Life Hacks

5 Steps to a Healthier Mind – Getting to the Root Cause

5 Steps to a Healthier Mind – Getting to the Root Cause

“Painkillers might ease symptoms temporarily, but unless treated from the core the problem will keep returning.”

How often in life do we hide from whatever is bothering us?

Maybe we are irritated all the time and respond badly to people asking us questions, maybe we are constantly in despair and don’t understand why dates never seem to work out, maybe we have a hard time finding a job; and instead of addressing the problem and facing the discomfort of looking at it in the eyes – we run, and hide.

Shopping, partying, spending money we don’t have, lashing out at others, eating too much or too little – these are all forms of numbing the pain of whatever is currently bothering us. These ‘coping methods’ exist because they help offer temporary relief to a much deeper problem, a problem which most of us don’t recognize, and are afraid to identify because it means we would need to face reality.

This chronic situation of hiding from our “demons” has become so widespread in society that many people fall into serious slumps because of it. Never has there been an easier time to hide from our problems than the 21st century; the advent of technology and especially the internet means we are always plugged in and never allowing ourselves to reflect on what are the things which bother us.

I am willing to wager that some of you reading this dread going to bed before you’re about to pass out, simply because being alone with your own thoughts is too frightening a proposition. That creates a vicious cycle of not enough sleep, not enough alone time, not enough time unplugged and no time to reflect.

If you find yourself in a situation akin to the above, then perhaps it is time to take a step back and start peeling away the layers under which you have hidden the root cause of your problems.

Luckily there exist several steps which you can take, in order to:

  • Determine WHAT is happening
  • Determine WHY it…

Thinking To Register For A Beginners Meditation Class? You Need This Guide More

If you were only allowed to take up one habit, what would it be? For me, it’s meditation. Unquestionably.

Why? Meditation has helped me perform better in every aspect of life. It helps me be more focused and get more done. It makes me more calm and peaceful so I don’t suffer from emotional fluctuations as I used to. More importantly, I have greater control over my mind so I can master the art of living in the present.

Wondering whether meditation can bring so many positive changes to one’s life? Let’s see what science says!

A Harvard research in year 2011 found that meditation can help increase the density of grey matter in the hippocampus of our brains, which is associated with the ability of learning, memory, self-awareness, compassion and introspection. Such restructuring of our brains can improve our mental health and make our minds sharper.[1]

What’s more surprising is meditation can rebuild our brains in only eight weeks! That means you don’t need to be an expert in meditation to reap the benefits.

▲ Subjects of the study demonstrated significant change of brain structure after practicing meditation for 8 weeks.[2]

Thinking of taking meditation as one of your habits but don’t know how to get started? Here are 6 things you can follow:

Look for a distraction-free environment

While an area with total silence is an ideal environment for meditation, it is not a must for everyone. If you think playing some light music can help relieve your stress and make you more relaxed, it’s definitely fine to do so when you meditate. Studies have shown that white noise can help lower our stress level and increase our concentration level.[3]

If you don’t want to meditate in a totally silent environment but have no idea of what to play, you can try start with this one:[4]

Meditate with the posture you feel comfortable

The Quarter Lotus is the most popular meditation posture. You sit on the floor cross-legged and rest your hands on your lap. And your back needs to keep straight throughout the process without slouching.

But if you are the one with chronic back pain problem, this posture may not be the best choice for you. Actually, what posture you have is not the key for meditation. You can also lie on your bed or the floor to meditate. The most important thing is the posture can make you completely relaxed. Here are some variations for you:[5][6]

But please be reminded that if you choose to meditate while lying down, you should keep yourself awake throughout the process.

Focus on your breathing tempo

Having the right breathing tempo is important as it can make you highly relaxed and concentrated, which is the ideal state for meditation.[7]

Close your eyes softly. Breathe as slowly and deeply as you can. Inhale with your nose and exhale from your mouth. If you do deep breathing correctly, you will feel your diaphragm is expanded and stretched.

Some people may even feel some…

What Makes The Differences Between Introverts And Extrovert?

