Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Marcos Miguélez - Casa VMS, Magaz de Abajo 2016. Via, photos...

How to Avoid Regrets After Making Decisions

You and your partner both love dogs. And after much discussion, you decide to go ahead and purchase a cute dalmatian puppy.

At first, you’re so excited by your puppy’s boundless energy and non-stop playfulness. However, after a few days, your enthusiasm begins to wane. This is due to your puppy chewing a pair of your best shoes, scratching your wooden floor – and urinating on your sofa!

After these unfortunate events, you’re probably starting to regret acquiring your puppy.

Regret Is More Common Than You May Think

When you blame yourself for a bad outcome, or feel sorrow as a result of a choice you’ve made – you’re experiencing regret.

Regret can take many forms, including: a sense of loss after the break-up of a relationship, frustration after failing to capitalize on a career opportunity, and a feeling of intense sadness after you were unable to see a parent in their final days.

Research shows that 90 percent of us have a major regret about something in our lives.[1] The most common regret is related to romance, followed by family, education, career and finance.

While regrets can highlight to us where we have gone wrong, they can also cause us to be hesitant and afraid of decision making.

Can Regret Be Harmful to You?

The question above can be answered with one word… Yes!

Think for a moment about a decision you made in your life that you later deeply regretted. Perhaps this was the career path that you chose, that put money before contentment. Although you’re now financially comfortable – you ache for what might have been. Your childhood dreams of being an actor or a musician never had the chance to be fulfilled. (For example.)

Regret such as this, can plague your mental well-being for the rest of your life. You may even become bitter and depressed about the lost chances, and the failure to develop your innate talents.

This brings us to decision making. This is at the heart of everything we do.

If we make a series of good decisions, our life is likely to be happy and successful. If we make a series of bad decisions, our life is likely to be gloomy and unrewarding.

So yes, regret can be harmful to you. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

Take These Steps to Avoid Regret (Or at Least to Cope with It)

Let’s turn now to some specific ways of avoiding or dealing with regret.

If There’s Nothing You Can Do – Let It Go

Highly-successful entrepreneurs such as Jeff Bezos, Richard Branson and Arianna Huffington know that winning involves a lot of losing!

This losing could include: failed business ventures, personal bankruptcy or even personal scandal. Whatever the cause, successful entrepreneurs have learned how to let go of failures and move on to victories. If they were to spend time and energy regretting every decision that led to failure, they would quickly lose their entrepreneurial spirit.

It should be the same for you. If you’re still regretting a decision you made months or years ago, and there’s nothing you can do about it – just let it go.

Don’t Blame Yourself Too Much

It’s widely believed that forgiving others is easier than forgiving ourselves.[2] Unfortunately, this means that we are also likely to blame ourselves more often than we should.

Let’s say you had a minor car accident that you believed was your fault. But how sure are you that it was 100 percent your mistake? Perhaps the lighting, weather or road conditions had an effect? If the accident involved another driver, could they have been partially at fault too?

Once you are aware of the psychological tendency for individuals to take too much of the blame for something, you can begin to see a fairer and more realistic picture.

Learn from Your Mistakes

It’s easy to allow regrets to splinter your happiness and shatter your dreams. However, there is another way.

Instead of wallowing in regret, look for the cause of what went wrong, and see if you can learn from it.

For example, you’ve posted something stupid on social media, and now you’re worried that it might impact your career prospects. Despite your best efforts, you’ve been unable to delete all traces of the post.

It’s at this point that you should take a step back, and admit to yourself that you made a mistake (a stupid, senseless post). While you may not be able to correct the mistake – you can certainly learn from it. You can make an effort to ensure that your future posts to social media are free from controversial comments and embarrassing photos.

Choose to Right Your Wrongs

The older you get, the more likely you are to experience regret.[3] One reason for this, is the fact that as you age, it gets harder to right your wrongs. This can make regrets increasingly painful.

Because of the above trend, it’s important to tackle your regrets without delay.

