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The Only Music That Really Eases Stress and Pain

20. October 2017 - 14:00

Stress is absolutely everywhere. Even when you feel like you’re thriving in one or more areas of your life, there’s always going to be stress somewhere else. One way that people choose to reduce stress is by listening to music, specifically, putting their very favorite tunes on repeat.

Listening to the favorite hits does make people feel better. But research has found that your favorite music may not be the best choice to ease stress and pain.

Listening, Fast and Slow

Even if faster tunes makes you feel better or upbeat, only the slower tunes help reduce stress and anxiety.

Slower beats have a meditative effect. Faster beats can’t really induce this same kind of feeling. Instead, they usually encourage more alert and concentrated thinking. This is useful for other situations but not stress reduction.

A study conducted by Monash University showed that slower classical music could help reduce “anxiety, heart rate, and blood pressure”.[1] The brain’s response to classical music may even help ease symptoms of depression as well as more day-to-day anxiety and stress.

Slower musical beats can alter brainwave speed, inducing a state that’s more meditative or hypnotic. Cognitive scientists and researchers in music therapy have spent a lot of time studying how musical rhythms impact our brainwaves and emotional states. This is why so many cultures (including most religious services) make slower, ceremonial music a big part of important rituals.[2]

Listening to music on headphones has also been shown to reduce stress and anxiety in hospital patients who need surgery. It can help reduce both physical pain and emotional distress of patients with chronic and postoperative pain.[3]

Soothing Tunes Don’t Have to Be Boring

Slow tunes, especially slow classical music, may sound boring for some listeners though. When you force yourself to listen to slow tunes that you can’t enjoy, it won’t reduce your stress but give you tension instead. You don’t need to force yourself to listen to relaxation music that you don’t like.

If you don’t already love many slow tunes, I’d recommend this Spotify playlist “Soothing Strings”. The music is calming but isn’t boring to anyone who isn’t used to listening to slow tunes.

Here are also a handful of YouTube tracks that you might try out:

Start exploring your favorite genres to find tracks you might like to use to ease your anxiety. As you explore more and more music, you’ll find ever more effective tracks personalized to your tastes. Don’t force yourself to use music that you actively dislike but keep an open mind as you listen and pay attention to how rhythms and melodies affect your mood. You may even surprise yourself.

Featured photo credit: Picjumbo via picjumbo.com

Reference [1] ^ NCBI: Relaxing music prevents stress-induced increases in subjective anxiety, systolic blood pressure, and heart rate in healthy males and females. [2] ^ Standford: Symposium looks at therapeutic benefits of musical rhythm [3] ^ PsyCentral: The Power of Music To Reduce Stress 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 Motivational Workplace Items to Brighten Your Day at the Office

19. October 2017 - 15:00

It’s nearly impossible to feel motivated at work all the time. Sitting down at your desk after lunch can seem like one of the most challenging parts of the day. You’ve worked hard all morning, your belly is full, and now you’re tired. Maybe you feel the pressure of a deadline looming over you, and instead of knocking out the work, you can’t bring yourself to start it.

Motivational challenges become even greater when you don’t particularly enjoy your job, or when you’re tasked to do something you dislike. You can be the most energetic person in the world, but when faced with work that makes you unhappy, your energy level will plummet.

Changing your environment can increase your energy

If you’re the person dragging yourself from project to project without any enthusiasm, it may be worthwhile to look at your environment. Is your work-space dirty or disorganized? An office space that looks bad, smells bad, or makes you feel uncomfortable and unwelcome could be contributing to your lack of energy.

Our environment can serve as a reflection on us, but it can also influence our mindset. Research has shown that creating a positive and motivating work station can contribute to our success, while working in cluttered and unwelcoming environments can keep us down. UCLA’s Center on Everyday Lives and Families did a study that proved that clutter affected stress levels, mood, and self esteem. [1]

Artwork can also impact your effectiveness. Surrounding yourself with creative works inspires more creativity. Warm scenes can be comforting to you. A survey suggested that 83% of employees found that artwork was an important part of the work environment.[2]

Keeping objects that inspire comfort and happiness improve your motivation and productivity.[3] The average workday takes up at least 1/3 of your time. It makes sense that making your workstation inviting and filling it with messages of encouragement will improve your mood and your work.

10 Items to bolster your motivation at work

Here at Lifehack, we’ve tracked down ten items that would make great additions to your office. These practical goodies harness the power of language to brighten your environment, inspire you, or make you laugh. Happy, motivated, and passionate workers are more productive, and they have more fun too.

1. Inspirational Pen Set

You can never have too many pens, but these inspirational pens by Sweet Water Decor add a splash of color and positivity to your day. You won’t have to look far to get motivated.

Inspirational pens by Sweet Water Decor $18.00

2. Ban.do design Compliment Postcard Book

Frame these compliment postcards to display around your work space, or use them to send positive vibes to your coworkers.

Compliment Postcard book by Ban.do Design $10.00

3. 30 Day Challenge Notepad

Sometimes we just need a little reminder to savor the good things and live life to the fullest. Remind yourself by taking the 30-day challenge. Each sheet contains a simple phrase that you can use to set the right tone for your day.

30-Day Challenge Notepad by Urban Outfitters $12.00

4. New Look Dream Big Pin Board with Cloud Pegs

This pin board is fun and functional. Use it as a vision board, or tack up photos and quotes that make you happy.

New Look Dream Big Pin Board with Cloud Pegs by ASOS $21.00

5. The Monster Mug of Motivation

Add some quirky and cute monsters to your coffee break. With monsters encouraging you with sayings like, “Keep doing the thing,” it’ll be hard not to smile and keep moving forward.

The Monster Mug of Motivation by Katie Abey Design $13.85

6. You Got This Motivation Book

Take a look at this book when you need a confidence boost, or select a favorite quote to motivate you throughout your day.

You Got This Motivation Book by ASOS $11.50

7. Knock Knock Today’s Plan of Attack Great Big Stickies

Add a little humor to the task of prioritizing your work. These giant sticky notes can help you stay focused during those busy times.

Today’s Plan of Attack Big Stickies by Knock Knock $5.92

8. Conquer Your Year: The Ultimate Planner

Break down your big goals into actionable steps and keep track of everything you need to do with this planner. There’s plenty of room to think and reflect in these pages.

Conquer your year: The Ultimate Planner by Natalie MacNeil $8.98

9. Paper Lovers Book: Inspiration

Make office art from your favorite quotes and patterns, create greeting cards, and make fun paper gifts to brighten your coworker’s day. Easily switch out your crafts so that you always have something fresh and new to decorate your office.

Paper Lover’s Book: Inspiration by Kikki.K $29.95

10. Andaz Press Motivational Framed Desk Art, Do Epic Shit

For a quick pick-me-up, this framed desk art bears a simple reminder about the type of work you should be doing. Next time you hit that 2:00 PM slump, look at your desk art, and make epic things happen.

“Do Epic Shit.” Motivational Desk Art by Andaz Press $12.99

Featured photo credit: Kaboompics via kaboompics.com

Reference [1] ^ Be Brain Fit: Declutter Your Life for Less Stress, Better Mental Health [2] ^ Forbes: Can Office Artwork Influence Employee Productivity? [3] ^ Business News Daily: 4 Ways to Improve Your Office’s Work Environment 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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Great Filmmakers Pick Their Favorite Movies of the 21st Century

19. October 2017 - 14:00

Film directors including Antoine Fuqua, Sofia Coppola, Paul Feig, Denis Villeneuve, Brett Ratner and Alex Gibney recently spoke to The New York Times about their favorite movies of the 21st century to date.[1] Below, I highlight 20 of the choices. This is an excellent place to start if you’re looking for great movies you haven’t seen or haven’t even heard of.

Antoine Fuqua’s Selected Films

Antoine Fuqua himself has directed Training Day, The Magnificent Seven, and other films. His selections included:

Fences (2016)

Set in 1950s Pittsburgh, the film takes a passionate look at former Negro-league baseball player Troy Maxson (Denzel Washington) as he fights to provide for those he loves in a world that threatens to push him down. Fences was also directed by Washington. It’s adapted from a play by August Wilson, who Fuqua says “would be proud” of the output.

Watch Fences here. Slumdog Millionaire (2008)

Fuqua’s comment on the movie,

“It took us into a world that I have never seen before and executed it in a visceral, gritty way. It was not only moving, but it was heartfelt, dangerous and entertaining.”

When a penniless, eighteen year-old orphan from the slums of Mumbai comes within one question of winning a staggering 20 million rupees on India’s Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?, a police investigation reveals his amazing story. Slumdog Millionaire won eight Academy Awards®, including Best Picture of the Year and Best Director, Danny Boyle.

Watch Slumdog Millionaire here. Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012)

Fuqua on this movie,

“A world undiscovered by some, in our own backyard. And it doesn’t use the tricks of Hollywood.”

Newcomer Quvenzhané Wallis is Hushpuppy, the tenacious six-year-old force of nature in an isolated bayou community. When her tough but loving father Wink (Dwight Henry) succumbs to a mysterious malady, the fierce and determined girl bravely sets out on a journey to save him. But Hushpuppy’s quest is hindered by a “busted” universe that melts the ice caps and unleashes an army of prehistoric beasts.

Watch Beast of the Southern Wild here. Zero Dark Thirty (2012)

Fuqua notes it does something a lot of movies don’t,

“sustained intensity and tension, even when it was only two people in the room talking.”

For a decade, an elite team of intelligence and military operatives, working in secret across the globe, devoted themselves to a single goal: to find and eliminate Osama bin Laden. It’s the story of that search and ultimate raid/assassination.

Watch Zero Dark Thirty here. Sofia Coppola’s Selected Films

Coppola is best-known for Lost in Translation, as well as being the daughter of Oscar-winner Francis Ford Coppola. Here are some of her selected films:

Force Majeure (2014)

Here’s how Coppola commented on the film,

“I loved the little moments, the details that said so much.”

This is the story of a model Swedish family—handsome businessman Tomas, his willowy wife Ebba and their two blond children— on a skiing holiday in the French Alps. The sun is shining and the slopes are spectacular but during a lunch at a mountainside restaurant, an avalanche suddenly bears down on the happy diners. With people fleeing in all directions and his wife and children in a state of panic, Tomas makes a decision that will shake his marriage to its core and leave him struggling to reclaim his role as family patriarch.

Watch Force Majeure here. The White Ribbon (2009)

Coppola loves the black-and-white photography.

In a village in Protestant northern Germany, on the eve of World War I, the children of a church and school run by the village schoolteacher and their families experience a series of bizarre incidents that inexplicably assume the characteristics of a punishment ritual.

If you like old-time photography to convey the WW1 sense, this may be for you too.

Watch The White Ribbon here. The Savages (2007)

Coppola loved the acting of the two main performances, by Laura Linney and Philip Seymour Hoffman.

Until recently, all John and Wendy Savage (Hoffman, Linney) had in common was a lousy childhood and a few strands of DNA. But after years of drifting apart, they’re forced to band together to care for the elderly, cantankerous father who made their formative years “challenging.” In the process, both of these aimless, perpetually adolescent forty-something’s may just, at long last, have to grow up!