A conversation on Friday night.

‘Let’s head to the bars downtown. I heard there will be a massive party. It’s gonna be real fun!’

Nah, I’ve got 300 pages to catch this weekend.’

‘Come on, don’t be so discouraging. Two hours, okay?’

‘Um.. I would rather-‘

‘Are you really that shy?

‘I just prefer to be alone. It’s tiring outside.’

Typical introvert and extrovert traits, right?

Introverts are shy and always want to be alone. Extroverts are outgoing.

This is a major misconception of introverts and extroverts. Extroverts think that introverts never come out of their room; while in introverts’ mind, extroverts always stay way out of their room. This is a pure misunderstanding between the two.

What if it is because they have to?

We’ve made it wrong – we’re all hybrids

The origins of the terms ‘introvert’ and ‘extrovert’ can be traced back to as early as 1920s, when a Swiss psychologist Carl Jung coined the two terms to contrast between two distinct personality types.

In fact, introversion and extroversion are never two mutually exclusive qualities. More precisely, they are on the two opposite ends of a spectrum. Meanwhile, everyone of us falls on somewhere between the two extremes, only differing by the extent we are more introvert-like or extrovert-like. As Carl Jung put it,

There is no such thing as a pure introvert or extrovert. Such a person would be in the lunatic asylum.

▲ No one is a pure introvert or extrovert.

We have no choice. Our brains are the bosses.

Introverts and extroverts may behave very differently in people’s eyes. One may think it is just their preference to work like this. Yet, it is actually their brain that makes such a difference. They have no choice but to cope with it.

How are their brains different?

Extroverts are hungry for stimuli, while introverts have much in store

Extroverts appear sociable and always try to be the centre of attention. This is in fact due to their comparatively weaker sensitivity to stimuli.

That’s why they have to proactively seek outer stimuli in order to reach a functional equilibrium for their minds.

Hans Eysenck, a German psychologist, defines extroverts by analyzing their baseline arousal. The result reveals extroverts have a lower baseline arousal. Consequently, they need to be engaged in more thrilling activities to gain satisfaction while introverts, with a higher baseline arousal, are more easily satisfied.

By contrast, introverts are much more sensitive to stimuli. So they opt to escape from stimuli to avoid being overwhelmed. In fact, it is difficult for them to perform normally if they are constantly under the influence of stimuli.

When it comes to recharging, introverts and extroverts seek entirely different ways as expected. Introverts gain energy by being alone while extroverts recharge themselves through social interaction.

Introverts take the long way, while extroverts take the shortcut

Ever wondered why extroverts think and make decisions much more quickly than introverts?

First, it’s because the prefrontal cortex in the brains of introverts is much thicker than that of extroverts. Prefrontal cortex is an area responsible for deep thinking and planning. That’s why introverts are more fond of spending more time on…

The 5 Best Deep Conditioners

Your hair takes a beating all day. It has to withstand chemical processing, heated styling tools, and the harsh weather elements, along with pollution. Fortunately, deep conditioners can restore health and beauty to your hair in minutes.

A good deep conditioner can instantly condition the hair cuticles, combat split ends, restore strength, and replenish moisture, so your hair is better able to withstand daily stressors. With regular use, deep conditioner can leave your hair healthier, shinier, and completely renewed. (See also: The 5 Best Conditioners)

What Is a Deep Conditioner?

A deep conditioner (or hair mask) is a hair care item that can nourish and strengthen hair. It typically contains more fatty acids and lipids than traditional conditioners, which can help restore moisture to the hair and help protect it going forward.

Dry, damaged hair is no match for the best deep conditioners. While deep conditioner can work for all hair types, it is particularly beneficial for dry hair. In most cases, it’s best to use a deep conditioner at least once per week to reset your hair.

Top 5 Deep Conditioners

Neutrogena Clean Replenishing Deep Recovery Hair Mask

You won’t find a more highly recommended deep conditioner than the Neutrogena Clean Replenishing Deep Recovery Hair Mask. The drugstore favorite will fight dryness to leave your hair shiny, moisturized, soft, and smooth. Some reviewers found that this left their hair feeling like silk.