Let’s say that you regret taking a book from your school library and never returning it. Years after the incident, you still feel bad about it. Instead of doing nothing – choose to take action. If you still have the book, you could send it back to the school (anonymously if necessary). If you don’t have the book anymore, why not donate an alternative book to the school’s library?

Righting our wrongs can immediately break us free from our regrets. Try it, and see for yourself.

Improve Your Decision Making

In life, you need to make innumerable decisions every day. What clothes to wear. What food to eat. What friends to call. (To name but a few.)

There are also major decisions that you must make in life. These include choosing a partner, a career path, and a place to call home.

Clearly, knowing how to make good decisions is an essential skill for a happy and successful life. And that’s not all. By regularly making favorable decisions, you’ll have fewer things in life to regret about.

Release Negative Emotions by Writing Yourself a Letter

You may have done some things in the past that you are not proud of. They may even horrify you.

One way to liberate yourself from these regrets is to write yourself a letter. Not just any letter, though. This will be a highly-personal letter that lists your major regrets, and what you think was the root cause of them. For instance, you might write something like this: “I deeply regret treating staff in my team in a patronizing and demeaning fashion. They did nothing to deserve this. I see now that the fault was in my court. And the cause was my lack of self-confidence and belief.”

Regret is the second most often mentioned emotion after love.[4] Despite this, it’s possible that you’ve never given regret any serious thought. It could be time for you to change this.

Consider how regret may be holding you back in life – and determine to do something about it.

Featured photo credit: tpsdave via pixabay.com

Reference

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Muscle Cramps Don't Come from Nowhere. It Happens for A Reason

As anyone who suffers from them will know, muscle cramps can cause a huge amount of discomfort and pain. This is why so many people are keen to find out how to prevent cramps. Muscle cramps often strike with no warning at all. It could be while you are working out, while you are walking, or while you are relaxing.

There are various possible causes of muscle cramps, and familiarizing yourself with these will help you when it comes to prevention. A lot of research has been carried out into the causes and treatment of muscle cramps. This has enabled medics and researchers to find solutions that can help with the prevention of these cramps.

Muscle Cramps Can Strike at The Most Unexpected Time

Muscle cramps can cause a lot of issues for sufferers. They can be very debilitating and in some cases can even pose a hazard. For example, you may be driving when these cramps strike, and if they affect your leg muscles your driving will naturally be affected. They can strike at night, which can cause issues with sleeping. They could even strike at work, which could pose another hazard depending on the type of work you do.

Muscle Cramps = Uncontrolled Contraction of Muscles

We need to learn how to tackle issues such as muscle cramps ourselves. To do this, it is important to have a better understanding of why muscle cramps occur and what might be causing them.

In a nutshell, muscle cramps are caused through the involuntary contraction of muscles. They usually affect the calf muscles but they can strike elsewhere too. You may have heard these cramps referred to as ‘charley horses’.

You will know when you experience a muscle cramp, as the muscles in the affected area become very tight, hard, and painful. You will actually be able to feel the spasms and the speed with which these cramps can strike can come as quite a shock. If you are a keen exerciser, you should bear in mind that cramps can occur many hours after exercising.

Muscle Cramps Are Caused by Multiple Reasons

There are a number of possible causes of muscle cramps, and it is important to familiarize yourself with these if you want to know how to prevent cramps. So, let’s take a look at some of the reasons why you may be experiencing cramps:

  • Lack of circulation in the legs
  • Exercising calf muscles too hard [1]
  • Failing to stretch and warm up before exercising
  • Being too active when temperatures are high
  • Being dehydrated
  • Muscle fatigue
  • A deficiency of magnesium, potassium, or both
  • An underlying cause such as a spinal issue or nerve problem
  • A side effect of taking certain medications

Interestingly, muscle cramps are very common but they are most common at night when you are sleeping. According to reports, 75 percent of muscle cramps are experienced at night. By familiarizing yourself with the possible causes, you can take certain steps to prevent muscle cramps. This could include drinking more water, warming up before exercises, and putting less strain on the muscles.