If you love good acting, this is a good film to try out.

Watch The Savages here. Paul Feig’s Selected Films

Paul Feig is considered one of the best comedy directors working today — especially for women — having helmed Bridesmaids and Ghostbusters, among others. His selected films are:

Napoleon Dynamite (2004)

Feig on the movie,

“One of those movies I could watch over and over again, because it was just so out of left field. In comedy, we feel that we’ve seen it all and done it all, but then an original voice comes in and you go, damn.” It is truly an original movie.

From the rural town of Preston, Idaho, comes Napoleon Dynamite (Jon Heder). With a red ‘fro, his moon boots, and illegal government ninja moves, he is a new kind of hero. When his friend Pedro (Efren Ramirez) decides to run for class president, it is Napoleon to the rescue to help him triumph over adversity.

Watch Napolean Dynamite here. This Is The End (2013)

Feig says,

“They pulled off all those elements that seemed like they couldn’t work — it was emotional and funny and they did it playing themselves.”

While attending a party at James Franco’s house, Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel and many other celebrities are faced with the apocalypse. Kevin Hart and others make appearances.

Watch This Is the End here. Amelie (2001)

This film was nominated for five Academy Awards, and Feig says,

“it’s so literal and yet stylish. You fall in love with her immediately.”

A painfully shy waitress working at a tiny Paris café, Amelie makes a surprising discovery and sees her life drastically changed for the better. From then on, Amelie dedicates herself to helping others find happiness…in the most delightfully unexpected ways.

Watch Amelie here. Denis Villeneuve’s Selected Films

Denis Villeneuve is most recently the director of Blade Runner 2049. He has also worked on films including Arrival. His selected films are:

A Prophet (2009)

Villeneuve pulls out one scene for The New York Times, 

“The deer being killed in slow motion by a car in “A Prophet” (2010) remains one of the most powerful cinematic shots of the last decade.”

An impressionable and vulnerable Arabic man gets thrust into a hellish prison, and ironically discovers greater opportunities for success than he ever possessed outside of the bars.

Watch A Prophet here. Dogtooth (2009)

Villeneuve says,

“The madness in “Dogtooth” (2010) is the most refreshing thing I’ve seen in a long time. Yorgos Lanthimos may be one of the most exciting filmmakers working today. I’m still laughing at the crazy adults running to catch airplanes falling into their garden, because their father convinced them that they were fruit dropping from the sky.”

Three teenagers live isolated, without leaving their house, because their over-protective parents say they can only leave when their dogtooth falls out.

Watch Dogtooth here.  Dogville (2003)

Villeneuve on the movie,

“The idea of making a set without walls to show the cowardice of a community was genius.”

When a beautiful young Grace (Nicole Kidman) arrives in the isolated township of Dogville, the small community agrees to hide her from a gang of ruthless gangsters, and, in return, Grace agrees to do odd jobs for the town’s people. But as the search for her intensifies, they demand a much better deal. What they don’t know is that Grace has a dangerous secret, and their quiet little town will never be the same.

Watch Dogville here. Brett Ratner’s Selected Films

Brett Ratner is famous for working on the Rush Hour films as well as Hercules and other big box office movies. His selected films are:

The Kid Stays In The Picture (2002)

Ratner simply calls this “one of the greatest documentaries ever made”.

Success. Scandal. Sex. Tragedy. Infamy. Robert Evans knew them all, and in this provocative and compelling documentary, he reveals how one of the greatest winning streaks in Hollywood history almost destroyed him. From his early acting days to his stellar rise as head of production at Paramount and involvement in a well-publicized cocaine sting, Evans’ meteoric career reveals the moviemaking industry during one of its most glamorous and scandal-filled periods.

If you enjoy documentaries, consider it.

Watch The Kid Stays in the Picture here. The Pianist (2002)

Ratner on the movie,

“It will go down in history as one of the greatest Holocaust motion pictures ever made.”

The Pianist, stars Adrien Brody in the true-life story of brilliant pianist and composer, Wladyslaw Szpilman, the most acclaimed young musician of his time until his promising career was interrupted by the onset of World War II. This powerful, triumphant film follows Szpilman’s heroic and inspirational journey of survival with the unlikely help of a sympathetic German officer.

Watch The Pianist here. Borat (2006)

Ratner calls it legitimately “one of the best comedies ever made.”

Sacha Baron Cohen brings his Kazakh journalist character Borat Sagdiyev to the big screen for the first time. Leaving his native Kazakhstan, Borat travels to America to make a documentary. As he zigzags across the nation, Borat meets real people in real situations with hysterical consequences.

Watch Borat here. Alex Gibney’s Selected Films

Alex Gibney has directed the film Taxi to the Dark Side. These are some of his selected films:

City of God (2002)

Gibney references the opening scene, featuring a chicken and a knife, as classic.

The streets of the world’s most notorious slum, Rio de Janeiro’s “City of God” are a place where combat photographers fear to tread, police rarely go and residents are lucky if they live to the age of 20. In the midst of the oppressive crime and violence, a frail and scared young boy will grow up to discover that he can view the harsh realities of his surroundings with a different eye, the eye of an artist.

Watch City of Gold here. Michael Clayton (2007)

Gibney makes an interesting point about what you can learn from this film,

“Great take on corruption. My favorite scene is when [George Clooney] takes care of a client who is too arrogant to know how much trouble he is in. Want to understand the 2008 financial crisis? Watch this scene.”

Clayton cleans up clients’ messes, handling anything from hit-and-runs and damaging stories in the press to shoplifting wives and crooked politicians. Though burned out and discontented in his job, Clayton is inextricably tied to the firm.

Watch Michael Clayton here. Pan’s Labyrinth (2006)

Gibney argues that this movie can make you think about major societal issues,

“I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about torture. This film gets deep into the horror of it all and the imagination that’s needed to survive it.”

Following a bloody civil war, young Ofelia enters a world of unimaginable cruelty when she moves in with her new stepfather, a tyrannical military officer. Armed with only her imagination, Ofelia discovers a mysterious labyrinth and meets a faun who sets her on a path to saving herself and her ailing mother. But soon, the lines between fantasy and reality begin to blur, and before Ofelia can turn back, she finds herself at the center of a ferocious battle between good and evil.

Watch Pan’s Labyrinth here. No Country for Old Men (2007)

Gibney gives it high praise,

“The ultimate post-9/11 film that has nothing to do with Al Qaeda or the politics of the Iraq war. It’s about a brutal force of terror that can’t be bargained with and can only be understood with the wisdom of a lawman philosopher.”

When a man stumbles on a bloody crime scene, a pickup truck loaded with heroin, and two million dollars in irresistible cash, his decision to take the money sets off an unstoppable chain reaction of violence. Not even west Texas law can contain it.

Watch No Country for Old Men here.

There’s a good chance you haven’t seen all these films, or even heard of them. But people who love and respect the craft of filmmaking as their own career point to these as stellar movies made since 2000. Give them a chance. You may even learn quite a bit about history or new parts of the world in the process.

Reference [1] ^ The New York Times: Six Directors Pick Their Favorite Films of the 21st-Century 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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Easily Read Only What Matters to You With Instapaper

19. October 2017 - 13:00

The internet has been called “the information super highway”. We have ready and easy access to the sum of the world’s knowledge. In many ways this is an incredible tool. But the sheer quantity of information out there is difficult to digest. Research has shown that the average adult spends as much as 20 hours online per week,[1] and in each second of that we are bombarded by information. We aren’t designed to receive so much information like this, so we are overwhelmed.

There is so much information out there that the good and useful information can be easily drowned out by information and articles that we have no use for. It’s easy to find yourself going through articles which prove to not be worth your time. Other times, even useful articles may be presented in ways that are difficult to read. Which in turn affects their ultimate usefulness.

What you need is a system that allows you to efficiently keep track of useful information and articles, and have them quickly accessible and easy to read. This would mean that you would no longer be distracted by useless information in order to find what you need again.

Such system exists and it’s an app called Instapaper.

Make Reading Easy and Focus

Instapaper allows you to easily store articles and text from the internet for future reading. What’s more, the text is immediately formatted into an easy to read manner. There is even a text to speech function that allows the text to be read to you.

1. Save any form of online text

Though in this piece, I’ve mostly focused on articles, Instapaper allows you to save any form of online information. So whether you want to save the lyrics to your favorite songs, great recipes, poetry, short stories, or news pieces, Instapaper allows you to create your own library of useful information.

2. Highlight and comment

Sometimes merely reading a piece isn’t enough, at times you might need to highlight particular sections or sentences of a text for future reference, some times you might need to make a comment about a section. This can be crucial if the pieces you are reading are for work or study.

Instapaper allows you to highlight and make comment to any part of your texts, ensuring both that you save time, and the pieces you store are useful as possible for you.

3. Easy customization

There is no such thing as a universal standard for readability. In fact, everyone differs. Some people like to read off white backgrounds, others like to read of brown backgrounds. Some people prefer one font, while others prefer another. The developers of Instapaper are apparently well aware of this, and I was pleased to see that it comes with a great many customization options.

You can easily change the font, text size, brightness, background color and even line spacing with ease. Thus, ensuring you will be able to read in a way that suits your preferences.

How to Get Instapaper

Instapaper has won a number of industry awards and has been featured in leading magazines such as Time, and Wired. So it is well worth the download.

There are download options for both IOS devices and Andriod devices, and it is even available as an extension for Web browsers like Firefox and Chrome. So whatever your preference, you can get it.

Best of all, of all, once you have saved the articles you want, you can access them both online and offline, so you will be able to access them at any time. Even if you are high in the sky or underground.

Install Instapaper on your phone here or Get the Chrome Extension here. Reference [1] ^ Telegraph: Teenagers spend 27 hours a week online: how internet use has ballooned in the last decade 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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2 Minutes Book Summary: Talk Like TED

18. October 2017 - 18:00
Book Details:
  • Author: Carmine Gallo
  • Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin (March 10, 2015)
  • Language: English
How long to read?

4 hours 4 minutes

Get this book: here

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Put Them in and Leave It! 7 Slow Cookers For Busy People To Cook Healthy Meals At Home

18. October 2017 - 16:00

You’ve had a long, hard day at work, and a tiring and unpleasant commute home.

When you finally get back to your place, you have your heart set on eating a healthy, substantial meal – but you can’t find the strength or motivation to begin cooking. Instead, you take the easy way out, and pick up your phone and order a takeout.

I’m sure you can relate to the above scenario as it’s very common nowadays. Preparing and cooking a decent meal usually takes at least an hour. So, if you’ve arrived home from work, and it’s already late (and you’re exhausted), then cooking a meal is probably the last thing you’d like to do.

The problem is, eating out and ordering takeout is expensive, and in most cases an unhealthy choice.

Luckily, there is a way out of this dilemma, in the shape and form of a slow cooker. Also known as crock pots, slow cookers have become popular in recent years with people who are too busy to spend time cooking – but still want to enjoy healthy, homemade meals.

