserves.

Reference [1] ^ Huffpost: Allow This Woman’s Horror Story To Remind You To Never Pop A Pimple function footnote_expand_reference_container() { jQuery("#footnote_references_container").show(); jQuery("#footnote_reference_container_collapse_button").text("-"); } function footnote_collapse_reference_container() { jQuery("#footnote_references_container").hide(); jQuery("#footnote_reference_container_collapse_button").text("+"); } function footnote_expand_collapse_reference_container() { if (jQuery("#footnote_references_container").is(":hidden")) { footnote_expand_reference_container(); } else { footnote_collapse_reference_container(); } } function footnote_moveToAnchor(p_str_TargetID) { footnote_expand_reference_container(); var l_obj_Target = jQuery("#" + p_str_TargetID); if(l_obj_Target.length) { jQuery('html, body').animate({ scrollTop: l_obj_Target.offset().top - window.innerHeight/2 }, 1000); } }

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How to Make Money Fast: 10 Easy Ways to Make Money in the next Hour

16. August 2017 - 14:30

The average savings rate for an American under 35 right now is -1.8 percent. (Yes, negative.)[1] Coupled with declining salaries from large companies[3] and the rise of the “gig economy” (where payments don’t always occur at stable times), there are often situations now where (especially young) people need to know how to make money fast.

Of course, thousands of sites — maybe even millions — claim to offer ways to make money fast, or to teach you some hack about how to make money fast, but the sites are scattered and have varying degrees of validity. Many of us don’t know where to start, or if the site we found is reputable.

Our goal here is to fix that and to show 10 possibilities for how to make money fast.

1. Do One-off Selling on LetGo

LetGo is a great site for one-off selling to people in your neighborhood or general region. Anything with value, from clothes to old books and magazines, is going to be fair game.

You need quality images, some ideas of a valid price point, and the ability to upload. You can also cross-share on Facebook and Instagram to drive more traffic to the sale. People have sold everything from old pens to collections of Blue Apron recipes on LetGo and made money quickly.

2. Sell Overseas for a Better Price

Two good sites for this are Alibaba and Taobao. When you sell items that are local to you but to overseas customers, you can get better deals —  because things are often considered more valuable if they’re rare or imported from elsewhere.

While it is possible to also sell services on sites like these, offering services from the U.S. to China might require consistent use of a private jet, and if that’s your situation, you probably don’t need this article in the first place.

3. Rent out a Room on AirBnB

AirBnB is an excellent way to make some additional cash. Many are now renting out their apartment and, using the funds from that rental, traveling the same weekend.

Most AirBnB hosts are still doing it for side/quick money, although there are six-figure AirBnB earners.[2] In 2016, about 75 people worldwide earned more than $1 million hosting AirBnB,[4] although admittedly earnings for hosts are higher in 15 cities globally.[5] (In general, a “good” AirBnB city can yield a host up to 81% of their rent.)

Signing up for AirBNB is safe and easy, here’re some handy tips to get started.

4. Rent out Parking Space with JustPark

You can rent out driveways, car parks, empty hotel spaces, etc. — and do so within the time windows that work for you with JustPark. There are a few limitations you need to be aware of, such as whether you’re the legal owner of the space (not a deal-breaker!) or whether the space requires FOB access. Check out the detailed requirements on JustPark here.

JustPark is a good revenue-generator for some, although the monthly earnings are likely to be less than AirBnB. One “hack” to know, though: JustPark listings that include Minimum Retail Prices actually — and counterintuitively! — make 4x the revenue of other listings on the service.[6]

5. Writer Reviews as a Product Tester

This is a fairly easy one: visit a website/app, complete a series of tasks, and earn $10 per test on UserTesting. There are some necessary requirements, including:

  • A PC or Mac, an internet connection, and a microphone. You’ll need an iPhone, iPad, Android phone or Android tablet If you’d like to take Mobile tests.
  • Ability to download testing software.
  • You must be at least 18 years old.
  • Ability to speak your thoughts aloud in English.
6. Teach on iTalki

In short, you’ll get paid to help others learn a language. There are a number of benefits, including a flexible schedule and international payments. Close to 20 languages are currently available to teach in, with demand consistently growing.

iTalki takes about 15% of your earnings, and is best thought of as an extra income source — not a primary one. It’s a good example of how to make money fast though you won’t make a huge amount.[7]

Sign up and become a teacher on iTalki.

7. Do Pet Sitting

There’s an extensive database of pet sitting jobs available on PetSitter, which is a huge bonus for pet lovers looking for ideas on how to make money fast.

In addition to pet-sitting, there are a range of other pet-related activities (mostly dog-walking and feeding). The ceiling on pet-sitting earnings from this or other sites (such as Rover) is about $3,000-$4,000 per month, with most users making less than $1,000.[8]

It depends on time available, market you’re operating in, and context. By “context,” one thing to note is that finding people who vacation a lot (empty nesters, retirees, etc.) will increase your recurring income from pet sitting. Once they trust you with their pets, they might hand you the contract for every vacation.

8. Get a Child Care or Home Care Job

You can find typically child care or home care jobs designed to fit your schedule on Care.com. The jobs will vary from babysitting to nanny work to after-school pickup to housekeeping, shopping, errands, and more. They do offer rate calculators for various services, such as babysitting, with larger cities starting around $20/hour relative to experience.

One advantage of making money on Care.com is the volume of jobs available is very high. If you have flexibility to combine different commitments, you can generate $1,500+/month from this site.

9. Become a Uber Driver

There have been lots of discussions about driving for Uber vs. Lyft and which is better for drivers (the argument varies), but Uber’s driver requirements aren’t hard to pass. Check out the requirements to become a Uber driver here.

Ride share driving is easy in terms of GPS navigation helping guide you, and the schedule is flexible. The actual hourly rate varies by city, but it’s usually $20/hour or under.[9]

It’s oftentimes hard for Uber to classify because they don’t designate their drivers as employees. When they advertise $40/hour (as has happened), that’s probably on the very high end.

Now you can even get a guaranteed $275 for your first 40 rides with the invite code here.

10. Sell Your Talent at Fiverr

Fiverr is one of the more popular gig sites, with new projects requested every five seconds and about 25 million projects completed to date. There are about 100 categories to choose from including writing, animation, design, making products go viral, Facebook cover photos, voice-over, etc.

As a seller, you can charge anywhere from $5 to $995 for your package. They also have a “Pro” option now once you either prove expertise in a given area or work with a wide variety of clients.

People do make six figures on Fiverr,[10] although that’s admittedly rare — most people make about $300 to $500/month depending on their level of commitment to the platform.[11]

Start selling your skill at Fiverr.

The Bottom Line

There are many practical ways to make money fast online, typically through the emergence of new platforms. It’s important to remember the trade-off between flexibility and stability.

These approaches of how to make money fast will usually give you some degree of flexibility in when you work and how you earn, but they may not give you stability. If you have certain bills that are due at a given time each month (i.e. rent on the 1st), you will need approaches to how you save or periods of time you ramp up working.

Reference [1] ^ The Wall Street Journal: Younger Generation Faces a Savings Deficit [2] ^ Fast Company: Secrets Of Running A Six-Figure Airbnb Business [3] ^ Wharton: Why It No Longer Pays to Work for a Larger Firm [4] ^ Forbes: The 75 People Who Make $1M A Year From Airbnb [5] ^ Smart Asset: Where Do Airbnb Hosts Make the Most Money? [6] ^ Just Park: 7 Easy Ways To Increase Your JustPark Earnings [7] ^ glassdoor: iTalki [8] ^ New York Post: Meet the people making $3,300 a month pet-sitting for strangers [9] ^ The Washington Post: How much Uber drivers actually make per hour [10] ^ Forbes: How These 3 People Make 6 Figures A Year On Fiverr [11] ^ Joseph Feliciano: 22 Days On Fiverr + Income Report function footnote_expand_reference_container() { jQuery("#footnote_references_container").show(); jQuery("#footnote_reference_container_collapse_button").text("-"); } function footnote_collapse_reference_container() { jQuery("#footnote_references_container").hide(); jQuery("#footnote_reference_container_collapse_button").text("+"); } function footnote_expand_collapse_reference_container() { if (jQuery("#footnote_references_container").is(":hidden")) { footnote_expand_reference_container(); } else { footnote_collapse_reference_container(); } } function footnote_moveToAnchor(p_str_TargetID) { footnote_expand_reference_container(); var l_obj_Target = jQuery("#" + p_str_TargetID); if(l_obj_Target.length) { jQuery('html, body').animate({ scrollTop: l_obj_Target.offset().top - window.innerHeight/2 }, 1000); } }

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10 Best Wallets for Men and Women (with RFID-Blocking Technology)

16. August 2017 - 14:00

Did you know that technology has advanced so much that a thief can steal your credit card information simply by standing near you? That’s right. If your credit or debit cards have RFID chips embedded in them (which allow you to tap to pay), then tech-savvy thieves can steal your card details just by using portable RFID readers.