When Muscle Cramps Strike, These Easy Exercises Help

One of the things you will be keen to learn if you suffer from muscle cramps is how to treat them. Of course, prevention is the best medicine, and this is something we will look at. However, if you are suffering from muscle cramps the first thing you need to know is what action you can take to treat them and alleviate the pain. Below are some of the key solutions for treating muscle cramps:

Do some stretching

When you get muscle cramps, your muscle goes into involuntary spasms. This causes a lot of tightening, discomfort, and strain. When these cramps strike, you can try stretching the area. Simply drop and stretch the affected area to try and alleviate the cramps. Better still, if there is someone there with you it is worth getting the area massaged. This can help to quickly alleviate the spasms and discomfort.

Try to relax

It is natural when muscle spasms strike to try and push through the pain. However, this can often make the problem worse. Instead, try to relax and let the pain ease away. Simply take a break and wait for the spasm to pass rather than to risk making it worse by battling with it.

Speak to your pharmacy

You may find that anti-inflammatory treatments can help to tackle muscle spasms [2] . It is therefore worth taking a quick trip to the pharmacy to see if they can recommend anything. Some of the treatments available over the counter at pharmacies can help to ease the soreness that stems from muscle cramps.

These are some of the simple but effective ways in which you can quickly treat muscle cramps and alleviate some of the symptoms.

How to Prevent Future Muscle Cramps 

Of course, one thing that is very important is learning how to prevent muscle cramps on a long-term basis. To do this, you need to look at the possible causes of these cramps. You can then reduce the risk of them occurring by taking certain steps. Some of the key steps you can take include:

Drink plenty of water

Dehydration can cause muscle cramps, so you need to drink plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated.

Take vitamins

Deficiencies such as magnesium and potassium can increase the chances of muscle cramps. Taking vitamins can help to combat this possible cause.

Make sure you stretch

Always make sure you do some stretching exercises before and after working out, as this can help prevent muscle cramps.

Eat the right food

As mentioned before, certain deficiencies can heighten the risk of cramps. Therefore eat foods that are rich in nutrients like potassium, such as bananas. Also foods that are rich in magnesium and calcium can help.

Limit alcohol intake

Drinking alcohol can cause dehydration, which in turn can lead to muscle cramps. You should therefore limit your alcohol intake – this will also benefit your health in other ways.

As you can see, there are various ways in which you can treat and prevent muscle cramps. Many of these are lifestyle changes while others are short term measures to provide immediate relief. By keeping the causes of muscle cramps in mind, you can more easily treat and prevent them

Reference

[1] The National Center of Biotechnology Information: Exercise-Associated Muscle Cramps
[2] WebMD: Drugs & Medications Search

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EPOC is What You Need To Know About Fat Burning!

You have noticed that after cooking when you turn the stove off, it’s not cool immediately – it takes some time for it to return to its normal state. The same thing happens with our body when we exercises – it takes some time for our body to restore the balance and return to its resting state. During the recovery time, we need more oxygen so that our bodies could function properly, and it might take as long as 48 hours for our bodies to recover fully. This recovery period can actually help you burn more calories as EPOC comes on the scene.

Understand the concept of EPOC

EPOC stands for excess post-exercise oxygen consumption and it is the amount of oxygen your body needs to get back to normal state and it is excess compared to the amount of oxygen you needed before doing exercises. When your body is in post-exercise state, there are a lot of processes going on which require oxygen, and thus you burn calories even when you’ve stopped working out.

Before you start doing exercises, your body is at resting state, and doesn’t require excess oxygen levels. Once you start with your training, your muscles fill with lactic acid and we use up our oxygen supplies, which need to be replenished in the period following our training session. To recover, our body needs energy, so we spend more calories during post-exercise period than we did during pre-exercise period. Research suggests [1] that more intense exercises that maximize excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, or EPOC, have a positive effect on weight loss.