7 Slow Cookers That Can Transform Your Diet and Life

Slow cookers offer you the chance to enjoy a delicious, wholesome meal when you arrive home from work. They do this by slowly cooking your food for a long period of time at a low temperature.

This ‘slow cooking’ approach brings out the flavours in most foods, including: casseroles, pot meals, soups and stews.

Most slow cookers have Low, Medium and High settings. The Low setting will cook food about 6 to 10 hours. The High setting will cook food in 4 to 6 hours. One hour in a conventional oven at 350 F is equivalent to about 4 hours on High, or 8 hours on Low.

If you prepare your meal the evening before, or in the morning, all you need to do is switch on the cooker (at Low setting) before you head out for work. However, all the cookers we list below also have digital timers, and these will allow you to precisely choose when your cooker comes on, at what temperature setting, and for how long.

Hopefully, I’ve given you just enough information on slow cookers to whet your appetite

1. Crock-Pot 6-Quart Programmable Slow Cooker

This slow cooker features a digital countdown control that allows you to program cook times anywhere from 30 minutes to 20 hours. It also shifts to Warm setting automatically once your specified cook time has completed.

The Crock-Pot keeps food safe on the go with robust carrying handles and hinged locking lids.

Crock-Pot 6-Quart Programmable Slow Cooker, $49.50

2. Hamilton Beach Set ‘n Forget Programmable Slow Cooker

Stylish and easy-to-use, this slow cooker is equipped with protection against brief power outages, so when you come home your digital clocks might have lost their time – but your meal will still be hot and ready to eat.

It’s perfect for cooking large cuts of meat. You just need to set the desired meat temperature, and the cooker automatically shifts to keep warm when the temperature is reached.

Hamilton Beach Set ‘n Forget Programmable Slow Cooker, $49

3. Instant Pot 7-in-1 Multi-Use Programmable Pressure Cooker

If you want more features than slow cooking, then Instant Pot could be a good choice for you.

This top-selling multi-cooker combines 7 kitchen appliances in 1. These are: pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, steamer, sauté, yogurt maker and warmer.

There are also 14 Smart Programs to choose from. These programs allow you to easily make, heat or treat the following: soup, meat/stew, bean/chilli, poultry, rice, multigrains, porridge, yogurt, etc.

Instant Pot 7-in-1 Multi-Use Programmable Pressure Cooker, $129.99

4. Cuisinart MSC-600 3-In-1 Cook Central 6-Quart Multi-Cooker

This slow cooker features Cuisinart’s brushed stainless steel housing and a 6-quart nonstick cooking pot that lets you brown or sauté directly in the unit.

Three fully programmable cooking functions let you sauté vegetables, brown meats and slow cook your favorite comfort foods right in the unit.

Cuisinart MSC-600 3-In-1 Cook Central 6-Quart Multi-Cooker, $140.76

5. Cuisinart PSC-650 Stainless Steel 6-1/2-Quart Programmable Slow Cooker

This programmable slow cooker offers a removable round-shaped ceramic cooking pot, brushed stainless-steel housing, glass lid with stainless-steel rim, and cool-touch chrome-plated handles. The 24-hour programmable digital timer has Simmer, Low and High modes – all which feature an auto keep-warm function. it also comes with a cooking rack and recipe book.

Cuisinart PSC-650 Stainless Steel 6-1/2-Quart Programmable Slow Cooker, $46.43

6. KitchenAid KSC6223SS 6-Quart. Slow Cooker

This slow cooker features an easy-to-read digital display, that ensures comfortable viewing of the remaining cook time and temperature while the cooker is in use.

The generous 6-quart capacity is perfect for small and large recipes from soups to roasts.

KitchenAid KSC6223SS 6-Quart. Slow Cooker, $99

7. BLACK+DECKER 7-Quart Digital Slow Cooker

To finish on, how about something a little different. The exterior of this slow cooker is a chalkboard, which makes it perfect for drawing on and for writing down recipes or allergy concerns. This neat feature is also great for getting the kids involved in the kitchen! With its inbuilt digital time, you can simply choose the time and heat, and let the slow cooker do the rest. (The cooker automatically switches into Warm mode when cooking is complete.)

And in case you’re wondering, the box includes two chalk sticks, so you can start writing on the cooker from day one.

BLACK+DECKER 7-Quart Digital Slow Cooker, $49.99

On a final note, you may be surprised to learn that slow cookers use less electricity than conventional ovens. So, now you have no excuses for not having tasty and nutritious food waiting for you each evening when you come home.

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Put Down Your Pizza and Find Your Healthy Diet Challenge Buddy By Using "Foodstand"

18. October 2017 - 15:00

What do you think when you hear the word ‘habit’? A habit is usually either something that’s hard to break or hard to start. How many times have you wanted to start a positive habit? It probably started well but after a while you found it hard to maintain. Perhaps it’s doing something proactive each day towards a new career goal. Perhaps it’s a new exercise regime to lose weight or the ultimate habit for a lot of people – changing our diets.

The problem with establishing and maintaining healthy positive habits is lack of motivation.

One solution we often hear to keep motivation going is to get an accountability buddy. The most common example is with exercise. Having a training buddy can be an important tool to keep ourselves accountable to turning up at the gym or the running track. However, when it comes to diet changes, we don’t always think of getting someone to do this important lifestyle change with us and help us keep on track.

You don’t only need a workout buddy, you need an eating partner too!

We all like to believe we’re strong and determined enough to make a positive change in our diet. Often this works if we’ve had, say, a major health scare but when it’s a decision we’ve made without a fearful condition in place to motivate us, motivation can dwindle pretty quickly.

We are human after all. We like falling back into our comfort zones and old ways of living. We can start to convince ourselves we can always start again next week even if we know next week will never come.

Bringing in another person with the same goals as you will not only give you extra motivation (see how people get more successful with their fitness goal by getting a workout buddy.) and push you harder, but it will also tap into our fear of letting others – and ourselves – down. In other words, if we give up on our new habit, our failures aren’t just known by us but also another person. They are essentially out in the open and we don’t like to be seen by others as unsuccessful.

When it comes to a big diet change, an accountability buddy is the perfect way to keep our new habit going and ultimately improve our life.

Need Accountability? This is The Perfect App For You and Your Healthy Eating Regime

When it comes to our diet, it’s harder to keep track of what you and your new accountability buddy is up to. After all, it’s not as easy as establishing an exercise routine that you show up to together.

This is where Foodstand comes in. Foodstand is a community-lead app that encourages you to keep to your new healthy diet by using food challenges alongside thousands of other people as well as friends and family. Perfect if you’re struggling to find an accountability buddy in the first place!

The main focus of this app is making healthy eating fun instead of hard to maintain. There are several different challenges: eating less sugar, cooking dinner more often, or eating 3 portions of fruit and vegetables a day. You gain points for every challenge you pass taking you up to the next level.

           

These challenges have been designed alongside several top dietician experts from Centre for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) and Johns Hopkins Centre for a Liveable Future. The fun and relatable challenges help you progress, keeps you accountable, and helps you along your journey by providing daily motivation, tips, recipes, and explains why each habit is so positive for your lifestyle.

The best part is that you’re ‘competing’ against other people by being able to see your buddy’s progress. It matches people specifically to you who can then become your accountability buddy if you wish. You’re able to see how many days they’ve managed to keep on track and their overall success rate – and they, in turn, can see how you’re progressing. With a supportive and motivational community on hand to share experiences, questions and tips that help you, it’s the ultimate aid to keeping you on track.

So, if you’re like so many who fall off the healthy-eating bandwagon after a week or two, find like-minded people with Foodstand to help keep you accountable and raise your chances of success as well as a happier and healthier you.

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What You Really Need to Feel Secure in a Relationship

18. October 2017 - 14:00

People who are insecure in their relationships do irrational things all the time. Texting their partner a million times in a row. Or calling to check in constantly. Maybe they try to keep track of their partner’s whereabouts, even checking their email or Facebook messages when possible. Maybe you’ve experienced this, either as the insecure one, or the person dating the insecure one. Or maybe you’ve even been both, in different relationships.

Even if these aren’t the signs of a the healthiest relationships, these behaviors are common to make people feel more secure in a relationship. After getting a response back from the partner over text, Facebook, or an actual call, they feel better.

The problem is that people end up making a habit of these actions, repeat them over and over again to stay secure. These little actions, as innocuous as they are, can damage a relationship. Some might feel annoyed by their partners always checking up on them. Some might feel like there is a deep trust issue that hasn’t been solved.

The Origin of Insecurity

Imagine a world where everyone holds a certain amount of fuel in their hands. At the same time, a fire is lit in their heart and that fire needs constant fueling to survive.

Every single person will find their compatible person, someone who can find the fuel with which they can keep the other’s fire on.

Sometimes it’s a smooth exchange of fuel. Individuals find others like family members or friends to keep their fires lit and going.

But many times, people refuse to give them fuel.

These people could be their parents who failed to give them enough attention when they were still a child. Childhood development depends so much on a child’s ability to form a strong relationship with a caregiver.[1] It’s crucial for babies and children to survive by attaching to a caretaker. If children grow up without being paid enough attention by their caretaker, they can easily grow up to feel insecure and have trouble trusting other people. Feeling abandoned as a child, they might even doubt their own worthiness and a strong fear of being unwanted.

Or it could be people who made them feel rejected in previous relationships. Being rejected or betrayed by a friend or romantic partner makes people feel unwanted. They feel hurt and even doubt their own self-worth. They can find it difficult to open up to others and trust anyone else. And when they find trusting other people hard, they will inevitably feel insecure in a relationship.

As time goes on, their fire gets smaller as they lack fuel.

When, finally, someone suitable is there to give them the fuel, they seek a lot from this partner – sometimes, too much.

In order to ensure a constant supply of fuel, they do everything they can: this is when they might start checking their partner’s texts or messages, or call too often. They can’t trust their partner because of what happened in their past.

But when they demand so much fuel, it drains the other person.

And so all those things that someone does to try to feel more secure can annoy or hurt the other person. For example, they may fight a lot over small things because of moments of insecurity. Both will be exhausted: one demanding a lot of fuel, and the other trying to always supply the great demand.

As you see, insecurity doesn’t come from the current relationship or partner. It comes, instead, from the inner fear of being abandoned, not being loved, and not being valued. This feeling is built up along the way.

Where to Look for Security

The fire within a person is insecurity, and the fuel is a way to feel secure.

Waiting for another person to give you fuel is just chock full of insecurities. When other don’t want to do so, or their fuel doesn’t work well for you, your fire will become smaller. When your security depends on someone else, you give away all of your power. This is why when you’re rejected, neglected, or betrayed, you feel insecure.

Giving yourself the fuel you need is how to make your own security really sustainable.

1. Fuel Your Own Fire

Maybe you felt rejected when you were small. Or in you previous relationship, others made you feel unimportant or didn’t respect you. They didn’t reflect your self-worth.