To counter this worrying trend, you can now buy wallets that feature RFID-blocking technology that prevents reader device signals from penetrating your wallet – thus, keeping your contents secure.

Lifehack has handpicked the 10 best RFID-blocking wallets, and we’re confident that one (or more) of the wallets will perfectly match your requirements.

1. RFID Blocking Wallet for Men and Women

A classy, minimalist wallet, that will protect your credit cards, smart cards and driver’s licence information. The thin stainless steel metal will also protect the wallet’s contents against water damage – without spoiling your clothes.

RFID Blocking Wallet for Men and Women, $19.97

2. Access Denied Mens RFID Blocking Wallet Leather Bifold 11 Slot Secure Flip ID

This wallet is made with genuine leather, and is both elegant and durable. Its smooth, pebbled texture and embossed prints make for a neat and stylish design – perfect to carry anywhere. There are 11 card slots, including a center flip ID section, that allows quick access to frequently used cards such as photo IDs.

Access Denied Mens RFID Blocking Wallet Leather Bifold 11 Slot Secure Flip ID, $44.95

3. Mens RFID Blocking Wallet – Excellent Travel Billfold – Men’s Security Wallet

Features a unique military-grade shielding technology with proprietary blocking material. The wallet has a simple, clean, traditional billfold design, which includes nine card slots, one bill pocket (with full-size bill section), and ID window. Great value product.

Mens RFID Blocking Wallet – Excellent Travel Billfold – Men’s Security Wallet, $9.99

4. Front Pocket Wallet – RFID Slim Wallet with Money Clip Pocket Zipper 8 Credit Card Case Holders Leather RFID Blocking

A slim wallet that still has space for 15-20 business cards and at least 10 credit/debit cards. Holds cards securely so they don’t fall out of the wallet. Also has a handy zipper pocket for change and bills.

Front Pocket Wallet – RFID Slim Wallet with Money Clip Pocket Zipper 8 Credit Card Case Holders Leather RFID Blocking, $14.99

5. RFID Blocking Trifold Wallet for Men, Mens Security Wallet

Classic trifold wallet designed for men. Features six credit card slots and one side pocket. Despite its cheap price, this slim, pocket wallet could be just what you need.

RFID Blocking Trifold Wallet for Men, Mens Security Wallet, $8.99

6. Latest Stainless Steel RFID Blocking Credit Card Holder for Men & Women

The polished stainless steel cover is fingerprint-free. You can also expect effortless opening and closing using the easy-click button. (This latches securely when not in use.)

Latest Stainless Steel RFID Blocking Credit Card Holder for Men & Women, $11.99

7. Flipside Wallets New RFID Blocking Flipside 4 Wallet

This wallet is designed and manufactured in the USA. It’s constructed from high-strength polycarbonate and aircraft-grade aluminium alloy. Automatically locks itself shut on close, and flips itself open when the button is pushed down. It can hold up to 8 cards and 10 cash bills in its streamlined, easy-to-access slots and compartments.

Flipside Wallets New RFID Blocking Flipside 4 Wallet, $39.95

8. Sharkk® Aluminum Waterproof Wallet RFID Protected Aluma Wallet Rugged Water Resistant Wallet and Card Holder for Men & Women

The unique selling point about this wallet is that it is waterproof. Although not designed for cash, it can fit bills that have been folded several times. If you’re looking for a slim wallet that fits comfortably and easily into your pocket or purse – then this could be the one for you.

Sharkk® Aluminum Waterproof Wallet RFID Protected Aluma Wallet Rugged Water Resistant Wallet and Card Holder for Men & Women, $17.99

9. Woolet: The Slimmest Smart Wallet for the Modern Man

As well as protecting your card from RFID readers, this smart wallet uses miniature sensors to synchronize with your smartphone. This technology means that you get alerts from the wallet if you accidentally leave your phone behind. But it also works the other way too. If you leave your wallet behind, you’ll get alerts on your phone (via the dedicated app). So, it’s 2-in-1 protection, that should give you the ultimate peace of mind.

Woolet: The Slimmest Smart Wallet for the Modern Man, $99

10. Tumi Alpha Double Billfold

Tumi ID Lock™ is a proprietary technology incorporated into the design of this product that protects personal data encoded on most IDs. The wallet is well-built and classy. It also comes with a 2-year warranty against defects in materials and workmanship.

Tumi Alpha Double Billfold, $85

Having your credit card details stolen can be distressing – and even traumatic. That’s why it makes senses to protect your cards by using an RFID-blocking wallet.

Stay stylish, stay safe.

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The Jeopardy of Taking Others' Opinions Seriously

16. August 2017 - 13:30

When I was younger, I spent a lot of my life caring what other people thought of me. Honestly, it was just a bunch of stress that I never needed.

It started during my childhood. My parents always had high expectations for me. I always had to be what their idea of a well-behaved girl should be; disciplined and reserved, having perfect grades and daily habits. It was my responsibility to be the perfect role-model for my sister. Everything that she should strive to be.

Even without my parents there, I became very aware of everything I did and said, always careful to do whatever was expected of me. My parent’s strict ethic unconsciously filtered into my everyday life. I started to care greatly about what everyone else thought about me. I was constantly trying to fulfill the image of who everyone else thought I should be, and it started stressing me out.

I didn’t know how to manage to stay true to myself while still making everyone else happy. It wasn’t until I grew older and discovered my true passion that I realized how powerful my own voice could be.

Shut down the Voice of the Peanut Gallery

People give their opinions all of the time. They just can’t help it. We all want to be heard. But unfortunately, some of these opinions might be directed at you.

Whether they are positive or negative, these opinions are based on their own judgments and biases. Because their opinions are biased and reflect their own self interest; what they have to say isn’t always the best thing for you. After all, if you judge a fish on its ability to fly, it will always have a miserable life.

They don’t know your situation and they don’t have to live your life, so it’s nothing to worry about.

Besides, words hold a different meaning to everyone.

Language is nuanced, complex, and not at all universal. Everyone has different values placed on different words. What one person may find offensive, could be a compliment to a completely different person. You will never know what anyone’s true motive is behind what they are saying, so it’s better just not to worry about it.

Trying to fill their expectation isn’t worth it, especially if you’re not sure what they want from you.

When You Silence Your Voice, You Break Your Own Heart

If you present yourself as what you think people will like, you’re becoming a shell of yourself. Those who you are so eager to impress will never know what you are truly like or how you really feel. You’re doomed to always keep up appearances or else you risk revealing yourself as a phony.

Your true needs will never be satisfied and you’ll always feel empty. No one will ever like you for you.

We’re all adults. Everyone is responsible for themselves and their own happiness. At the end of the day, you’re the only one who has to live with yourself. You’re the only one who experiences your emotions, you’re the only one who faces your battles. Most people are just passing through your life, and they truly have no effect on your well being or future. Stop concerning yourself with pleasing them.

The only person’s expectations that you need to meet are your own. All you need to be happy is to live your life on your own terms. If this makes anyone uncomfortable, they can see themselves out.

Making Your Voice Heard

Don’t let anyone dictate how you think or feel. Be confident in your values and make your voice heard. When you value what other people think of you over your own opinions, you’re giving them the power to dictate your level of self esteem . Build up your own self-esteem by focusing on your strengths and being proud of them. Here’s an article about building leveling up self esteem: How to Build Confidence From Scratch

When you let other’s opinions overpower your own, you are letting them bury your potential. Everyone is born differently and you’re allowed to think differently than others regardless of how much you might respect them. The differences that you possess is what gives you the potential that others don’t have. If you try to ditch your differences to impress others, you’re denying your true self.