How long does the process last?

When having high-intensity trainings, your body uses more oxygen, and therefore your body needs to restore its oxygen supplies and it needs to work much harder compared to after less intense workouts. All this is happening 16-24 hours after your training session has ended, as indicated by research [2]. This means that once you have stopped working out, your body is still working for up to 24 hours to restore balance, and therefore consuming energy.

The math is simple – the more intense training session, the more oxygen your body will need afterwards, and therefore more calories will be burnt. Researchers from National Institute of Occupational Health [3] found that when training at 75% of your maximal oxygen consumption can result in much more EPOC, compared to training at 50% of your maximal oxygen consumption.

How many calories you can burn during the resting period depends on a number of factors, but an estimated number is up to 5 extra calories for every liter of oxygen your body consumes. A study at Appalachian State University [4] concluded that participants who cycled vigorously for 45 minutes burned extra 190 calories during the 14-hour post-exercise period compared to the days without any workout.

Which types of workouts most stimulate EPOC?

HIIT

HIIT is high-intensity interval training and it is designed in way to make your body work harder. During HIIT workouts, you do short intervals of high-intensity exercises where you give your maximum and push yourself to the limit, followed by short periods of active rest. When you are alternating between such intense intervals and short periods of rest, it increases your heart rate, and when you are working out at 70-80% of your maximum heart rate, that’s when you maximize the EPOC effect.

This type of training doesn’t need to be time consuming, and there are plenty of short 10-minute training sessions available, and you can make a HIIT training with almost any exercises. Some simple HIIT trainings include:

  • Walk and sprint: walk for 30 seconds, then sprint for 30 seconds. Repeat 8-10 times.
  • Pushups: Do 10 pushups, then rest for 30 seconds. If you want to make it even more difficult, rest for 15 seconds.
  • Squats: Do 10 squats, then rest for 30 second. You can repeat as long as you like.

Circuit training

This type of training can be very appealing to people who get bored with one type of exercise easily. It is very fast paced and it involves doing one exercise for 30 seconds to 5 minutes, and then you move on to the next exercise. Circuit training improves your strength and muscle endurance, and you can put different groups of muscles to work during one session. Circuit training has a similar effect as HIIT training – it creates increasing demand on your heart, therefore, you take more from your oxygen supplies. Moving from one type of exercise to another without rest, puts your body under pressure, thus it takes more time for your body to recover afterwards.

The best thing about circuit training is that you can do it at home without any equipment. You can create your own circuit training routine. First, you need to select your time limit – the ideal time span is from 10-45 minutes. Next select an upper-body exercise, then lower-body exercise, followed by a compound exercise, then choose a cardio for 1 minute. Rest for one minute and repeat.

Resistance training

Resistance training is a type of training where your body is working against some external force that causes your muscles to contract, which increases your strength and endurance. Various research confirm [5] that resistance training has s greater EPOC effect compared, for example aerobic exercise. You put an increasing demand on your muscles during a resistance training, therefore, your body is also in a greater demand to restore the balance – thus more oxygen is needed.

You can go to the gym and try out resistance training on various machines, or you can train at home as well – you can use dumbbells, different types of resistance bands, even bricks or other heavy objects you have at home, or even your own body weight.

Featured photo credit: https://pixabay.com/ via pixabay.com

Reference

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Being Asked a Tricky Interview Question? Give These Skillful Responses to Earn Extra Time

You know that moment – your heart stops, you stop breathing, and your whole body freezes for a second. It feels like a whole millennium is passing by before your eyes. We are talking about the moment when an interviewer takes their seat right in front of you and you are expecting to hear an answer which you don’t have.

It seems unfair, doesn’t it? No matter how much time you spend preparing yourself [1] and going through various questions while having multiple answers in your mind just before you enter those scary office doors, all thoughts can just vanish out of your mind when you hear a question you’re unfamiliar with.