When you feel insecure, you are often focused on something you feel is lacking about you. For example, when you don’t feel good about who you are on the inside, it is totally natural to look outside of yourself for validation.

But this isn’t a good way to stay self-sufficient. Instead, do something to make yourself feel good and secure, and you will no longer look outside for validation. Get a haircut, go to an interest class, and do what you’re good at. If you want to know more about how to feel good about yourself, read We Don’t Need More Likes, We Need Self-Esteem.

2. Keep Your Fuel Independent From Your Partner’s

Even when you’re in a relationship, it’s crucial to keep your independence. Any health relationship is comprised of two healthy people. Becoming overly enmeshed in a relationship can lead to badly-defined boundaries. You’ll have an overly diffuse sense of your own needs.

When you aren’t dependent on your relationship to fill your needs, you feel more secure about your life. It’s important to maintain a sense of self-identity and take care of your own needs. If you had hobbies and passions prior to your relationship, keep maintaining them. For example, if you’re a runner, continue getting up early and making that a priority in your life. Having your own life outside of a relationship also make you continually interesting and helps you to grow.

Everyone has what they need to feel secure. Most people don’t realize it and try to look for it from others. But relying on others to make you feel secure is not healthy and will drain a relationship. Do what make you feel confident and worthy, stop looking for other’s validation and you’ll find the security you’ve always needed. Light your own fire.

Reference [1] ^ Psychologist Word: Attachment Theory 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 Cope with Negativity When Disasters Happen

18. October 2017 - 12:00

This world can be a scary place. Just turn on the news and you can hear about hurricanes, earthquakes, fires, mass shootings, acts of terror, and more happening in our world every day. The horrible things happening in the world and the sheer number of people dying because of disasters can be overwhelming.

Anything Bad Happens, You Instantly Know

We live in a world where we hear about these devastations on a minute by minute basis. No delay in the information and sad stories reaching us because the internet has made news come into our homes the minute it happens. A hundred years ago it would have taken a lot longer to get the information about disasters around the world. People were dependent on newspapers as their main source of news. There was no internet a hundred years ago. There also weren’t televisions. We need to be cognisant of the information that is going into our homes and minds, as it affects our emotional and mental well being.

Since we can hear about all the horrible things going on around the word the instant they happen, we can be emotionally affected by what we see and hear. We can become sad or even depressed because of over exposure to the negative things happening in our world. You may find yourself overly focusing on thing happening around the world in comparison to your own life or family. You may become to feel overwhelmed, helpless, and so distracted that it affects your ability to function in one or more areas of our own life.

Stop Letting Negativity Overwhelm You

We need to learn how to cope with this negative information that constantly inundates us. We may not feel that we are internalizing the negative stories and facts, but it is human nature to relate to others. When we hear about tragedies, it is hard for us not to react emotionally and internalize the events, even when we are not directly affected by the tragedy or disaster. Therefore, learning how to cope in a world full of tragedy is something everyone needs. Let’s look into the practical tips for coping with the negativity.

1. Limit Your Exposure to Negative Media

Some of the most pessimistic and negative people I have ever encountered were individuals who watched news stations for hour on end every day. They each seemed to have an obsession with the happenings in the world, especially the negative activities. The conversations often revolved around the depressing and deplorable events that had happened the day before and were reported on the news. They were so pre-occupied with the news that it was affecting their own life and well being. It definitely skewed their perspective of the world too as they viewed everything through the lens that all in the world was doom and gloom.

What we put into our mind has a powerful effect on our mental, emotional, and spiritual well being. Keep the negativity to a minimum. If you are exposing yourself to negative media sources for hours each day, then you are likely to begin feeling negative. We become a reflection of what we expose ourselves to over time. If that source is constant negativity then you too will inevitably become negative. It is simply how the human mind and our emotions work.

It is good to be informed about world events and what is happening around the globe. However, it is another level to dwell on these events. If you find yourself constantly thinking about all the terrible things happening in the world, then you may have to limit your intake of negative news, whatever that source may be. What we put into our mind is not easily forgotten, therefore be conscientious of what you are allowing to go into your mind. Graphic images and stories especially affect us, as they take the story to another level. These can have a devastating effect on our well being if we are continually bombarded by graphic messages. You are the gate keeper of what goes into your mind. Know that what goes into your mind naturally affects your heart and spirit. It is the way the human body works. We can’t avoid the way we work naturally, but we can avoid content that may be damaging to our heart, mind, and spirit.

2. Keep Up With Normal Activities

Disasters are inevitable in this world. There will never be complete world peace or a world without natural disasters. We need to learn to cope with news of the horrific things going on in the world and still function. When you are feeling that what is going on in the world is affecting your emotional well being or psyche, it is time to make sure you are still keeping up with your life. Don’t stop with your normal activities because there is a disaster striking on the other side of the country and there isn’t anything you can do about it other than donate. Donate and then move on with your life. If you can volunteer that is even better, but that it not always possible. If all you can do is sit and stew about the situation, then stop stewing, get up, and resume your normal activities.

When a hurricane recently hit South Florida I had family that stayed during the disaster. I watched the news too much, I stewed, I worried, and I texted far too often. I let their situation consume my life because I had no control over what was going on, even though they assured me they were all in hurricane safe locations. After a day or two of this behavior I realized that I needed to get off the couch, do some laundry, take the kids to the playground, make a decent meal, and generally continue on with normal activities. I knew I would be updated by family members when possible, but the angst was so much worse when I was glued to the TV and avoiding my normal activities.

Don’t do what I did. Keep doing your normal activities. You are of no help to anyone by worrying. It does not fix anything or help anyone. Donating or volunteering can help, but if you can’t do those things then keep up with the world around you in your everyday life. Soon enough disaster may hit your life directly and you will be wistful for those normal, mundane activities.

Embrace your life, and not the sorrows of others. Your turn may eventually come. Until then, help where you can and keep the spirits up for those around you, as there is so much negativity in this world to overcome. Be the voice of all things positive and joyful in this world. You will find that being positive will help others become positive as well. It becomes contagious, just as negative attitudes spread like a contagion.

3. Acknowledge the Loss Others are Experiencing

Reach out and call or text a family or friend who was affected by tragedy. For example, if you know someone living in California and they are in the path of the current fires that are sweeping that state, then reach out to them to see if they are ok. Let them know you are concerned for them and hope (or pray) that all is ok with them and their home. Make contact with those you know who are affected to let them know you care. You will find that your expression of care toward others is cathartic for your own emotional well being.

Social media can be helpful in showing you care and allowing you to express yourself. You can show your care and compassion for others by posting an empathetic message for survivors and victims of a current tragedy or disaster. You will also be able to find others who relate to your feelings on social media, as friends may comment on your posting.

3. Get Exercise, Fresh Air, and Sunshine

The benefits of a moderate amount of daily sunshine have been proven by science to reduce the risk of major health issues like many types of cancer. Sunshine also reduces anxiety, depression, and increases the production of serotonin (the good stuff in our brain that makes us happy). HealthLine wrote about these benefits and state the following:[1]

Sunlight and darkness trigger the release of hormones in your brain. Exposure to sunlight is thought to increase the brain’s release of a hormone called serotonin. This is associated with boosting mood and helping a person feel calm and focused.

When dealing with stress from worldwide disaster and calamity, sunshine can help to boost your mood naturally. Get outside each day for 15-20 minutes to try to get a natural boost in your mood and immunity, as HealthLine cited that sunshine can also help boost your immune system.

Exercise naturally boosts our endorphins. These help us feel good. If you are outside exericizing that is a win-win! The Mayo Clinic stated the following about exercise and stress:[2]

Exercise in almost any form can act as a stress reliever. Being active can boost your feel-good endorphins and distract you from daily worries.

Get outside, get active, and you will find yourself distracted from your worries and your mood boosted naturally at the same time.

4. Talk it Out

If you are having feelings of sadness, anxiety, or depression because of what is happening in the world, then you should talk to someone. Sometimes just having a friend to talk it out is helpful enough. Don’t keep it bottled up because that is never beneficial. Share your thoughts and feelings with someone who cares about you, as they will be more willing to take the time to listen.

If you find that you are still feeling heavy or intense emotions then you should contact a professional. They can help you work through your emotions and help you find ways to cope with what is happening in the world. You can find a therapist or counselor near you by going to this website and entering your zip code: Psychology Today Therapist Search Tool.

5. Volunteer, Donate, or Educate Others

Sometimes opportunity presents itself to go and volunteer when a tragedy has happened. I had a friend on vacation in Las Vegas when the tragedy recently struck that city. Rather that sit in her hotel room, watch the news, and feel depressed about the horrible situation, she sprung into action. She went and delivered food and water to rescue workers who had been working around the clock. It may be a small way to help, but it mattered to those rescue workers who got the food and water from her because they likely were exhausted, hungry, and thirsty. Help, big and small, is good and useful when a tragedy strikes. However, not everyone has the time or opportunity to volunteer to help when disasters happen. We can always donate though.

When you feel moved by a particular travesty in the world a great way to help is by donating money. Finding a good organization is easier than you think. The website Charity Navigator is great resource for locating a place to donate. This website provides ratings for non-profits, based on each organization’s 990 form with the IRS. This provides legitimate data by which Charity Navigator is able to analyze the percentage of money that goes toward actually helping versus administrative costs and fundraising efforts. They have nearly 9,000 organizations listed on the site and you can donate directly to an organization via their website.

If you are looking to donate directly toward a specific cause, such as helping those affected by the hurricane in Puerto Rico, you go to “Hot Topics” on the home page of Charity Navigator and then click on Relief for Puerto Rico and Areas Impacted by Hurricane Maria under “Hot Topics”. You will then find a list of the organizations helping with this disaster relief along with their rating (more stars the better). This is a wonderful way to help a cause directly. You can also donate to your charity of choice on Charity Navigator via their “giving basket”. Below are the links from their website for the top 5 “Hot Topics”. When you click on a link you will find listings for a myriad of charities you can donate to in order to help with the cause:

When we are affected emotionally by a disaster, we can often feel helpless or useless to assist in relief efforts. We may not have the ability to go to volunteer physically in person. However, donating provides a way for us to help even if we can’t physically be there to volunteer. Science Daily tells us that we feel better when we donate to a cause we care about.[3] Their research showed that when we can directly donate to someone (rather than an organization) we feel even better. It is because we know who are money is helping specifically. It personalizes our helping efforts. Therefore, if you have the opportunity to help someone directly that is even better!

6. Do a Reality Check

Does the event truly affect you personally? If something that is happening 1000 miles away does not have a direct affect on you, any of your friend or family, then you probably need to take a reality check. There is so much bad stuff that happens in the world, if we focus on all the tragedies and disasters it is easy to get sad and even depressed. If you continually put your focus back on tragedies that happens elsewhere you take away from the joy in your own life. It also takes you away from your life activities.