Let’s say you’ve just started a new job and you don’t really know anyone. You’ve noticed that all of your coworkers are very into Electric Dance Music, which you can’t actually stand, but you pretend to like it so that you can go out with them. Maybe you made some new friends, but they don’t know you for who you truly are. You’re making yourself miserable by listening to terrible music, and suppressing your true nature.

I made my voice heard by creating a blog to write about my ideas. I try to focus on gathering more perspectives to expand my horizons. I let others’ ideas influence me, but they don’t control my train of thought. My voice is still my own.

Create Growth Opportunities Out of Any Voice

Have a clear understanding of what people think of you and what you think of yourself. Take the time to consider other people’s opinions to see if they hold any water, but don’t weigh them with too much importance.

If those thoughts are possibly beneficial to your growth, they definitely deserve some consideration. Some opinions are given with good intentions to help you grow; but if those opinions are clearly based off of pure emotion and bias, just forget it. You don’t need that kind of unprecedented negativity in your life.

My parents always gave it to me straight. They wanted me to be a good role model for my younger sister and for her to follow all of my “good” behaviors. They always had good intentions and I respect their direction, but in the end I have to live my own life. Instead of doing everything that they expect of me, I choose to embrace what I value to live a happy and fulfilling life.

And that’s good enough for me.

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Real Passion Will Never Die Out? False.

15. August 2017 - 15:00

Passion is “a strong or extravagant fondness, enthusiasm, or desire for anything.” It starts as a simple curiosity or a feeling of falling off of Niagara Falls. It rushes in and completely takes over every decision you make and fuels you each and every day.

Yet over time, you start to feel like you are leaving pieces of yourself behind and you feel more drained and lost than ever before. You become bored with what is in front of you and the career you chose is not meeting your expectations. The first job out of college no longer seems worthy of your time and the true meaning of what you are meant to do becomes a shadow over your head.

The passion that once flamed your career path is gone, leaving barely an ember of hope.

It is the day to day routines that slowly allows that flame to burn out. Routines are great when building self discipline and learning how to show up everyday. But when you become complacent within those routines, your mind loses focuses. When your brain doesn’t have enough energy, you start to wander.[1]

The Journey to Discovering Passion

I was 16 when I graduated high school, after three different high schools in three different states, I finally made the decision to be done. This one choice led me on a path of discovery.

I started out in the military and getting hired at nineteen in a prison as an officer. I thought it was what I wanted, I knew I wanted to be in law enforcement because making a difference was where my heart was at.

Over time, that passion seemed to fade. The expectations from what the job would give me failed dramatically and I sat back down at the drawing board.

Again I was on my path of discovery and I made a practical choice. After six years of working in my first career, I began what would be my second career. I became an accountant with no clear passion.

Over time my passion showed up again, and it turns out it was still a passion for making a difference.

It became clearer to me that my passion was not changing, it was the method in which I wanted to achieve my passion that was wandering.

From Wandering to Getting Clear on Your Passion

Getting clear on my passion was a discovery process of its own. I thought when my passion for the career I chose faded, it was my passion that was gone.

I have come to know that the passion is always there as long as I stoke that fire. The tools, methods and paths may change as situations change.

As a mom to four kiddos, I no longer have a desire to work in a dangerous environment but I do have a desire to make a difference for other parents that are struggling. I took steps to ensure that my passion was always burning in the background instead of letting my brain take over and wander.

Start with Self Care

Remember to build in breaks daily and over long time periods. Learning to meditate or going for a walk will help you show up fully each day. Taking weekends to unplug or longer vacations will help you stay on track long term.

I had to take care of myself so my brain wasn’t losing focus. Take breaks and allow yourself to unplug. By unplugging, you allow your mind, body and spirit to refuel itself. Those breaks also allow you to work in sprints and produce better results.

Connect With “Why” Each Day

Write down your goals for the quarter. Doing this keeps your mind focused on what you are creating and why you are doing it. This gives you enough motivation to show up on the hardest days.

Recognize what it is you want to create and why; connect with this daily. Connecting daily to your why will help you stoke that fire.

Look into Your Past

What were your goals and achievements? Identify your themes in passion. Write out what drives you today, include any curiosities. Look past the surface of your answers and note any themes from the past and future that are similar.

Passion Doesn’t Die, You’ve Just Got Bored Sometimes

A lot of times, your passion doesn’t just die all out. It’s the day to day routine that has bored you and burned out your motivation.

You are in charge of stoking your own fire of passion. It comes from within you, it is not an external source.

Once you are clear about your passion, always be flexible about your methods. If your first approach doesn’t work, change it. If your second approach doesn’t work again, think of new methods. Don’t let your passion die while getting stuck in an approach that doesn’t work.

Reference [1] ^ Fast Company: Wait, What’s That? The Science Behind Why Your Mind Keeps Wandering function footnote_expand_reference_container() { jQuery("#footnote_references_container").show(); jQuery("#footnote_reference_container_collapse_button").text("-"); } function footnote_collapse_reference_container() { jQuery("#footnote_references_container").hide(); jQuery("#footnote_reference_container_collapse_button").text("+"); } function footnote_expand_collapse_reference_container() { if (jQuery("#footnote_references_container").is(":hidden")) { footnote_expand_reference_container(); } else { footnote_collapse_reference_container(); } } function footnote_moveToAnchor(p_str_TargetID) { footnote_expand_reference_container(); var l_obj_Target = jQuery("#" + p_str_TargetID); if(l_obj_Target.length) { jQuery('html, body').animate({ scrollTop: l_obj_Target.offset().top - window.innerHeight/2 }, 1000); } }

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Knowing My Values Has Filled up the Long-Existed Missing Gap in My Life

15. August 2017 - 14:30

Your values make you who you are, yet many people don’t fully know how to even define or explain their values. Your values dictate how you act, respond to situations, and where you place your time and energy in life.

For example, someone who places high value on career success will be driven to work more hours, spend greater time toward making advances at work, perhaps at the sacrifice of time with family and friends. A person who places a high value on family may chose to forgo a better job placement or position because it will impede on evenings and weekend time with their family. What you value dictates the course of your day to day life, but also your future.

Do you know what you truly value in your life and the world around you? If you don’t, you may be a person who is unhappy in life or feeling dissatisfied with your current life status, yet you can’t put your finger on why you are feeling this way.

Everyone should know their values, because research shows that there are specific values that can make you happier and satisfied with life in the long term. Conversely there are values, that although they may seem good, will ultimately lead to life dissatisfaction.

Below I will explain how to identify which of these values are beneficial for long term life satisfaction and which are not.

What You Value Determines Your Life

In my 20’s, I was very driven to get my education completed and also attain wealth/a comfortable lifestyle. I had once been a person of devout faith and thus it was formerly a core value in my life. Life circumstances and a series of unfortunate events changed my values and I instead focused my time, energy, and life purposes on getting my doctorate and attaining wealth. I ended up marrying into the wealth and did complete my doctorate. I lived a life of comfort, that I thought I wanted. I also experienced great successes in my educational pursuits including post doctorate studies at Harvard; yet I was still feeling unsatisfied. I knew that there was something missing in my life. My value in my faith had been put to the wayside.

After a divorce at age 30, I reassessed my values. I decided wealth was no longer high on the list of my personal values. I also determined that faith/religion and family were going to be my top priorities. My life changed for the positive and I have experienced life satisfaction beyond measure. I no longer live in a 10,000 square foot home on the beach, but it doesn’t matter to me because I have faith and family.

My life satisfaction is now much higher than those years in my 20’s. In my 20’s, it appeared outwardly to the world that I had it all, yet I was feeling a gaping hole of something missing in my life. What I didn’t realize when I made that personal decision to make such dramatic life changes at the age of 30 was that research supported my decision to find greater meaning through faith and family and not career success and wealth. It took me 10 years to figure this out.