Well – all useful ones at least, because that is the moment when you’ll probably remember something that you didn’t know existed in your brain, or something extremely inappropriate to say out loud in front of a person who’s a potential employer. Well, don’t panic, there are ways to buy precious seconds and give yourself some time to come up with a quality answer.

The “Irresistible Compliment” Trick

No one is immune to compliments – they can either hide it well or not. Therefore, when you hear a question that makes your confidence go down the drain, you should perhaps try and influence your interviewer’s ego just a bit.

So, my suggestion is to go with something like “Well that’s certainly one clever question I have never heard before, so I better try and come up with an equally smart response,” and I’m sure your interviewer will at least give you a sign of a smile. Other than buying some time, you’ll also manage to brighten up the whole atmosphere.

The Art of Paraphrasing

This is the oldest trick in the book, but it can be quite efficient if you know how to pull it off. Now, repeating the whole question word after word will make the thing you’re trying to do very obvious, so you should breathe in and mix up some words.

A question like “How would your presence contribute to our business?” can be turned into “Ah, so you’d like to know how me being an employee in your company would be beneficial for the future development of your business.” It takes some time to master word play and it can be a bit challenging if you’re not naturally good at it, but investing time into it will definitely pay off.

Question Can Be An Answer

Take that same question for example – explaining in which way you can contribute to a business.[2] I keep fixating on that one because it’s usually the most difficult one to answer with a creative question that will make you stand out from the crowd.

If you want to get a couple of seconds more so that you can estimate what would be the right answer, you should hit your interviewer with a question and present them with something like “I am familiar with the job description I’m applying for, but can you tell me about some unusual challenges I’ll be faced with? That way, I can tell you whether my skills can make your business prosper.”

Asking for Clarification Helps (A Lot)

If a question sounds illogical to you, perhaps it really is. The whole process of being at an interview puts an interviewee in a subordinated position and, although this probably won’t be true because it’s highly professionally immoral, some interviewers can misuse their position.

Therefore, if you don’t understand the purpose of answering a particular question, you should simply ask what’s its point, but do so politely – “Help me out a bit here. In order to answer your question properly, can you please tell me what is the purpose of your question, so that I can provide you with a satisfying answer?” Some questions, like the one regarding which type of fruit you’d like to be, can be a thinker.

Return on It Later

You’re only human and so is your interviewer. It’s nothing unusual for you to require some time in order to come to an answer in your mind, which is why it won’t be at all inappropriate to politely ask your interviewer if it would be fine with them to get back to that particular question later on.

Being on an interview is very similar to doing a test, and I’m absolutely sure that you leave the questions you find confusing or difficult to answer for when you’re done with those you’re absolutely sure of.

Return to the Previous

Have you ever went on a rollercoaster ride? Well, if you did, I’m sure you’ll agree that it’s a lot like an interview – some parts of the ride can give you an ecstatic boost, while others can frighten you and shake up your very core.

Well why not try to go back to the fun parts? If you managed to complete your previous answer with flying colors, you should make a digression after you hear a question you don’t really know how to answer and add another segment to your previous answer while you’re thinking about the one you find confusing.

Honesty Is Highly Appreciated

Considering the fact that respect towards professional ethics[3] will be desirable in every office and without regard for which job position you’re applying for, you can simply be straightforward and tell your interviewer that you’re caught off guard and that you need some time to come up with an answer.

It’s true that resourcefulness is a highly appreciated skill, but the truth is that not everyone responds to working under pressure properly, which is something that the person sitting in front of you is very well aware of. Therefore, if you’re not a word play master, or you can’t think clearly when you’re under pressure, my final suggestion is to be honest.

Nevertheless, you should prepare yourself for every interview properly. Make sure to get enough rest the night before and do your best to put stress and panic aside so that you can actually be satisfied with your performance. There are many ways to calm your mind before a meeting – things like breathing exercises and nutritious foods will most definitely be helpful. Good luck!