In order to remain present in our own reality, sometimes we can need to minimize our thoughts pertaining to bad things that are happening elsewhere. It is not that you are putting your head in the sand, but rather filtering the message of what is happening elsewhere through your own reality. You can ask yourself the following questions to help get yourself back to your own reality:

  • Does the event happening affect me personally?
  • Does the event affect anyone close to me?
  • Is there anything that I can do to help those affected? How? What action will I take?
  • Is my focus on this event taking me away from my own family or life activities?
  • How can I minimize my exposure to news/media about the event so I can regain focus on the things I need to do in life?
  • Am I doing anything to help myself refocus on present life?
  • Am I doing something to boost my mood or attitude naturally (if you are feeling especially down about a disaster or situation happening in the world).
  • Am I focusing on the positive or the negative in the world?
7. Look for the Positive Around You

The world will always have terrible things happening. There is no such thing as a perfect world or perfect people, therefore natural and human disasters will continue. However, there is goodness in this world. There are good people and there are good things happening if you look for them. When you recognize the goodness and positive in the world, don’t ignore these things. Highlight the positive and acknowledge its existence. You will find yourself with a happier and more joyful spirit when you focus on the positive.

Even Negative Circumstances Can Have Positive in Them

When earthquakes happen people often die. This is a sad reality. However, you can also read about stories of heroism and people helping other people. Stories of people saving the lives of others following an earthquake. These stories of bravery and love toward fellow humans are what need to be lifted up and celebrated.

Don’t celebrate the negativity. Instead find the glimmer of hope, heroism, or human decency in any situation and you will find yourself better coping with the reality of the bad things that do happen in today’s world.

Featured photo credit: Pixabay via pixabay.com

Reference [1] ^ Healthline: What Are the Benefits of Sunlight? [2] ^ Mayo Clinic: Exercise and stress: Get moving to manage stress [3] ^ Science Daily: Social giving makes us happier 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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Parents Alert! Use This Mug and Your Drink Won't Spill Even You Have Kids Running Around

17. October 2017 - 19:00

As a parent, you cherish those rare moments where you can relax and enjoy even the simplest things. Like enjoying a cup of coffee for instance. With kids running around and you running after them, it’s not uncommon for your coffee to slosh around in the midst of the mayhem. Ordinary travel mugs can’t save your coffee from toppling over. And you’re just left with half of a mug of sad, cold coffee.

Not only is it annoying to spill your coffee, but it can lead to larger issues depending on where it’s spilled. Say you’re sitting at your computer, your child comes running over, tries to jump on your lap, sending coffee flying everywhere including your computer. People like to say don’t cry over spilled milk. But they never said anything about spilled coffee after it’s fried your computer.

Not only your computer, but a number of household and work appliances could fall victim to inadvertent spills caused by your children.

And above all else, you just want to enjoy your cup of coffee! If only there was a mug that was spill proof. One that couldn’t be ruptured by even the most rambunctious of children.

 I give you: The Mighty Mug

You cries have been heard, and The Mighty Mug is here to answer. Unlike other mugs, this one is spill resistant.

How could such a thing exist, you ask? The Smart Grip technology adheres to any smooth, flat surface and will remain intact if bumped into. But is still easy to lift when you’re ready to take it with you and get on with your day.

Magic Spill Resistant Technology

The bottom of the mug has a suctioning mechanism that makes it easy to fasten to smooth surfaces. This way, when your wild child comes running over to hug you, your coffee will be safe. And so will your appliances.

The Mighty Mug is made of high quality stainless steel and is completely BPA free. You don’t have to worry about harmful toxins leaching into your coffee or beverage of your choice.

The double vacuum insulated walls keep hot beverages hot for 4+ hours and cold for 14+hours. The double walls prevent sweating (condensation collecting on the outside) so your hands will stay dry .

It’s convenient size is compatible with most single serve coffee machines, as well as an easy fit to any car cup holder.

The traditional travel mug has nothing on the Mighty Mug. More often than not, they only have a single insulation wall. And no other mug possesses the anti-grip feature that makes the Mighty Mug so unique.

A Parent’s Right Hand Friend

Or left if that’s your dominant hand. But essentially, this mug is life changing. You no longer have to harbor your coffee from your children. You’ll never experience the anxiety of filling your mug, bracing yourself for the impending disaster and hot coffee spillage.

All you have to do is fill your mug with your favorite coffee, fasten it to your desk and enjoy every last drop.

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1 Minute Book Summary: The Productivity Project

17. October 2017 - 18:07
Book Details:
  • Author: Chris Bailey
  • Publisher: Crown Business; 1 edition (January 5, 2016)
  • Language: English
How long to read?

4 hours 18 minutes

Get this book: here

Featured photo credit: google image via n3.sdlcdn.com

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This is How You Transfer Millions Of Bacteria To Your Eyes

17. October 2017 - 17:00

Ouch! We all know that irritated dry eye feeling that comes along with staring at a screen for far too long. Hey, I’m dealing with it right now as we speak (or as I type?). Our eyes strain to stay focused on the artificially illuminated images and it takes a toll on our overworked eyeballs. For those who work full time on their laptop, they’re spending about 8 hours a day staring at a screen. If that isn’t enough, the average person spends at least 2 hours scrolling through their phone, staring at yet again another screen. That’s 10 full hours of staring.

Not only that, but then we have to deal with commuting. Again our eyes have to stay focused for extended periods of time. Often resulting in tunnel vision and burning, sleepy eyes.

Your eyes need a break!

Instinctively, when your eyes start to feel a bit irritated you rub them for relief. While that might alleviate the situation momentarily, you could actually be making the situation worse.

If your eyes feel itchy or irritated, it’s because they’ve been dried out or may have something in them that shouldn’t be there. The only thing that will every solve this problem is lubrication. Rubbing is never the answer. In fact, innocently rubbing your eyes to rid yourself of an itch is opening your eyes to a multitude of issues such as:

1. Scratched corneas

Your eyes may be bothering you due to particles that made their way in. And when you scratch, you are rubbing those particles into your eyes and could actually cause them to scratch your eye. This happened to me a few years ago on the beach. Some sand blew into my face, I rubbed my eyes to get it out, and ended up severely scratching my cornea. By rubbing my eyes, I made the situation much worse.

2. Darker circles around the eyes

Those dark circles around your eyes aren’t actually caused by sleep deprivation. They are actually the result of the tiny blood vessels around your eyes breaking and rising to the surface, mostly due to accidental eye rubbing during your sleeping hours.

3. More itching and possible Infection

Think about what you’re using to touch your fragile eyes with. More likely than not, you’re not washing your hands before you give your eyes a good rub down. Your fingers are crawling with bacteria. And now you are transferring that bacteria into your eyes, opening yourself up to infections such as pink eye (yuck!) And if you happen to scratch your eye with your dirty hands, then you’re putting yourself at risk for some serious long-term damage including impairment or loss of eyesight.

Most importantly, rubbing your eyes might feel good at the moment, but you really are making the situation worse. Rubbing causes your body to release more histamines, which ultimately causes more itching.

What reasons do we have to rub our eyes?

You probably do it more often than you realize. Once we identify the reasons and moments that we may be touching our eyes, the better we will become at avoiding this dirty practice.

Staring at screens for too long

As I’d mentioned above, many people don’t have a choice in this matter. It is literally their job to work in front of a computer screen, so their eyes are exposed every day for long periods of time. The brightness from the monitors causes the eyes to strain and dry out.

Wear contact lenses that dry out your eyes

More and more people are taking off their glasses and switching over to contact lenses. At the forefront, this is an issue because they are blocking their eyes from receiving the oxygen they need. And as for the rubbing, there is already a large foreign object lodged in their eye. And when they scratch, that object is getting rubbed up against their cornea. This is opening up a huge opportunity for scratches and infections.

Everyday irritants that you cannot escape from

Sometimes your eyes just itch. Be it from allergies, tiredness, or attack of the traveling itch (we’ve all been there.) And if there’s an itch, you just want to scratch it. Every once in a while you’re going to subconsciously do it. But don’t make a practice of it. Make a point to consciously remind yourself not to rub your eyes.

If you want to keep looking, you better not touch!

Now you know all of the horrible things that can happen to your eyes if you touch them. Itching can be annoying, but on the grand scheme of things it’s not so bad. Imagine losing your eyesight due to an infected scratch, something that could have totally been avoided. So it’s better to just not, right?

But don’t worry, I won’t let you suffer. You do have alternative options to alleviate your itch.

Always have your eye drops with you

Since many itches are caused by tiny particles floating into your eyes, keep saline solution or lubricating eye-drops on hand. If your eyes start to feel a bit dry or irritated, give them a good flush. This will resolve your issue and revitalize your eyes.

Use tissue if you really have to

Don’t touch with your hands! They’re dirty! Instead, keep a pack of tissues within reach to tap your eyes instead of rub. This way there is no direct contact with the bacteria on your hands, and you are less likely to cause any damage to your cornea. Don’t think you’re in the clear because you’re using a tissue though. Still don’t rub them! I said tap!

Treat your eyes with the utmost care, and they will continue to expose you to the beautiful sights of this world. Don’t risk your vision by the instant gratification that comes with rubbing an itch. Take the necessary precautions. And look out for your eyes.

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Why Trying Hard to Stay in an Unhappy Relationship Is Not Love, but Fear

17. October 2017 - 14:00

Dating in today’s society is difficult. It’s like navigating a mine field. Once people finally find someone they can settle down with, they want that relationship to last. Even if it means settling when they feel unhappy in the relationship, have to tolerate discomfort in the relationship, and convincing themselves that the relationship will be better some day.

No one wants to be sad for sure. But why so many people choose to stay in an unhappy relationship even though they find it unfulfilling?

Think about life before anyone entering a relationship. They were going along, relatively happy, free and doing their own thing.

Then they met and possibly fell in love with their partner. And things changed.

It was great at first. They started to build their own box, forming a close bonding.

But then things began to shift because of different reasons. People will endure sadness, depression and live a life that is unfulfilled because it’s convenient and they are afraid to leave their comfy and cozy little box.

They will rationalize staying for a variety of reasons. Maybe they have kids together or have lots of shared memories. Maybe they have been together for many years and have invested a lot in building the box. They just don’t want to waste everything they’ve built.

They may think that they can still make the relationship better. They look at everything in the box and though they see the massive room for improvement, they want to fix those issues. They believe that love is tough and it needs to be hard in order to work. Or, they feel that they just haven’t tried hard enough.

Humans are creatures of habit. Once you find something that works and that makes you feel comfortable, you fight to keep it. For most people it’s just easier to stay. That’s the default. The box is safe and familiar.

The Problem with the Box

The problem with the box is that it blocks people from being aware of what happens inside and outside their relationship.

While some of the reasons such as having kids together are legitimate to stay in a relationship, people need to do a deeper assessment to determine the true reasons for wanting to stay.

If people only think about the effort spent on building this box, all the memories, emotions and things shared throughout the time and hate to let all of that go; they are sacrificing their opportunities to be happier. This is actually a sunk cost bias. It means when people have spent a lot of effort on something, they won’t stop investing in it even if it’s going wrong. They don’t want to waste the previous investment but this has blocked them from exploring and investing in better opportunities.