The salon-approved deep conditioner has a whipped texture and won’t weigh hair down. It is enhanced by various oils and butters, including three naturally derived extracts (olive, meadowfoam seed, and sweet almond), which penetrate each layer of the hair strand to help moisturize, condition, detangle, and improve shine. The concentrated weekly restorative treatment puts life back into the hair and can make the ends feel like you just got a fresh haircut. The intensive moisture treatment works quickly to revive even the most dehydrated hair strands, leaving your hair hydrated and stronger after each use.

This has a nice fruity scent and works on all hair types, but is especially beneficial for dry, damaged, frizzy, over-processed, and color-treated hair. Only a little is needed at…

7 Traps to Avoid With Your 401(k)

More and more Americans are choosing an employer-sponsored 401(k) as their preferred way to build up their nest eggs. As of 2014, an estimated 52 million Americans were participating in a 401(k)-type plan.

When used properly, a 401(k) can be a powerful tool to save for your retirement years, but there are a couple of crucial pitfalls that you have to watch out for. From high fees to limited investing choices, here is a list of potential downsides to 401(k) plans — and how to work around them.

1. Waiting to set up your 401(k)

Depending on the applicable rules from your employer-sponsored 401(k), you may be eligible to enroll in the plan within one to 12 months from your start date. If your eligibility kicks in around December, you may think that it’s fine to wait until the next year to set up your retirement account.

This is a big mistake for two main reasons.

First, contributing to your 401(k) with pretax dollars allows you to effectively reduce your taxable income for the current year. In 2017, you can contribute up to $18,000 ($24,000 if age 50 or over) to your 401(k), so you can considerably reduce your tax liability. For example, if you were to contribute $3,000 between your last two paychecks in December, you would reduce your taxable income by $3,000. Waiting until next year to start your 401(k) contribution would mean missing out on a lower taxable income!

Second, your employer can still contribute to your 401(k) next year and make that contribution count for the current year, as long as your plan was set up by December 31 of the current year. Your employer contributions have to be in before Tax Day or the date that you file your federal taxes, whichever is earlier.

How to work around it

If you meet the requirements to participate in your employer-sponsored 401(k) toward the end of the year, make sure to set up your account by December 31st. That way, you’ll be ready to reduce your taxable income for the current year through your own contributions and those from your employer before their applicable deadline (December 31 and Tax Day or date of tax filing (whichever is earlier), respectively).

2. Forgetting to update contributions

When you set up your 401(k), you have to choose a percentage that will be deducted from every paycheck and put into your plan. It’s not uncommon that plan holders set that contribution percentage and forget it. As your life situation changes, such as when you get a major salary boost, marry, or have your first child, you’ll find that your contributions may be too big or too small. (See also: 5 Times It’s Okay to Delay Retirement Savings)

How to work around it

To keep a contribution level that is appropriate to your unique financial situation, revisit your percentage contribution every year and whenever you have a major life change. Don’t forget to also check whether or not you elected an annual increase option — a percentage by which your contribution is increased automatically each year — and adjust it as necessary.

3. Missing out on maximum employer match

Talking about contributions, don’t forget that your employer may contribute to your plan as well. In a survey of 360 employers, 42 percent of respondents matched employee contributions dollar-for-dollar, and 56 percent of them only required employees to contribute at least 6 percent from paychecks…

Join Our Tweetchat on Thursday 3/23, 12pm Pacific for a Chance to Win Prizes

Join our Tweetchat this Thursday at 12:00 pm Pacific for lively conversation and a chance to win one of two $10 Amazon GCs! Use #WBChat to participate.

This week’s topic: Using Social Media to Save Money! Learn about utilizing hashtags to find deals, social media accounts to follow to find savings, how to use social media to educate yourself on personal finance, and more! Let us know if social media has ever helped you save money…

The First Thing You Should Say When Calling 911 on a Mobile Phone

In the frenzy of a real emergency, it can be hard to think straight. Yes, it’s important to give your name and explain the situation when you call 911, but there’s some things you should tell them first if you’re calling from a mobile phone, just in case.