Reference

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Peeling Isn't Just Skin Dryness. It Can Be Way More Than It!

Peeling in feet and hands are a common problem for many people. Although this disease does not endanger or greatly affect health, it causes aesthetic and nuisance in daily life. Therefore, “how to stop peeling” is always the most popular questions of all readers, it is the reason why you should spend time to read the post to know the way to treat the problem to rejuvenate the skin and prevent recurrence.

What does “peeling” mean and Why does it come?

Peeling hand and foot disease is called horn disease or palm eczema and eczema. Expressions that are visible when peeling the skin of the limbs are the soles of the feet, hands that crack or peel off, peeling off each other, touching the feel of rubbing. There is some causes of peeling skin including:

  • Inflammation caused by exposure to chemicals, soap, detergents, lime, cement and heavy metals
  • Atopic dermatitis: occurs in people with allergy.
  • Pathology: psoriasis, fungal skin, eczema, lichen, scabies, bottle and arsenic poisoning.
  • Other factors: excessive sweating, neurological disorders; poor nutrition and lack of vitamins A, B, PP.

How can I treat the peeling situation at home?

In fact, when you get the problem, you should see the doctor to get advice and treat as well as soon as possible. However, if you do not have time and don’t want to see doctor, you can refer to some way to treat the peeling skin.

Drug-related treatment

  • Patients can apply moisturizer, Vaseline or Aderma-Exomega 2 times a day to moisturize and soften the skin, helping to reduce inflammation and irritation.
  • In the case of peeling and itching, you use antihistamines such as Loratadine 10mg per day to relieve symptoms.
  • Use vitamin A 5000UI with 2 pills/day and vitamin B 3 pills/day. Used for 10 days

How about natural remedies?

  • Avoid touch with chemicals, detergents, soaps and heavy metals to prevent further illness.
  • Do not peel your hand skin or feet skin, or brush and rubbing salt to peel off the skin as quickly as possible, which can cause infection and bleeding. Try to do not work such as laundry, dish-washing, mopping, typing and playing piano.
  • Add plenty of green vegetables, roots, fresh fruit to provide the vitamins and minerals [1] needed for the body. You can choose the best blender for smoothies [2] to make delicious fruit juice. Drink plenty of water to keep the skin dry

Some tips for effective skin treatment

Use olive oil to moisturise your skin!

The vitamin E content in olive oil helps moisturize the skin, soothe the skin and help prevent irritation. Therefore, using olive oil to massage hands after washing your hands and feet can prevent peeling.

Rub Your Skin with Garlic!

Take some raw garlic then brushing into the hands and feet peeling flak about 20 minutes. Apply twice a day, within a week will give good results.

Using fresh milk to nourish your body

Ingredients in fresh milk have the ability to nourish the skin, making it soft and smooth. In addition to drinking milk to strengthen the body and help sleep well, you can soak in warm milk mixed with honey to help skin dry less; peeling skin is also very good.

These are some of the most effective hand-peeling treatments that you can refer to and apply to eliminate this annoying skin disease. However, if after using above methods do not achieve the desired effect, you should go to the hospital for appropriate treatment counseling. Furthermore, you should eat more nutritious foods and vegetables. Also, don’t forget to drink 2 liters of water a day to prevent the problem.

Reference

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How to Save Money Effectively By Having a Minimalist Lifestyle

It seems that these days, everyone is talking about a minimalist lifestyle. From tiny homes, to possessing less stuff, to even minimizing the dependency on money, a minimalist lifestyle is very attractive to folks looking for a change. But how about saving money? It seems many assume that if you go minimalist, you automatically save tons of money. The reality is, the savings and budgeting changes. Today, I want to share with you how to save money as a minimalist![1]

Budgeting Until You Cannot Budget Anymore

Budgeting is key to saving money, no matter what kind of lifestyle you wish to have! Planning out your needs and having a clear picture in your mind about the road to savings is going to be your best friend. It’s a typical budget, just like anyone else. A focus on meeting your needs:

  • travel expenses (gas, cab, bus)
  • rent/mortgage
  • utilities
  • food
  • clothing
  • healthcare
  • Toiletries & body care
  • Entertainment
  • Savings

Minimalist attitude is that you don’t use more than what you need. This budget can also help you figure out how to minimize your spending and making your savings bigger.