A Fulfilling Life Comes from What’s Within You

Some people struggle their entire life with finding life satisfaction and meaning and it all comes down to choosing values that create meaning in life. Do your core values support long term life satisfaction and meaning in life or are they wrapped up in temporary happiness and material things?

Research in Scientific America examined a plethora of studies on the subject of happiness, life satisfaction, and values to assess what makes people happy in life.[1] Their findings found that people who had meaningful interpersonal relationships reported higher life satisfaction. They also reported that increased wealth has not made people happier in the long term.

Faith/religion also play a very important role in life satisfaction, as the following was stated in this article regarding research on the topic of faith and religion:

One Gallup survey found that highly religious people were twice as likely as those lowest in spiritual commitment to declare themselves very happy. Other surveys including a 16-nation collaborative study of 166,000 people in 14 nations, have found that reported happiness and life satisfaction rise with strength of religious affiliation and frequency of attendance at worship services.

Placing value in your faith, religious practices, and worship service attendance therefore is highly likely to increase your satisfaction in life. 

I personally know that my faith is what has given me the greatest satisfaction in life and my family comes in a close second. Research supports this emphasis on interpersonal relationships and faith as a way to increase satisfaction in life. The pursuit of increased wealth or income did not increase life satisfaction long term, according to these research studies. My personal life is a testament of this, and research also supports these views on values.

The Benefit of Defining Your Values

In my 20’s, I hadn’t formally defined my values. I allowed them to be shaped according to my life experiences, rather than consciously making a decision to define my values. Therefore, I didn’t really have an understanding of why I was making the decisions that I was making. I was basing my decisions on thoughts and feelings as my driving force, rather than having an understanding of the need for core values to be defined in my life.

Research in Psychological Sciences showed that people who had defined their cored values experiences lower stress levels:[2]

These findings suggest that reflecting on personal values can keep neuroendocrine and psychological responses to stress at low levels.

Knowing your values helps you increase life satisfaction and decrease life stress. Had I defined my values I may have chosen a different path. I would have experienced lower stress during that period of life in my 20’s, if I had clearly defined values.

How to Know Your Values

Examine the list below and see if any of the values stand out to you as most important. Then follow the set of instructions below to help you narrow down your values to determine what is truly important to you in life.

  • Accountability
  • Achievement
  • Adventure
  • Ambition
  • Balance
  • Beauty
  • Belonging
  • Boldness
  • Calmness
  • Career Success
  • Compassion
  • Community Involvement
  • Competency
  • Contribution
  • Creativity
  • Curiosity
  • Determination
  • Education
  • Elegance
  • Empathy
  • Excellence
  • Excitement
  • Expertise
  • Fairness
  • Faith
  • Fame
  • Family-oriented
  • Friendship
  • Fun
  • Giving back to others
  • Goodness
  • Grit
  • Growth
  • Happiness
  • Health
  • Honesty
  • Honor
  • Humor
  • Influence
  • Intelligence
  • Joy
  • Justice
  • Kindness
  • Knowledge
  • Leadership
  • Learning
  • Legacy
  • Love
  • Loyalty
  • Manners
  • Mastery
  • Meaningful Work
  • Openness
  • Optimism
  • Order
  • Patriotism
  • Peace
  • Pleasure
  • Poise
  • Popularity
  • Recognition
  • Religion
  • Reputation
  • Respect
  • Responsibility
  • Security
  • Self-Respect
  • Sensitivity
  • Service
  • Simplicity
  • Spirituality
  • Stability
  • Status
  • Success
  • Stability
  • Status
  • Strength
  • Structure
  • Teamwork
  • Tolerance
  • Thankfulness
  • Thoughtfulness
  • Tradition
  • Trustworthiness
  • Uniqueness
  • Vision
  • Wealth
  • Wisdom

As you follow the instructions below, feel free to add your own values that may not be on the above list, as it is not comprehensive. The list of values could be endless, but these were simply some of the most common.

  1. As you look over the list, write down 5-10 values that you believe helped you during a difficult time in life.
  2. Next, look over the list again and write down another 5-10 values that you believe have helped you in your most successful times in life.
  3. Finally, of the 10-20 values that you wrote down, look them over and think of a time in your life when you felt most satisfied. Now circle the top 5 values that you believe helped you during that period of your life when you felt most satisfied.

Don’t discount the other values you wrote down, as they are still top values to you. It is helpful to recognize the top five though, as these will significantly shape your decision making and the course of your life.

Aligning Life with Your Core

Now that you recognize what you value most in this world, it is time to test out these values. Here is a practical way to begin aligning your life with the top five values you outlined: write down five sentences for each value that begins as follows.

I value (Fill in the blank), so I will (fill in the blank with something that aligns with that value).

Try to think of 3-5 statements for each of your top five values. Write these statements clearly and with intention of acting on them. Post your statements in a place this is clearly visible for you to see each day, such as a the front of your refrigerator or your bathroom mirror.

Here is an example of three statements for the value of faith:

  • I value faith, so I will attend weekly worship services.
  • I value faith, so I will commit to reading a daily religious devotional.
  • I value faith, so I will pray often every day.
Proof Is in Your Actions

The way to show your values matter is by acting on them. If you don’t take action on your values, they are of no worth or benefit to you.

If you value honesty, yet you have a habit of being dishonest in business practices, then you need to assess your actions. Take an honest look at yourself and what you value. Are you practicing those values or do you simply admire that value and wish you put it into practice? Set yourself up for success in your values by finding ways to practice your values in everyday life. For example, if you value your health, then you should have exercising and eating right as priorities in your everyday life.

Values are only effective and useful if you put them into practice daily. Living a satisfied life has a great deal to do with the values you hold in your mind and heart along with how well you put those values into practice consistently.

Reference [1] ^ Scientific America: The Pursuit of Happiness [2] ^ Psychological Sciences: Affirmation of Personal Values Buffers Neuroendocrine and Psychological Stress Responses function footnote_expand_reference_container() { jQuery("#footnote_references_container").show(); jQuery("#footnote_reference_container_collapse_button").text("-"); } function footnote_collapse_reference_container() { jQuery("#footnote_references_container").hide(); jQuery("#footnote_reference_container_collapse_button").text("+"); } function footnote_expand_collapse_reference_container() { if (jQuery("#footnote_references_container").is(":hidden")) { footnote_expand_reference_container(); } else { footnote_collapse_reference_container(); } } function footnote_moveToAnchor(p_str_TargetID) { footnote_expand_reference_container(); var l_obj_Target = jQuery("#" + p_str_TargetID); if(l_obj_Target.length) { jQuery('html, body').animate({ scrollTop: l_obj_Target.offset().top - window.innerHeight/2 }, 1000); } }

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The Power of Mind Map: Get More Things Done & Make Creativity Easy

15. August 2017 - 13:30

You have a big project coming up, or a bunch of tasks, and are overwhelmed by the thought of it. This overload happens to me way too often,[1] but once I began using a mind map to clarify the direction, the project and tasks don’t seem so frightening.

Whatever your position or place of work is, it is natural that you will have more than one task to handle at any given moment. This could be due to hectic deadlines, a large project made up of many different tasks, or simply you’re loading more and more on yourself in hopes to get more done; how’s the latter been working out for you?

Prior to mind mapping, I jotted all tasks I knew of onto my notepad or in workflowy. On one hand, this is great for as you complete a task, you cross it over and have the amazing feeling of getting things done.[2] On the other hand, I continuously felt that I wasn’t getting ‘the right things’ done. I was crossing off tasks left and right, but are they in line with my overall goals and targets? Or am I just listing tasks in order to cross them off?

With a mind map, I had a more organized process to follow, which helped me avoid missing tasks, while also keeping in line with overall needs.

The Purpose of a Mind Map

Mind mapping is a simple organization process using diagrams to list the information, ideas, and details and assess the big picture.

You begin with a blank page, write the main subject, project, or idea in the middle of the page, and then like a web or branches, expand from it to additional ideas connected to it, and smaller branches to those connected to it, and so on. Think of a family or decision tree, but to help you organize a large project.

How to Start Mind Mapping from Scratch

The best way to begin mind mapping is with a blank page. Write down the main subject in the middle and begin brainstorming and breaking it down into more-focused categories that aren’t as abstract. This can be done in your notebook, printer paper, as well as online solutions for those who cannot disconnect. (I will recommend some online tools later in this article.)