When you dial 911 with a cell phone, the call gets picked up by a nearby emergency services call center known as a public safety answering point (PSAP). They get your information then dispatch emergency personnel to your location. But sometimes things don’t work the way they’re supposed to.

For one, J.D. Biersdorfer at The New York Times explains that because mobile phones are not associated with…

Top 5 Uncommon Jobs In The US And How To Get Them

uncommon jobs
uncommon jobs

The stars and sky don’t fascinate everyone. Furthermore, not everyone has the desire to leave the planet to explore.

This is what makes Clayton C. Anderson different from most people. Clayton was an astronaut and previous resident of the international space station for 152 days. In his book, “An Ordinary Spaceman”, he explains that when he started as an astronaut candidate, he earned $90,000. When he retired, he was on a salary of $150,000.

Despite the digits, being an astronaut is not always about the money. As British astronaut Tim Peake said of space travel, “Living and working on board the International Space Station is the best place you could be as a professional.”

So, how do you become an astronaut? NASA’s basic requirements involve:

  • Receiving a bachelor’s degree from a university accredited for mathematics, engineering or physical science….

Samsung’s New iPad Pro Is Just Fantastic

Coming a year after the launch of Apple’s first 9.7-inch iPad Pro, the new iteration from Samsung feels daring. While it has the same sleek lines, is just as light, and possesses the magnetic connection on one side for easy keyboard cover attachment, Samsung’s iPad Pro for 2017 is, inexplicably called the Galaxy Tab S3, and unlike previous iPads this one runs on Android.

Technically, if you want to be “accurate” this is not an iPad Pro, but Samsung’s first premium Android tablet in over a year. In 2015 Android sort of lost the tablet war it had waged against iOS. While Google’s mobile OS rules the budget roost thanks to the cheap Kindle Fire, no one has really expressed a desire for a $600 media consumption machine running little green droid brains. Heck, at this point people don’t even buy iPads any more. The people who want tablets have them already.

Samsung’s hoping it can change people’s minds with a shiny new device that just happens to bear a remarkable resemblance to the current bestselling premium tablet, the iPad. It’s only a hundredth of a pound lighter than the comparable iPad, less than a tenth of an inch shorter, and both devices are just .24 inches thick. They’re both also $600 for a 32GB version, and they handle everything from drawing to quickly written screeds on Facebook with zero lag. Maybe Samsung considers the remarkable similarities between its new product and last year’s iPad Pro to be a compliment to Apple, rather than a naked bid for a share of a dwindling market. Though Apple, and courts, tend to disagree.

Some things are different about the two tablets. Besides running Android Nougat instead of iOS 10, the Tab S3 has a Qualcomm 820 processor (which is theoretically slower than the 835 reportedly planned for the Galaxy S8 phone), comes in only a 32GB version, and includes a nice little pen for drawing on its admittedly vibrant AMOLED display. As an Apple Pencil costs an additional $100, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 feels like a bargain.

Neither device includes the keyboard cover. Apple charges $150 for a cover and keyboard that…

Web Design Strategy: How To Give New Life To Your Site

web design strategy

There is much more to web designing than just plain aesthetics. For your website to be successful, you also have to make sure your content is as attractive as your site’s design.

Your customers would not be visiting your site to admire and be awestruck by its visual appearance. They are paying your site a visit to learn and gain something from it.

In case you are wondering, here are some of the best web design strategies you can use in boosting your site’s view.

Pay Attention To Conversions

web design

Conversion involves the transition of a casual visitor to a paying visitor. For this to happen, you have to consider every part of your site’s design.

Here are some design tips from the professionals:

• Images must always be fascinating, of high-quality, and truly unique.
• Color scheme must be vibrant and eye-catching.
• Text must be used for messaging and for delivering instructions, descriptions, and labels.
• Navigation must be smooth throughout your website.

These are just a few of the elements that can help you get successful conversions. Fundamentally speaking, every part and element of your site’s design is an integral factor that…

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