Many have also misunderstood the term “hard work”. No one should work like a slave to make a relationship work. Engaging in the constant struggle only brings the worst out of both people. These struggles won’t make a relationship healthy and loving.

People might ask “but how’d you know if you never tried? Maybe when I try harder, things will be different.” No one would ever know the future. As humans, we’re hard-wired to want to know the unknowns. Anything that has not yet been completed will leave us wonder how it will become. It’s our nature to wonder, but everyone has the power not to be led by their curiosity when deciding what’s best for themselves. Besides, you would never know you wouldn’t be happier if you never got out of the unhappy relationship.

How to Get Out of the Box

The first and most important thing to do when contemplating ending the relationship is talk with your partner. Regardless how they feel and what you ultimately choose to do, your partner deserves to know upfront that you are happy and are contemplating ending the relationship. Having this type of crucial conversation is not fun or easy. But it is the right thing to do for both yourself and your partner. Honesty is always the best option in the end.

Press Pause

Sometimes, easing out of a relationship is easier than just ripping the band-aid off. So after initiating that difficult conversation, both of you may need to take a break from each other. It could be the best way to give you both space to breathe and really evaluate the relationship.

Taking a break is not a license to cheat. Nor is it an opportunity for you to see if there is someone out there better than what you have. The break is about self-reflection and self-evaluation. It’s a trip you have to take alone. If, per chance, you do find someone else during your time apart, break things off with your partner immediately. You always want to act with integrity.

Set a time limit for how long the break will last. Once the predetermined amount of time has passed, be sure to come together and discuss next steps. You never want to leave the relationship or your partner in limbo. You, the relationship and your partner need closure.

Talk the Difficult Talk

When the break is over, gather again to talk about your thoughts about the relationship. If you have decided to end the relationship, don’t establish false expectations in any way. Be clear about your intentions and your desire to end the relationship amicably. Don’t make your partner think that if he or she changes something that the relationship will continue.

Don’t blame them for the relationship ending. Just let them know that you are unhappy in this relationship but not because of anything he or she has done. It isn’t a good fit. Be lovingly firm in your explanation.

Stay Because of Love, Not Fear

Deciding to end a relationship is never really easy— especially if you care for the other person.

If you want a genuinely happy, healthy and fulfilling relationship, you have to be willing to take some risks. Staying in a relationship out of fear, guilt or for any other reason except genuine and true affection for the other person is damaging to you, your partner and the relationship.

If you truly love your partner, have the courage to stay. If not, have the courage to leave.

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Last Minute Cute and Creepy Halloween Costumes for Kids (For Under $25)

17. October 2017 - 13:00

Every year, kids in cute (or scary) costumes running around in Halloween, collecting candy and playing with friends. It’s the night to have fun! But for parents, deciding Halloween costumes for kids could be a challenge.

Parents need to know where to shop. If you’re going on a weekend, it can be busy and the costumes can be picked over. Costumes can get expensive, and your kids probably won’t want to repeat costumes of previous years. If there is a “hot costume” in a given year, that might be hard to find or the price will be jacked up. Making your own costumes is time-consuming and can also be costly in terms of acquiring everything you need

A lot of these issues tend to surface last-minute as opposed to early October.

What if I told you, though, that we could offer you various costume ideas for under $25? At least one of the following options should help solve any stress related to the costume selection process.

1. JollyCreek Unisex Children Unicorn Pyjamas Halloween Cosplay Kids Onesie Costume

Soft and comfortable flannel material that also works well at children’s sleepovers, this is a cute unicorn costume that comes in various colors including blue, pink, and rose.

JollyCreek Unisex Children Unicorn Pyjamas, $23.99 2. Favorite Emoji Costumes for Adults & Kids

You can dress up as the poop emoji, the devil, the heart smile, the kiss heart, the laugh cry, or the tongue wink. Child and adult sizes are available so that it can be a real family event.

Favorite Emoji Costumes for Adults & Kids, $12.97 3. Li’l Unicorn Cape Toddler Costume

This version only comes in white, but it’s brand new — and again, if you want to own the Christmas card game this holiday season, you will dominate it with a cute picture of your child in an unicorn costume.

Li’l Unicorn Cape Toddler Costume, $24.75 4. Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens Deluxe Child’s Stormtrooper Costume and Mask

Remember, there’s a new Star Wars coming out a few weeks after Halloween, so this is likely to be a “hot costume” this year.

Child’s Stormtrooper Costume and Mask, $18.07 5. Vogvigo Halloween Vampire Bat Costume

OK, bats are less adorable than unicorns — but this costume is very sleek (70% Polyester fiber) and has an added bonus. If your child doesn’t know about bats or is potentially afraid of them, this could help educate them on the pros of the animal.

Vogvigo Halloween Vampire Bat Costume, $17.99 6. Forum Novelties Children’s Unisex Headless Costume

This one is a little bit freaky to look at, but don’t worry — no one is actually beheading your child. A harness is hidden under the robe, and elastic bands go underneath armpit and Velcro to plastic neck to hold up harness.

Forum Novelties Children’s Unisex Headless Costume, $23.48 7. California Costumes Children’s Toys Evil Jester

If you’re going for scary, this one might be a good bet. It makes your child look like a freaky jester with a skeleton face/smile and a scary black/white color combo on the costume itself.

California Costumes Children’s Toys Evil Jester , $20.98 8. Ballpark Frank Hot Dog Children’s Food Halloween Costume

You’ll — wait for the pun! — relish your child’s experience having a — wait for it! — footlong of fun in this costume.

Ballpark Frank Hot Dog Children’s Food Halloween Costume, $9.99 9. Big Boys’ Inflatable Ostrich Costume

It looks like your child is riding the ostrich, but you could also walk or dance with it. If your child is into animals and learning about animals, this could be a good idea.

Big Boys’ Inflatable Ostrich Costume, $22.84 10. Creeper Classic Minecraft Costume

Your child becomes the geometric patterns associated with Minecraft. Dancing in this costume might look a little bit like a Daft Punk show, but the price is right.

Creeper Classic Minecraft Costume, $17.74 11. SSORTE Deluxe Latex Full Head Hood Masque Halloween Adult and Kid’s Costume Accessory

Big, smiling, fun head with wide teeth — and family sets are available for the kids and parents. Kinda looks like a weird early Simpsons character in a way. Could frighten those in your neighborhood, will most likely cause laughs.

SSORTE Deluxe Latex Full Head Hood Masque, $14.49 12. Girl Vampires Halloween Costume Dress

What’s scarier, or more color-coordinated, than a girl dressed up as a vampire? With a little help of a scary makeup, here goes the scariest girl vampire.

Girl Vampires Halloween Costume Dress, $24.97 13. Halloween Kids’ Transylvanian Vampire Costume

The three pieces are a top, pants, cape with attached vest and collar. This version of a vampire costume is a little bit more boy-friendly, but could be pulled off as unisex. The cape is the added element here.

Halloween Kids’ Transylvanian Vampire Costume, $20 14. Child KISS Rocker Costume – The Demon Large

Use this opportunity to teach your child about music history, rock and roll, showmanship, and more as you dress them up like the rockers KISS.

Child KISS Rocker Costume – The Demon Large, $24.95 15. Rubies Punk Zombie Child Costume

This one might scare the neighborhood, or make them think your child is recruiting for a new punk band to rival The Ramones.

Rubies Punk Zombie Child Costume, $19.78

We hope some of these suggestions are helpful. If you have other good ideas, leave them in the comments.

Featured photo credit: Picjumbo via picjumbo.com

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How to Be a Maverick and Develop a Maverick Mindset

17. October 2017 - 12:00

Are you an innovator? Do you have revolutionary and radical ways of thinking? Do you have zero tolerance for ignorant people? If you answered yes to these three questions then you are most likely a Maverick.

Mavericks are essential to top performing organizations. They think differently, act differently, and often times piss people off. Think of some of the most successful people in the world, they are typically Mavericks. Think Richard Branson, Elon Musk, and Steve Jobs. However, we will look at three people you might not have thought about when you think of Mavericks. These three completely buck the status quo and disregard traditional ways of thinking.

So, let’s take a look at what a Maverick is, how you can embrace a Maverick mindset, and why you should protect the Mavericks in your organization.

Do What You Can’t!

“The haters, the doubters are all drinking champagne on the top deck of the Titanic and we are the f***ing Iceberg” – Casey Neistat

If you have ever been told you can’t do something, then you must do that thing. Casey Neistat is a fascinating person with a strong message. There is no question Neistat possesses a Maverick mindset.

“Keep your head down, follow the rules, do as you’re told, play it safe, wait your turn, ask permission, learn to compromise… This is Terrible Advice!” [1]

Neistat suggests we should do what we can’t. A simple rule here is to pay attention to people when they tell you that you can’t do something. The rule… do that thing.

Mavericks do not play well with others, yet this is not a bad thing. Why should we play well with others? Should you compromise with a person who seeks to hold you back, NO!

Neistat provides the perfect analogy for Maverick thinking in a short video. Here is a brief description of the video:

  • Life is like going the wrong way on a moving sidewalk.
  • Walk and you stay put.
  • Stand still and you go backwards.
  • To get ahead… you have to hustle!
Got Beat? Good!

“You want to improve your mental toughness? Try this: Be Tougher.” – Jocko Willink

Former Navy Seal and author of Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy Seals Lead and Win is the perfect example of a Maverick. John Eagan nicely sums up an interview between Jocko and Echo Charles during a Q&A in 2015. [2]

Echo Charles: “How do you deal with setbacks, failures, delays, defeats, or other disasters?”
Jocko: “Good.”

What a perfect response! Let’s take a deeper look at what Jocko meant by his simple response—Good.

Oh, the mission got cancelled? Good. We can focus on the other one.
Didn’t get promoted? Good. More time to get better.
Didn’t get funded? Good. We own more of the company.
Didn’t get the job you wanted? Good. You can get more experience and build a better resume.
Got injured? Good. Needed a break from training.
Got tapped out? Good. It’s better to tap out in training, then tap out on the street.
Got beat? Good. You learned.
Unexpected problems? Good. We have the opportunity to figure out a solution.

“When things are going bad, there’s going to be some good that is going to come from it.”

Protect Your Mavericks

“What keeps you awake at night? Nothing… I keep other people awake at night.” – James ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis, 26th United States Secretary of Defense

As I mentioned before, Mavericks typically do not play well with others. They create conflict and generally make people feel uncomfortable. Yet, they play a critical role to success in an organization and senior leaders must protect them. [3] Bob and Gregg Vanourek provide the following advice,

“Mavericks are essential to innovation. Senior executives play a critical role: leaders must protect the Mavericks in their organizations. They must step up and give Mavericks space to operate, providing organizational cover for Mavericks to work their magic and keep the flame of innovation alight.”

United States Secretary of Defense James ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis is a believer in this credo and is a Maverick himself. Look no further than the following three powerful quotes from the Mad Dog.