As you progress, you expand out more branches from the categories and subcategories, in order to make sure to ‘cross your t’s and dot your i’s’ and that nothing is forgotten.

Note: this is to organize project needs, not a manifesto which you begin attending every task within the map. In other words, if there is a branch under content for ‘product pages’, you don’t branch out and start adding the actual text/context of any specific page. We want to keep it clean and clear; completing individual tasks is external from the map.

Let’s take for example a project of a new website. Depending on your needs, this may be a simple or very complex project, but whatever your needs are, with a mind map, you can easily break it down.

You begin in the middle with the project “New Website” and can expand the various branches to it such as: “design”, “development”, “content”, and so on. But it doesn’t stop there, as each subject can be broken down further; with design, it can go into ‘specifications’ (wishes of the new site), ‘characterization’ (behaviors and experience), ‘branding’ (color schemes, themes, style) and much more.

Breaking down a main project into separate categories (and then sub-categories) allows us to take a huge project and make it digestible and tangible. What began as an abstract wish is now clear with real direction and is broken down into bite-sized tasks.

From there, we can create a separate mind-map for each of the main categories to further clarify (if needed), as well as actually prioritize and set timetables to fit across complimentary and awaited tasks.

What began as the preliminary plan of the new website design expanded to all various corners which go beyond design but the actual context as well, i.e new site content, and its own extension into type of content, such as product pages, company pages, support pages, blog and more.

The mind mapping process allowed me to think bigger and organize the project a lot clearer, making sure I don’t proceed until the entire scope of the project is organized in front of me. From there, I prioritize the tasks, so I am well aware if any task is dependent on another, or is attended to in parallel to another, and where I stand in the entire process.

There are plenty of applications, sites, and more to get you on the mind mapping wagon. The latter may include various features such as color-coding, sharing/collaborating, linking (to notes, sites, imagery), design/style extras, and more bells and whistles to help you create the map needed to organize your thoughts, brainstorming, task breakdown and more.

Whichever tool or mind mapping method floats your boat is great, but it is best to begin simple, realize the benefits, and only after such a process proves beneficial for you, then upgrade to all the extras.

At the end of the day, mind mapping is aimed to help you organize thoughts, tasks, ideas, and such to get you closer to the main goal, which is getting things done. If the extra features are making your map prettier but don’r bring you closer to the goal, you haven’t yet benefited from such an amazing process.

I found myself going back to Coggle, as it is very easy to use, the free offering would be sufficient for most, and collaboration is available to allow your team to expand. Still, a regular piece of paper offline always does the trick, granting your pen the freedom it deserves.

The Power of Mind Mapping

There are so many different tools, methods, processes, and more which individuals can use when attempting to organize their thoughts or brainstorm toward a new project. I find that mind-mapping is a very simple process to follow, and is rather natural to use and expand upon.

Its practice helps the individual get the big picture visually and clearly without too much effort. Its flexibility makes it easy to grow, so we’re allowing ideas to flow while maintaining a singular focus which stares at you from the beginning to the end.

As always, adapting to a new tool or process isn’t an easy thing; you may realize the benefit but feel it is time-consuming and you could have already been submerged in the project, or you’re unable to clarify which is a category or a task, and more.

I had some difficulties when I began to adapt to a freehand style and draw a diagram, rather than listing an outline on my computer. But as it clarified the project, organized my thoughts and tasks, as well as helped me avoid missing any crucial steps along the way, I was hooked.

Since I began, I also realized that I am ending up getting more done, as every project is clear, all tasks listed, and I can better maneuvre through items and multi-tasks effectively (not just for the sake of multi-tasking).[3]

I can take more upon myself, and while at it, complete things towards my goals and targets in a more effective and efficient way.

Reference [1] ^ Knowmail: A simple approach to task or project overload [2] ^ Craig Jarrow: Why Checking Things Off Your List Feels So Good [3] ^ Knowmail: Can multitasking produce results? function footnote_expand_reference_container() { jQuery("#footnote_references_container").show(); jQuery("#footnote_reference_container_collapse_button").text("-"); } function footnote_collapse_reference_container() { jQuery("#footnote_references_container").hide(); jQuery("#footnote_reference_container_collapse_button").text("+"); } function footnote_expand_collapse_reference_container() { if (jQuery("#footnote_references_container").is(":hidden")) { footnote_expand_reference_container(); } else { footnote_collapse_reference_container(); } } function footnote_moveToAnchor(p_str_TargetID) { footnote_expand_reference_container(); var l_obj_Target = jQuery("#" + p_str_TargetID); if(l_obj_Target.length) { jQuery('html, body').animate({ scrollTop: l_obj_Target.offset().top - window.innerHeight/2 }, 1000); } }

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Ice Cream Sales "Lead' to Homicide: Why?

15. August 2017 - 12:00

In a study [1] done in 2009, it had been speculated that homicide rates were higher when ice cream sales were on the rise. In 2006, a similar study found that the rate of death by drowning was also higher when ice cream sales were hitting their peak. What gives?

Does our consumption of ice cream directly correlate with the rate of death? As we still have one hot month of summer left, I question our safety in light of this disturbing evidence.

Surely if death rates are on the rise when ice cream sales are at their peak, there has to be a connection. Should we ban ice cream at once?  Or perhaps there is a different connection between the two that we aren’t seeing.

Correlation isn’t the same as causality

When two unrelated items are tied together, they are either bound by correlation, or by causality. In most cases, many correlations are just coincidences. But just because one factor seems like it influences another, it doesn’t mean that it actually does.

Correlation means X and Y change together

In the case of correlation, it just may be a coincidence. Just because you were able to identify a connection, it doesn’t mean that the connection is actually there. For example, whenever Apple sales increase, like in the case of the release of a new phone, the rate of death by falling down the stairs also rises.

Obviously this isn’t a direct connection. The sales people or the phone themselves are not actually pushing people down the stairs. But because Apple advocates get riled up into a frenzy every time a new phone is released, they trample each other to get their phone. Death by stairs is an outcome of the sale, but the sale does not cause the death.

Causality means X makes Y happen

In this case the initial factor will indeed create an outcome. For instance, say there was a major leak in a pipe line, dumping millions of gallons of oil into the surrounding waterways. Not only will the environmental repercussions be vast, but the price of oil will go up due to a sudden drop in supply.  The oil spill directly caused the price of oil to increase.

Consider underlying factors before drawing a connection

In some cases, seemingly unrelated factors could actually be related on some level. In the event of homicide rates increasing alongside ice cream sales, the connection is the weather. On a nice sunny day, when many people are out enjoying themselves and cooling down with a bit of ice cream, predators are on the prowl. When it’s sunny, more people are outside, so there is a wider selection of victims.

There is no causal relationship between the ice cream itself and the rate of homicide, but the sunny weather brings the two factors together.

Do married men really live longer?

Some years ago, another research found that married men live longer. [2] You’d think it’s just the opposite and that marriage sucks the life right out of you! But statistically speaking, married men indeed live longer than most. So does just the marriage itself increase their lifespan?

Think about the characteristics women typically search for when choosing a life partner.

Most of you will probably say a good job and an education. If those aren’t your first pick, I’m sure they’re in your top 5. Because of this, many married men are financially stable and educated. When a man is educated, he has the sense to eat healthily and exercise. And because of his affluence, he has the resources to buy organic food and a gym membership. So the marriage itself doesn’t make them live longer, just the characteristics they possess that make them a suitable partner.

Don’t draw connections where there may not be one.

After finding a correlation, don’t be so quick to draw a conclusion. The correlation is just the first step. First, consider the underlying factors at hand that could be causing the outcome. Then, you can start drawing your conclusions and testing the water to see if it holds truth.

Have you ever had a “lucky” pair of pants, pen, or some other item that you thought improved your luck? Chances are you did excel with the aid of your luck charm, but it didn’t actually give you luck. Your boost of confidence and increased focus is what actually brought you success.

Or let’s say that your boyfriend always seems extra happy on the days that he works with a certain female coworker. You try not to be jealous, but the connection is clearly there. So finally you bring it up, accusing him of having an emotional affair with his coworker. Little did you know that his coworkers husband would regularly bring in their kid, and it reminded him of how he’d like to have a family with you one day. So yes, he does seem happier on the days he works with her, but not for the reasons you initially thought.

Just be considerate when drawing conclusions. You don’t want to be too quick to jump to the wrong one and make a connection where there isn’t one. Consider all of the factors before making a decision.

Reference [1] ^ Slate: When Ice Cream Sales Rise, So Do Homicides. Coincidence, or Will Your Next Cone Murder You? [2] ^ Rand Corporation: Health, Marriage, and Longer Life for Men function footnote_expand_reference_container() { jQuery("#footnote_references_container").show(); jQuery("#footnote_reference_container_collapse_button").text("-"); } function footnote_collapse_reference_container() { jQuery("#footnote_references_container").hide(); jQuery("#footnote_reference_container_collapse_button").text("+"); } function footnote_expand_collapse_reference_container() { if (jQuery("#footnote_references_container").is(":hidden")) { footnote_expand_reference_container(); } else { footnote_collapse_reference_container(); } } function footnote_moveToAnchor(p_str_TargetID) { footnote_expand_reference_container(); var l_obj_Target = jQuery("#" + p_str_TargetID); if(l_obj_Target.length) { jQuery('html, body').animate({ scrollTop: l_obj_Target.offset().top - window.innerHeight/2 }, 1000); } }

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10 Best Water Bottles That Are Stylish and Multifunctional

14. August 2017 - 15:00

Even if you’ve been living under a rock for the last few years, you know how important it is to stay hydrated. Whenever you participate in outdoor activities such as hiking, cycling, or camping, you need to carry water with you.

As people recognize how difficult it can be to drink enough water every day, we’ve even started carrying water bottles to work. We used to be satisfied with any old reusable sports bottle, but now we are interested in things that look stylish and provide a host of other benefits.

We know how tough it can be to determine which water bottle is the best for you. Lifehack has chosen the 10 best water bottles on the market today.

1. Lunatec Aquabot Sport Water Bottle

The Lunatec Aquabot will serve you well in any setting, but it really shines during long days outdoors. The pressurized cap can be used for showering, cleaning gear, or misting yourself to stay cool. The pranksters in the crowd will love having the ability to blast water up to 25-feet for water fights.

This BPA-free bottle makes drinking enough water fun and easy. You can choose from three spray patterns, including shower, stream, and mist. You can even drink from this bottle upside down, and it never needs batteries.

Best water bottle for: camping, staying cool, outdoor events, water fights

Lunatec Aquabot sport water bottle, $30.00 2. Ozmo Watertight Rechargeable Bluetooth Smart Cup Hydration Tracker

If you’re having trouble meeting your daily water intake goals, this bottle will keep you accountable. The Ozmo has an LED indicator to help you see your water-intake progress throughout the day, and it vibrates to remind you to take a drink.

It seems like there’s an app for everything, and this bottle is no exception. The Ozmo syncs your water intake data to your smartphone, which it then uses to give you personalized suggestions and a plan to consume the recommended amount of water.

At 16 oz., this holds about two glasses of water per filling. The LED is rechargeable, so you never have to worry about batteries.

Best water bottle for: the office, students, people who need help remembering to drink water

Ozmo Watertight Rechargeable Bluetooth Smart Cup Hydration Tracker, $69.99 3. Pokito: Pocket Sized Reusable Cup

One of the most frustrating things about finding the perfect on-the-go bottle is that they take up so much space. They either don’t fit into your bag, or you waste time trying to keep them from falling out of your cupboard. Pokito solves these problems.

This bottle is eco-friendly, easy to clean, and dishwasher safe. It adjusts to three different sizes. You can collapse it to its smallest size (about 4.5 cm) for easy storage or to transport it in your bag. When you arrive at work or your favorite coffee shop, you can expand the cup to take advantage of its full size.

Best water bottle for: environmentally conscious people, space-conscious people, on-the-go beverages, tossing into your bag

Pokito: Pocket Sized Reusable Cup (Back this on Kickstarter) 4. MWB Minimal Water Bottle

Here’s another one for the space-conscious. The Minimalistic Water Bottle (MWB) is made of flexible material that you can roll up when you aren’t using it. This makes it perfect for back-packing or traveling, when you might want a water bottle, but you don’t want to sacrifice space in your bag.

The look of this bottle is simple and stylish. It would be a great addition to your exercise gear, but the paracord handle also makes it easy to attach to whatever bag you choose. This bottle has a piece of flint near the paracord attachment so that you can start a fire in a pinch.

Best water bottle for: backpacking, travel, the gym, camping

MWB Minimal Water Bottle, $35 5. Pressa Bottle

Infusers are in right now, and if you’re looking for a good one, this is it. It’s dishwasher safe and BPA free. You can refill the bottle all day and use the built-in juice press to get the health benefits of juice without all the sugar and mess.

This bottle is slim enough to fit into your car’s cup holder, and it’s easy to carry or store. If you don’t like the taste of plain water, this might be a healthy solution to your problem.

Best water bottle for: the office, commuting, students, people who need to add flavor to their water

Pressa Bottle, $24.99 6. Gululu The Interactive Water Bottle & Health Tracker For Kids

For the gadget-loving parents in the audience, the Gululu will blow you away. This interactive water bottle not only helps you keep track of how much your little ones are drinking, but it also helps them build positive habits.

This bottle connects to an app that helps kids learn to take on healthy habits through fun educational games, digital pets, and rewards. Kids can even connect with friends through the Gululu.

The Gululu is wireless and safe to use. With a durable and easy-to-clean design, this will help your kids have fun without burdening you with lots of maintenance.

Best water bottle for: kids, health-conscious parents

Gululu The Interactive Water Bottle & Health Tracker For Kids, $129.00 7. Pao2GO Bottle

Tea-drinkers and people who love fruit infusions will enjoy this bottle. It is made of a specially designed borosilicate glass that is safe for hot and cold beverages. It brews and filters tea, and it has a compartment for filtering fruit out of an infusion.

This bottle is safe, leak-proof, BPA-free, easy to clean, and durable. If you love tea or just need to add flavor to your water before you drink it, the Pao2GO is a great option.

Best bottle for: brewing tea, hot and cold beverages, fruit infusions, people who need to add flavor to their water

Pao2GO Bottle, $24.93 8. que Bottle

This bottle not only looks cool, but it is also versatile. The spiral-design allows you to collapse the bottle to fit in your bag or pocket. It’s leakproof, light-weight, and made of BPA-free food-grade silicone. The que Bottle is dishwasher safe, and you can use if for hot and cold beverages.

If you are the person who often drops and shatters your water bottle, this would be a good choice for you. The silicone material is not prone to fracturing, which means that it will serve you well for as long as you care to use it.

Best water bottle for: the office, students, hot and cold beverage, space-conscious consumers

que Bottle, $24.95 9. The Oomph | Portable Coffee Maker

Take the power of the French press on the go with you. This pressure brewer is perfect for making your gourmet coffee on the road. Since it serves as both a brewer and a travel mug, there’s no need to make a mess or wait for your coffee to brew when you head out the door.

The Oomph only takes 18 seconds to clean, and its insulated design keeps your drink warmer for longer.

Best bottle for: making coffee on the go

The Oomph | Portable Coffee Maker, $50.77 10. KOR ONE BPA Free 750ml Water Bottle

The beautiful cobalt-blue colored bottle has more than just style. It’s available in four colors, all of which relate to an initiative which protects water. It’s BPA-free, durable, and has a “No-Worry Cap” that you can open with a button or by twisting it.

One appealing feature of the 25.3 oz bottle is the hygienic spout cap, which keeps unwanted things off the spout when not in use. It has an ergonomically-sound grip so that it’s nice to hang on to, and it comes with two KOR stones, which you can use for writing inspirational messages to yourself.

This is not only a stylish choice, but the company seems truly grounded in their mission to be eco-friendly and make the world a cleaner and healthier place.

Best water bottle for: environmentally conscious consumers, the gym, the office

KOR ONE BPA Free 750ml Water Bottle, $25.00

The post 10 Best Water Bottles That Are Stylish and Multifunctional appeared first on Lifehack.