  1. “There are hunters and there are victims. By your discipline, cunning, obedience and alertness, you will decide if you are a hunter or a victim.”
  2. “You cannot allow any of your people to avoid the brutal facts. If they start living in a dream world, it’s going to be bad.”
  3. “Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.”
Carnivores Eat Herbivores

So, how can you adopt a Maverick mindset? It’s actually pretty simple. Become a Carnivore. Let’s end with these five simple tips to becoming a Maverick.

  1. Do what you can’t. If someone says you can’t do something, do that exact thing.
  2. Be tougher. If you get beat or fail at something, remember Jocko’s advice. Good.
  3. Become a hunter. Confront the brutal facts of the world and decide to be a hunter.
  4. Don’t be afraid to give people a piece of your mind. Don’t allow yourself or others to be bullied, in essence, bully the bully!
  5. Use sage advice from Cornell Professor and author of Systems Thinking Made Simple: New Hope for Solving Wicked Problems Derek Cabrera and ask, “What pisses you off the most?” Your answer will be what you are most passionate about, go after it!

Finally, remember there is no easy path to success. To become a Maverick, you have to work hard. There is no magic formula or magic pill. People are not born to be a Maverick, they must embrace it and work for it.

“There’s no talent here, this is hard work. This is an obsession. Talent does not exist. We are all equals as human beings. You could be anyone if you put in the time. You will reach the top, and that’s that. I am not talented. I am obsessed.” – Conor McGregor

Reference [1] ^ YouTube.com: Do what you can’t [2] ^ Medium.com: How do you deal with failures? One word… Good [3] ^ FastCompany.com: Is the Maverick at your company a genius or a jerk? 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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2 Minutes Book Summary: How to Read a Book

16. October 2017 - 18:00
Book Details:
  • Author: Mortimer J. Adler and Charles Van Doren
  • Publisher: SIMON & SC (2013)
  • Language: English
How long to read?

6 hours 0 minutes

Get this book: here

Featured photo credit: google image via images.gr-assets.com

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10+ Must-Haves to Pet Smart and Make Your Furry Friend Happy

16. October 2017 - 15:00

A pet can be a source of joy and affection. Having a pet can make life more enjoyable yet any pet owners will know that it’s important to ensure their pet remains smart, healthy, safe, and happy. Unlike with people, a pet can’t tell you how it feels, or what it wants.

In this article, I will only focus on the gadgets for dogs. But next week I’ll recommend cat lovers the must-haves to keep your cat happy.

Dogs, being social animals and man’s best friend, can often get unhappy if left alone for long hours, and this can affect their overall happiness. To pet smart and keep your dog healthy, I have picked some of the best designed gadgets for your furry friend.

1. Petnet Smart Feeder

Feeding your dog properly can be much harder than you may think. As your dog grows and ages, the amount of food that they need to eat often changes. Many pet owners are unaware of this and as a result, they can easily under or over feed their dog. What’s more, to keep your dog in good health, you need to ensure that they are getting the most important nutrients.

The Petnet Smart Feeder resolves these issues. It can connect to your smartphone, allowing you to perfectly feed your dog even if you are away from home.

Petnet Smart Feeder, $119.99 2. Gulpy Water Dispenser

All dogs need their exercise, however, if you’re walking and your dog needs water (something which can be a big issue on hot days) it can be difficult to find a source of water. You can take your dog’s bowl and a bottle of water but it’s not always easy to carry around these extra items.

The Gulpy Water dispenser works as both a water bottle and bowl. All you need to do is simply flip open the attached cup, squeeze the bottle of water, and let your dog drink.
It comes with a belt clip so you can carry it around with you hands free.

Gulpy Water Dispenser, $9.82 3. PetChatz Greet & Treat Videophone

Now, it might sound strange, a device which allows you to essentially Skype your dog. But the videophone also works as a mobile treat dispenser, and it can also give calming scents to your dog. Because of this, you can both check up on your dog, and treat it, even if you are very far away.

This is one of the pricier gadgets on the list, but if you are looking for easy ways to check on your dog, and give yourself peace of mind, it’s perfect.

PetChatz Greet & Treat Videophone, $379.98 4. PetFusion Ultimate Pet Bed with Solid Memory Foam

As is the case with people, it is very important for your dog to get a good night’s sleep. A lot of dog beds available tend to be badly designed. This can be an issue as badly designed beds can cause problems with your dog’s muscles and joints.[1]

The PetFusion bed is designed with this in mind. It has a memory foam base which adapts and forms around your dog’s shape, ensuring fantastic comfort and support for your dog.

PetFusion Ultimate Pet Bed with Solid Memory Foam, $119.95 5. 360-Degree Pet Shower Kit

The 360-degree shower kit makes cleaning dogs much easier. It’s great at cleaning hard to reach areas of your dog, or at least areas you don’t want to put your hands! This ensures that your dog is clean all over. Inside the shower kit, the water and soap mixes instantly so you can be sure that your dog is getting a total and deep clean.

360-Degree Pet Shower Kit, $19.99 6. SeaDog Pro Dog Drying Towel

The SeaDog Pro Drying Towel is microfiber based, so it dries itself and dries your dog super quickly. As it is designed as a jacket, it fits snugly around your and as such can be better at drying all over it than conventional towels.

Your dog doesn’t have to be wet for it to be useful either. By itself it is a well designed jacket and can keep your dog warm and dry all year round.

SeaDog Pro Dog Drying Towel, $27.77 7. iFetch Too Interactive Ball Launcher

Playing fetch with your dog can be great fun, but it is easy to get tired of it before your dog, or maybe you find you are, for some reason incapable of throwing the ball effectively. The iFetch Too Interactive Ball Launcher solves all of these problems, allowing your dog to play fetch to its heart’s content.

iFetch Too Interactive Ball Launcher for Dogs, $199.90 8. EzyDog Road Runner Leash

The EzyDog Road Runner Leash revolutionizes the design of dog leashes. Conventional dog leashes can harm your dog’s throat and neck. After all, many leashes and collars force you to lead your dog by its neck. The Road Runner Leash is designed with anti shock technology, meaning any sock, strain, or pull is massively absorbed by the leash, limiting any potential harm caused by the leash.

It can be used hands free so you can easily use it while running and jogging with your dog at your side. The length of it is easily adjustable so you can use it in a way that suits you both.

EzyDog Road Runner Leash, $34.99 9. K9 Sports Sack AIR Dog Backpack

Carrying your dog can be difficult, but at times you might be forced to. The AIR Dog Backpack is the solution to this problem

The sides of the backpack are well ventilated, keeping your dog cool and comfortable. Plus the mesh lined shoulder straps helps to ensure that carrying your dog and wearing the backpack is easy.

K9 Sports Sack AIR Dog Backpack, $69.92 10. K&H Manufacturing Quilted Cargo Cover

It is commonplace to put your dog in the trunk of your car or SUV if you are going for a drive with them. But this can be uncomfortable for them. And if your dog is dirty, it’s liable to make other things in the trunk dirty too.

The K&H Quilted Cargo Cover both keeps your trunk clean, and your dog comfortable and protected in your car or SUV. There are pockets built in, allowing you to carry extra toys or brushes with you, no matter where you go.

K&H Manufacturing Quilted Cargo Cover, $25.49 11. Whistle 3 GPS Pet Tracker

If your dog ever goes missing, it can be an extremely traumatic experience. Even if they return, you often have no way of finding out where they went. Some dogs more than others like escaping, so you can never be sure.

With the Whistle 3 GPS Tracker you’ll be able to keep track of your pet, no matter where they are. You can establish a “safe zone” and will get a message if your dog ever leaves its boundaries. You’ll be able to trace all their movements for twenty four hours.

Whistle 3 GPS Pet Tracker, $79.95

Pet smart with these gadgets, and you can keep your dog happy and healthy, and have more joyful time with your furry friend!

Reference [1] ^ I Love Dogs: Could Your Dog’s Bed Be Causing Joint Pain? Here’s How To Tell 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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Think Less and Get More Done By Using The "Getting Things Done" Model

16. October 2017 - 15:00

Trying to be productive while you’re worrying about other things that need your attention can be stressful. Even though you can’t be in two places at once, and you’re doing the best you can, the fear of not doing everything can still be overwhelming.

Every time your focus shifts from your current task to one that you are feeling pressure to complete, you interrupt yourself. Interruptions cost workers 3-5 hours of productivity every day.[1]

You lose touch with the current task by worrying about the what you need to finish next

Imagine that you are in the middle of a task, and you think to yourself, “I have to complete that project this afternoon.” In that moment, you’ve lost touch with the present, and now your attention is focused on that thing you have to do later.

Fearing failure and wanting to meet all expectations, you run through everything you need to do to pull of the project this afternoon. At some point, you remember that you have to finish the task in front of you, but by now, you’ve lost track of what you were doing in the first place. You have to refocus yourself, which is extremely time-consuming and tiring.

If you’re always worrying about the things you’re not doing and the things that you ought to do later in the day, it can take a toll on your productivity. As long as your brain is chasing every task on your to-do list as though they’re all equally important, you’ll never be able to focus on what’s in front of you.

Trying to keep everything in your head at once takes up mental energy that you need to do your best work.

You need a no-nonsense approach to manage your day

In 2001, David Allen wrote Getting Things Done, a productivity framework that helps people focus on their work. If you adhere to Getting Things Done, you’ll spend less time thinking about what you need to do, and you’ll be able to clarify and organize your duties.

If everything seems important in your mind, then nothing gets the attention it deserves. Allen’s method helps you prioritize and find the balance in your workday so that you can give appropriate attention to current and future endeavors.

This method works because it requires you tout aside anything that doesn’t need to be addressed immediately. You can put anything that doesn’t need to be done now out of your head instead of interrupting yourself with items that aren’t high-priority.

How the system makes you easier to maintain focus

Getting Things Done doesn’t tell you what you should think is important. Instead, it teaches you how to identify the most important things on your to-do list, and then organize and prioritize them.

Capture everything

If you’re constantly telling yourself, “I need to remember to do x,” you may not have a good system for capturing things that need to be done. When you have a good capture system, you will feel less stressed because you won’t have small tasks vying for your attention.

Allen asserts that capturing involves figuring out whether or not an item is actionable. If it’s not, then it may not be worth thinking about at all, or it might be something to delegate or save for future reference. If you can do the task, you can either complete it immediately, delegate it to someone else, or defer it for another time.

Break your project into actionable items

When your objectives are too broad, they can make you feel overwhelmed. Breaking things into actionable items and defining how taking action will look gives you a sense of control and offers you a clear vision for an outcome.

Allen recommends that if a task can be done in two minutes or less, you just do it right away so that it won’t clog your mental space. If the task will take longer, think about whether you are the most qualified to do the job. If not, you can delegate this work and get it off your desk. For jobs that you ought to do yourself, you’ll need to define when you can complete the work.

Organize and prioritize your work

After you’ve determined which projects need your attention, you can prioritize them so that they have a designated place on your calendar. Allen categorizes actionable items to be done as those which are date or time sensitive, and those which need to be done as soon as possible.

By assigning priority and establishing a schedule for completing these tasks, you’ll always know where to spend your energy.

Set concrete due dates

Deadlines are great motivators. If your project doesn’t have one, assign benchmark deadlines and a final due date. Write these down on your calendar so that you will be reminded at regular intervals of things that you need to do, but you don’t have to recall these tasks by yourself in the middle of whatever you’re currently working on.

4 Benefits of adopting the Getting Things Done method

1. Because no one can EVER multi-task. By solely focusing on one single task makes you more efficient and contribute the greatest value

By only focusing on the task at hand, you can be more productive. Research has proven that human beings are not good multi-taskers.[2] Switching between tasks leaves you open to making mistakes. By committing to doing one thing at a time, you complete the task eight times faster than if you try to do two things at once.

2. You will become the most promising person EVER because you won’t miss any deadlines from now on 

When you define action items and plan out when you’re going to do them, you don’t have to waste energy panicking about whether or not you are going to finish your work. If you’ve set reminders and smaller actionable steps, the project should fall into place on time with minimal fuss.

3. You can stay focused at the present task without worrying about what you have to do next

When you give yourself a pile of things to remember, you’ll spend lots of time juggling your priorities in your mind. That’s valuable mental power that you could be using to get the current task done before you move onto the next one. You can stop juggling and focus your full attention on the project in front of you.

Failing to pay close attention sets you up to miss key ideas and information. These bits of information could be the difference between success and failure. You’ll be less likely overlook critical information when you’re working on one thing at a time.

By adopting the Getting Things Done framework and organizing your ideas and tasks, you free up so much brain power. Being able to focus on one thing at a time gives you the mental clarity and efficiency to do better quality work in less time.

4. Since you have freed up your mind by putting things down on paper, you are not stress-free for more creative work 

When you aren’t making cognitive leaps from one task to the next, you’ll notice that your stress level goes down. On top of that, disruptions that cause stress are the same type the stifle creativity. [3]

Deep thinking can’t occur when you are in fight or flight mode. You’ll do better work when you have a system for prioritizing and organizing.

Start Getting Things Done today

You won’t want to return to jumping from project to project after you experience what it’s like to give every project your undivided attention in its own time. Check out David Allen’s Getting Things Done to kick start your productivity and reduce stress.

Reference [1] ^ Fast Company: The Hidden Costs Of Interruptions At Work [2] ^ Forbes: How Multitasking Hurts Your Brain (and Your Effectiveness at Work) [3] ^ Thirty Fifth International Conference on Information Systems, Auckland 2014: Effects of Interruptions on Creative Thinking 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 Argue So You Won't Damage Your Relationship

16. October 2017 - 14:00

All couples argue. Or at least all healthy couples do. Maybe your partner is running late for an event that’s important to you. Or he or she forgets to update you on their whereabouts, or has too many opposite sex friends, or forgot to bring you something after work. The list for conflict causers is endless.

But the best relationships are “thick” with arguments. It doesn’t matter what you argue about, but how you argue.

When you fight, you feel fear

Conflict carries a negative connotation. If your partner doesn’t agree with you, you may feel a sense of betrayal and lash out at them because you are hurt. Human nature dictates that when you are hurt or threatened you should retaliate. So most people retaliate by doing things that are irrational.

Some people give the silent treatment. They freeze their partner out by refusing to talk to them about anything. This is done vindictively and is different than taking a break to properly process their feelings.

Some disappear without checking in for hours or even days on end. They do this to cause the other partner to worry or fear that the relationship is over. It is a manipulative and hurtful tactic even though they don’t mean to do so.

Some attack their partner by name calling or belittling instead of focusing on the issue. They lash out and attack their partner’s character instead of the issue. This is fighting “dirty” and can really wound their partner.

Some people make the issue black or white with their point of view as right. This happens when someone refuses to be open-minded and consider their partner’s point of view. This greatly hinders negotiations.

Others bad mouthing their partner to their friends or even posting cryptic messages on social media. They unfairly color their relationship and their partner when they negatively publicize their issues. Having an outlet is good, but an unproductive outlet like Facebook is bad. And once you’ve said something bad about your partner, people remember what you’ve said.

Retaliation and negative behaviors like the ones listed above are driven by fear. Feeling fear is natural. People are fear that they aren’t good enough, or their partner isn’t good enough. The are also afraid that aren’t worthy of being loved and that they will lose their partner.

Love could be a scary thing. Opening yourself up to love and entering an intimate relationship is risky. But anything worth having is worth the risk. When you are truly in love, you open yourself up and become vulnerable. You are exposed and subject to being hurt.

How to fight right

The key to healthily handling conflicts that arise in your relationship is to respond constructively—with love and logic. And work to avoid knee-jerk fear-based reactions.

Conflict is inevitable. Instead of waiting for it to arise and dealing with it on the fly, it is far more productive to take a proactive, intentional approach to dealing with conflict. While you can’t anticipate the nature of the argument, you can plan a tactical response. This is how to constructively deal with conflict with your partner next time:

1. Work to control your response

In lieu of flying off the handle and laying into your partner, take a moment to check your emotions and gather your thoughts. When you feel anger and other negative emotions begin to bubble toward the surface, take a break and calm yourself down.

You are allowed to feel how you feel. Your feelings are valid and legitimate. But that doesn’t necessarily mean they should be expressed at that moment. Your feelings will change and fluctuate, it’s important to understand how you truly feel (at least to some extent) and why before you discuss.

2. Watch your mouth

Once you’ve had a chance to process and sort through your emotions, then you are ready to share your feelings with your partner.

When discussing the issue, be open and honest about your feelings. Use “I feel” statements[1] and try to avoid negative “you” statements. Explain why you feel the way you do and allow your partner to ask clarifying questions. The key here is to discuss your emotions without giving into them. It’s tough, but it’s doable.

3. Don’t run away or avoid conflict

Avoiding or refusing to deal with conflict doesn’t make it go away. Avoiding issues will turn molehills into mountains, and everything becomes a huge fight.

The primary goal in any conflict is to resolve it. But there are other underlying benefits to addressing conflicts even when resolution is not possible. Make your partner feel heard, valuable, special and loved is far more important than any temporary dispute. Stay and fight fair.

4. Accept your differences

More often than not, there may not be a clear right or wrong answer. Although your viewpoints may be on the opposite end of the spectrum, they both are valid and worth considering.

In some cases, after you’ve hashed out how both of you feel in a calm and rational manner, you may have to agree to disagree. Reaching an impasse can feel like a complete waste of time initially, but going through the process of trying to resolve the conflict will strengthen the relationship long-term. Although a resolution isn’t reached, both parties leave the discussion feeling heard, validated and valued. Everybody wins.

5. Choose your confidants wisely

Discussing the issue with someone else is a great way to gain a different perspective on the issue. The danger with talking to a third party is they could offer advice that could exacerbate the situation. When choosing a relationship confidant, make sure they know you well, have your best interest at heart, are objective and will lovingly tell you the truth instead of what you want to hear.

Once you’ve gotten good solid advice and have had a chance to reevaluate your position, go back and readdress the issue with your partner.

Fight to improve, not to damage

It’s normal for a couple to quarrel from time to time—it comes with the territory. Conflicts and arguments themselves don’t jeopardize a relationship. How you chose to respond does.

Successful couples have the ability to solve problems and let them go. They focus on taking care of the issue rather than attacking the person. Even when angry, they find ways to be upset and stay close at the same time.

Conflict gives you and your partner the opportunity to identify issues, address them, improve yourselves and the relationship and move on. All couples fight. Successful couples fight right.

Featured photo credit: Photo by Alva Pratt on Unsplash via unsplash.com

Reference [1] ^ Good Therapy: “I” Message 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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Use "Packr" App So You Will Never Need To Worry About Your Travel Packing List Again

16. October 2017 - 13:00

Travelling is wonderful, but packing can be a pain. It’s easy to remember toiletries and extra underwear, but when it comes to setting up a wardrobe, deciding what to add to your suitcase can be overwhelming.

When you pack, you have to consider so many different aspects of your travel. You’ll need to bring specific items for the activities that you plan to do. You also have to consider the weather conditions. With so many moving parts in the packing machine, it’s easy to forget a thing or two along the way.

Forgetting what to pack is a real headache

As someone who has traveled and moved a great deal, I have forgotten my fair share of items over the years. Once, I was in the middle of a cross-country move. All of my stuff, save for one suitcase, had been loaded onto the moving truck. Then, I received an invitation to an out-of-state conference. I thought that I had been clever by setting aside a professional outfit just in case something business-related came up, but I completely forgot about shoes! An eleventh-hour shopping trip ensued.

Another time, I was working overseas for the summer. I remembered to bring everything except a small bag for outings. All I had with me was a suitcase and a backpack. I ended up using plastic grocery bags as my purse for a large chunk of the trip. This was not a good look for me.

Packr takes the guesswork out of creating a packing checklist

The Packr app helps you figure out what you need to bring with you based on your destination and what you’re planning to do.

In addition to telling you what to bring, the app also gives you the option to create to-do lists in advance of your trip. This can help you keep track of paperwork, vaccinations, and other logistical items that you need to complete before you go.

Getting started with Packr is easy

You naturally want an app focused on creating a checklist to be easy to use, and Packr doesn’t disappoint.

1. Plan your trip

Before you set up a checklist, you can input information about your destination. Click on the red plus sign icon to add a trip. If you have a busy travel schedule, you can create multiple trips in the app.

2. Tell Packr where you’re going and when

Highlight the dates on the calendar on which you intend to travel. When you enter the date and location, Packr pulls data about the weather at your destination. As you get closer to your travel dates, the app updates your trip’s weather forecast with the latest information.

You can also indicate whether you will be traveling for business or leisure at this stage.

3. Add details about your activities

At the bottom of the calendar page, you will notice an option that says, “Select activities.” Click on that to provide even more details about the nature of your travel.

The app takes into account your accommodations, transportation, and specific activities that you plan to do. Choose from the 24 pre-defined activities in the app to start your list.

Camping with your family in the mountains will require a different list than staying in a hotel for a business conference. Your in-flight needs are different from the things you might want on a train. Packr helps you stay organized as you navigate different settings on your journey.

4. Generate a packing list

You can create and view your packing list by selecting the trip that you want to see from the “Next Trips” page. The top of the screen shows you a projected forecast for each day of your travel. Based on that information and the nature of your travel, Packr will generate a list for you.

Click on the arrows beside each item to view the full list for each category.

If you need to create additional reminders or want to make a list on your own, you can also do that by selecting the “Customize lists” option at the bottom of your packing checklist. You can also select the plus sign on the packing list to add individual items.

Packr is a traveler’s best friend

Regardless of where you’re going and why, the Packr app makes it easy to pack your bags. You’ll be able to spend more time enjoying your trip and less time (and money) replacing forgotten items.

Packr is currently available for iOS devices. You can download it for free to access the basic features, and for $1.99 you can get an ad-free experience with faster loading times and additional features.

Put the Packr – Travel Packing Checklist to work for you.

The post Use “Packr” App So You Will Never Need To Worry About Your Travel Packing List Again appeared first on Lifehack.

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