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How to Stay Awake and Energetic No Matter How Busy Your Schedule Is

14. August 2017 - 14:00

Previously I wrote an article on Why I have a Morning Routine and How It Makes Me Sharper Every Day. I discussed my morning routine and some big picture reasons on why you should adopt one yourself. However, many people have asked me for a deeper and practical look into how I do these things. Specifically, I have been asked how I am able to wake up early and stay awake. So, let’s dive into those topics so you can live in the world you want to create!

You Can Live the Life You Want Only If You Know What You Want.

Increasing our energy and stamina is important on so many levels. The choices we make today will determine the life we live tomorrow.

We are living in the age of inactivity. Think about how much time you are wasting in front of a screen. What are you usually doing for extended periods of time while you are in front of a screen? You are probably sitting down and eating.

Dr. Nick Knight wrote about inactivity and how our culture of laziness is killing us.[1] Knight remarked,

“Yes, physical inactivity has its price tags. It is linked to the development of chronic health problems like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity, depression, dementia, and cancer. It can make us feel bad about ourselves, guilty and frustrated, appeased only with the ever-alluring reward of inactivity – comfort, rest, and stress-free.”

Let’s take a look at some of the characteristics that lead to the ailments Knight discussed. Do any of these characteristics resonate with you?

  • Do you almost float around in your chair appearing to be oblivious to your surroundings?
  • Do you eat fast food while watching television for hours upon hours?
  • Assuming you are otherwise healthy, are you a person who has to ride in a motorized cart while at the supermarket or the zoo?
  • Do you sleep the day away?
  • Do you look like a Jelly-Filled Human?

You might recognize some of these characteristics from the movie WALL-E. These are the Axiom Humans or the citizens in the film.

I only make these remarks in order to provide you a wakeup call or an awareness to the deadly life you could potentially be living. If these comments describe you, then it’s time to make a change.

A Jelly-Filled Human or a Hacker?

I have created a phased approach to this high-energy lifestyle. Let’s take a look at the 4-Levels people typically fall into. Note that you do not have to start at Level 1 (not all of us begin as Jelly-Filled Humans!).

  • Level 1: Jelly-Filled Humans. This is a person living the Axiom Human lifestyle discussed earlier.
  • Level 2: Learning to Walk. This level is usually brought on by an awareness of living in Level 1. Once you are aware of who you are (a Jelly-Filled Human), you can now learn to walk.
  • Level 3: The Aware. This type of person is someone who understands that they should be exercising and living well, yet at the first sign of failure they give in. They are close and simply need a breakthrough in their mindset.
  • Level 4: The Hacker. This is the level we should strive to be. The Hacker is a person who has adopted this lifestyle and is continually searching for new hacks (or ways) to improve their life. They have more energy, stamina, and an overall healthier lifestyle than Levels 1-3 combined.

So, how to become a Level 4 person?

Energy and Stamina Hacks

Let’s take a look at some of the energy and stamina hacks you can use and then we will develop an action plan to follow.

Exercise Hourly

I use a version of the Pomodoro Technique for physical exercise. Take a look at my approach in 5 Ways My Crazy Morning Routine Will Transform You into Superman. Simply use a timer on your watch or phone, set the timer for every 30 or 60 minutes, then exercise.

I have adapted my routine to look like this: 10 times a day – 80 push-ups, plank for 60 seconds, 40 curls. This is the best way to get your blood circulating and kickstart your metabolism every morning. Don’t forget to exercise while you travel… yes, be the weird person at the airport doing push-ups.

Run

The best form of exercise is to simply run. Run early in the morning. It is amazing what benefits this will bring. It will also bring about something called Neurogenesis. Read 10 Ways to Become Unstoppable for more on this topic.

Planking

If you only do one form of exercise (outside of running) this is the one you should do. Check out If You Can’t Hold This Pose for 50 Seconds, You Might Be Prone to Serious Health Problems for more details on planking.

Practice Deep Breathing

You must get quality sleep in order to stay awake longer and have more energy.

Use the following 4-7-8 Breathing Technique: Sit with your back straight, place the tip of your tongue behind your front teeth (upper), inhale through your nose, and exhale through your mouth. Make sure you exhale completely, then close your eyes. Hold your breath for a count of 7, exhale through your mouth for a count of 8, then repeat the cycle three more times for a total of 4 breaths.

Two additional techniques are The Stimulating Breath[2] and Breath Counting.[3]

Stand While You Work

If I have to work in an office or the dreaded cubicle, I always stand. Purchase a standing workstation and refuse to sit down!

Improve Your Posture.

Most people have horrible posture. I found an increase in energy and stamina by simply practicing and using techniques to improve my posture. Doing this forces us to be alert and active.

For suggestions on how to improve your posture, read 5 Ways My Crazy Morning Routine Will Transform You Into Superman.

Nootropic

Otherwise known as smart drugs, these are cognitive enhancing supplements that improve memory, motivation, creativity, and performance. Some of the best Nootropics come from the Racetam family, such as: Aniracetam and Piracetam. Read 5 Powerful Mind and Body Hacks for a Limitless Brain and find out more about Nootropics.

Vitamin B-12

This is the perfect vitamin to take if you are looking for a vitamin to take to boost your metabolism or provide an instant energy boost.

Drink Bulletproof Coffee

This is what I call Super Coffee! Bulletproof coffee is a high-performance drink that greatly boosts the energy and cognitive function. It’s easy to make, find out how to make it here.

Drink More Water

Drinking water will instantly give you more energy. In fact, you will feel drained and fatigued if you are dehydrated.

Intermittent Fasting

When we fast, our bodies metabolic shift lowers our leptin levels. Calorie-restriction brings about a process called autophagy, which cleans house and removes waste. It also enhances our brain cells and improves cognitive function.

There are many different ways to do this, let’s look at the 16-hour Fast: stop eating around 7-8pm. Wait until 12pm the next day to begin eating again.

Stop Worrying So Much.

Stop worrying about things that do not matter. If you worry about too many things or try to spend your day pleasing everyone else but yourself, then you will lose energy. You will fail to get sleep and you will spend your entire day with low stamina. Why waste energy worrying when you could use the same energy to visualize success?

Take a Cold Shower

If you find it hard to wake up or you simply need an immediate energy boost then take a cold shower.

Get a Theme Song

Listening to music will provide you an instant energy boost. Try creating playlists for each mood you would like to put yourself in. Apple Music is a perfect place to start.

Go Outside.

You will be amazed at the energy boost by simply going outside.

Chew Gum

For me, chewing Big Red gum provides me an instant energy boost and an increase in focus. Just make sure to smack your gum when you are around your spouse! They will love it!

So, how can you put this all together?

Putting It All Together: Meta-Questioning Step #1: Where are you currently?

Figure out if you are operating at the level of a Jelly-Filled Human or a Hacker. Be brutally honest with yourself. Identify the people you surround yourself with, the relationships you are in, and the tensions or stress you are living in and around.

Step #2: Where do you want to be?

Now figure out where and who you want to be. Use the powerful technique of Meta-Questioning.[4]

Start reframing your questions. For example, change the following statements:

  • When you say: “I can’t do this.”
    Change this to: “What specifically can I not do?”
  • You say: “I can’t exercise.”
    Then ask: “What is stopping me?”
  • You say: “I don’t have time.”
    Now ask yourself: “What needs to happen for me to start exercising?”
  • You discover: “I can use the techniques identified in this article and create more time.”
    Then imagine how you could start exercising: “If I could exercise, how would I do it?”
Step #3: What obstacles are impeding your progress?

Next, figure out which obstacles are standing in your way and remove them. Use the techniques discussed in How to Make Irrational People Rationalpeel back the layers of a cause and dig deep into the root of each obstacle.

After identifying the real obstacles that are blocking your from progressing, tackle them one by one, and layer by layer. The process will be challenging, but by breaking the challenges into smaller parts, they will be less overwhelming.

Do or Do Not, There Is No Try.

Yoda’s words are always wise.

In the end, you have to want it. You have to be willing to work hard and suffer some short-term pain. Follow the advice here from C.T. Fletcher,

“Suffer the pain of Discipline or suffer the pain of Regret!”

Reference [1] ^ Independent.co.uk: The age of inactivity [2] ^ Dr. Well’s Breathing Exercise: The Stimulating Breath [3] ^ Dr. Well’s Breathing Exercise: Breath Counting [4] ^ Slideshare.net: The four magic questions that help resolve most problems function footnote_expand_reference_container() { jQuery("#footnote_references_container").show(); jQuery("#footnote_reference_container_collapse_button").text("-"); } function footnote_collapse_reference_container() { jQuery("#footnote_references_container").hide(); jQuery("#footnote_reference_container_collapse_button").text("+"); } function footnote_expand_collapse_reference_container() { if (jQuery("#footnote_references_container").is(":hidden")) { footnote_expand_reference_container(); } else { footnote_collapse_reference_container(); } } function footnote_moveToAnchor(p_str_TargetID) { footnote_expand_reference_container(); var l_obj_Target = jQuery("#" + p_str_TargetID); if(l_obj_Target.length) { jQuery('html, body').animate({ scrollTop: l_obj_Target.offset().top - window.innerHeight/2 }, 1000); } }

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How to Lose Belly Fat: From a Big Belly to Sixpack

14. August 2017 - 13:00

Everyone has body fat. Ignore the fitness magazine headline of the ripped guy saying how he literally has no fat on his body.

Body Fat is necessary. It is the best fuel storage for your body as it’s providing him a lot of energy. Fat tissue is your body’s way of storing energy.

Back in our hunter and gatherer times this was crucial. One could not buy foods as easily as we buy them today. In prehistoric times we had to go days and maybe even weeks without food. The accumulation of fat cells was crucial in that day and age.

Fat cells used to be our friends, now we like to call them our worst enemy. What used to be so beneficial in the past is now deeply annoying. But that fat storage, especially around your waist — belly fat, can not only be annoying, but also be dangerously life threatening.

Not All Body Fat Is Created Equal

My grandfather used to have a really big and hard belly. He had such a huge belly that he would be able to drive his Mercedes with his tummy only. Just hilarious when you think about it.

My grandpa was not storing his body fat at the right point. In fact, the belly fat turned out to be life threatening. My grandfather suffered from lung cancer just some years later, but which he has thankfully beaten by now. He developed dangerous fat around his organs, which can be really, really dangerous.

We have to make an important difference when it comes to body fat:

Visceral Fat: the fat that is stored around your organs.

This is the fat my grandfather possessed in excess. Fat around your organs can be potentially life threatening. It reduces the blood flow to these important tissues and can impair organ function. It’s very stressful for your body. You’ve got a lot of visceral fat on your belly if it’s hard and constantly looks like the belly has swollen up. The typical beer belly is a product of fat build up around your organs.

Subcutaneous Fat: the fat that most people possess.

Instead of laying around your organs, this fat is directly under your skin. You can pinch it with your fingers. This fat is less life threatening, but it can also drastically impair your confidence, athletic ability and your self-image. Subcutaneous fat can also be found around your hips, where it is called cellulite.

Although visceral fat is the more dangerous one, both of these fat cells should be avoided to have in excess. They both can increase the fat content in your blood. As fat levels rise, the ability of your body to clear sugar from the blood drops due to insulin resistance. This can lead to type 2 diabetes in the long-term.

How I’ve Lost My Fat

I didn’t always have a sixpack. Belly fat was something that was nearly impossible to lose for me.

I remember talking with a friend that had great abs since he was born. I asked him for advice. He told me that I should find ways to cope with my current situation, as having a sixpack is purely genetical. Not the motivation I had hoped for.

Today I can tell you with confidence that he was wrong. I currently have a sixpack and am extremely proud of it. It shows me that everything is possible if you put in the work.

What needs to be done to lose your belly fat is often just a mindset shift. Most people know that they’re eating the wrong foods. You already know that daily exercise is crucial for losing your belly fat.  What people often lack is the mental state and the willingness to actually put in the work.

Increase Your Discipline, Motivation And Drive

How do you increase your discipline, motivation and drive? I suggest you doing three things:

1. Exercise

I don’t recommend you exercising for burning excess calories only. Yes, there is some of that, but exercise can also dramatically influence your mindset.

Physical activity gives you the feeling of control over your life. It gives you better self-awareness and control, it betters your thinking and increases your happiness. The mental state of mind that you need when you’re trying to lose your belly fat.

2. Practice Mindfulness

Meditate daily. Doesn’t have to be too long. As simple as two minutes of focusing on your breath is totally enough.

Mindfulness helps you improve your thoughts. Thoughts turn into desire and desire turns into actions. By controlling your thoughts you’re less likely to indulge in foods that you know are not good for you. My binge eating habit nearly disappeared after practicing mindfulness on a daily basis.

3. Improve Yourself Every Day

Or as Warren Buffett said: You have to develop the habits of success. Realize that your life is constantly under construction. You were not born perfect and neither was I. Try to constantly change your life for the better. This way you will find new ways to better your health and loose the excess fat on your tummy.

Start Losing Your Belly Fat

Take immediate action. The previous list may seem long and tedious, but don’t get discouraged.  Start small.  Small changes add up over the long-term.

Ask yourself: Have you washed your dishes today? If not, stop reading this article right now and wash your dishes. Don’t search for excuses, simply do it right now. Once you’ve washed your dishes, ask yourself: Have I made my bed this morning? No? Immediately start making your bed.

These habits may seem insignificant to you, but trust me, they will help you get momentum in your life.

There are two options: Either you control your mind, or your mind controls you.

To watch a video on how to better control your mind and become limitless, while losing your belly fat of course, click here.

The post How to Lose Belly Fat: From a Big Belly to Sixpack appeared first on Lifehack.

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Sie möchten weitestgehend frei über Ihre Lebenszeit verfügen und Ihre Fähigkeiten, Ihre Neigungen, Ihre Kreativität (Phantasie) und Ihre Gefühle bestmöglich ausleben?

Sie möchten Ihre eigenen Ideen realisieren, vielleicht sogar von zuhause aus arbeiten und sich ein Einkommen erwirtschaften, das Ihren Lebensunterhalt sichert. 

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Neben einer vereinfachten Lebensweise spielt dabei auch die moderne Technik eine wichtige Rolle.
Wir finden heraus, wie Sie einfacher leben und die aktuellen technischen Möglichkeiten optimal nutzen können.

Beispielsweise bietet sich zur Fortbewegung in den Städten das Car2go- oder Car-Sharing-Konzept an oder wie wäre es in Zukunft mit einer AllinOne-Solaranlage zur weitestgehend autarken Stromversorgung oder verbrennen Sie Biomasse (z. B. Kuhmist) und erzeugen Sie so Ihren eigenen Strom.

Sie möchten sich mit Ihrer eigenen Stimme an den gesellschaftlichen Entscheidungen, die Sie interessieren, beteiligen ?

Möglicherweise wünschen Sie sich insgeheim schon lange, so zu leben und entsprechende Erfahrungen und Erkenntnisse zu sammeln.

Ja, wie wäre es, wenn Sie Ihre Begeisterung für diese ganzheitliche Lebensweise sogar zu Ihrem Beruf machen und sie auf diesem Wege, Ihr Wissen mit anderen teilen und anderen Menschen helfen können, erfüllter zu leben.

Verwirklichen Sie doch Ihren Traum! Werden Sie ein ganzheitlich denkender Lebensunternehmer oder falls Sie das schon sind, geben Sie Ihr Wissen weiter und geben Sie so Ihrer Zukunft ganz neue Perspektiven! 

Verdienen Sie mit Ihrer selbst gewählten Aufgabe Ihren Lebensunterhalt.

Sie können als Lebensunternehmer-Coach Ihr Wissen weitergeben oder aber auch als Coachee, die ganzheitliche Denkweise der Lebensunternehmer kennen lernen.

Natürlich können Sie auch nur einzelne Schwerpunkte aus dem Lebensunternehmer-Konzept trainieren bzw. coachen, etwa den Workshop wo es darum geht für Berufsanfänger und Berufswechsler den optimalen Beruf bzw. die Lebensaufgabe zu finden.

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