If you decide to ride a bike for transportation then you avoid spending on anything other than bicycle and bicycle maintenance. If your rent or mortgage is a big chunk of your money, look to a tiny house! Which means getting rid of a lot of “stuff” since you will have limited room (hello yard sale!). Even food can be minimized by growing your herbs and vegetables, rather than purchasing them in store.

This is also where you can see if your goals for savings are realistic. If not, adjust them. You can change how you spend in other categories or adjust your savings to make it match what your real spending picture is.

Stick To Your Budget, or It’s Pointless!

How many of us have created a budget and then not looked at it again? Pretty much everyone! It’s not-so-easy to create the budget and if we are feeling overwhelmed by it, its easy to not look at it again. The reality is, follow it! Set aside 15 min each week to look at it and make sure you are on target. Yes, occasionally you will make a mistake. We are human! But the more we look at it, the less likely you will continue to do that. It can be very empowering after a bit to know you are in control of your money situation!

Buy What Lasts!

Some items are a short term good (food, some clothing, etc) and that is okay. But other things are meant to last a long time. Focus on making sure you are purchasing items that will last you a long time! Sometimes this means you spend a little more than what you would expect. The idea is not to avoid spending money and being frugal, but rather looking at the larger picture. If you decide to fill your living room with plastic lawn furniture just because the price tag is cheaper, you will spend more replacing it over the years. Investing in solid furniture, that fits your space, and you will spend less because you won’t have to replace it. Quality vs price tag!

Buy What You Need, Not What You Desire

It’s easy to get caught up in fulfilling your desires for the latest phone or latest car. While a car is a need for some of us, and a phone is a necessity for everyone, it doesn’t have to be the highest priced and newest gadget. Marketers prey on folks desires, even leading us down the path of what they want us to desire. But the minimalist attitude is to focus on need rather than what we want.

Let’s also acknowledge that what we own does not define who we are! While a style of clothing can reflect parts of our self, it is us who defines ourselves and not the style of clothing.

Savings for the minimalist, and just about everyone else, is an attainable goal. So many of us are accustomed to not saving and living hand to mouth that it can be an overwhelming endeavor. If you are living the minimalist lifestyle and are already struggling with savings, review that budget. Find the problem areas and figure out how to manage it.

Reference

[1] Simplicity Relished: 5 Minimalist Secrets to Saving Money

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How to Get Close to People You Like Easily Even If You're Not a Social Butterfly

Being vulnerable with people is one of the hardest things we can do. Opening ourselves up to others with our inner feelings, emotions and thoughts puts us in the mode of fear – fear of being rejected and disliked for showing our real selves.

But a study from the University of Tübingen[1] has found that being more open with our emotions causes people to find us more attractive. And the same idea is applied to creating closeness through revealing personal experiences and thoughts with those we want to build a friendship with.

People who form close bonds with others are mastering the art of self-disclosure but how can we do this effectively? After all, isn’t revealing our deepest thoughts and secrets straight away a bit too off-putting to others? Self-disclosing at the right moment is key to successful relationships and can subtly create bonds instead of an uncomfortable long-term sense of misunderstanding and alienation.

Why Disclosure Yourself Is So Important for Your Interpersonal Relationships

We can reveal a lot about ourselves through the clothes we wear, our body language or the throw-away comments we make but they aren’t a real window into our true selves. Self-disclosure is seen as more purposeful – in other words, we are choosing to reveal something about ourselves that we see as a slight risk and subsequent vulnerability.

There are three theories that help to explain different reasons why we go through the process of self-disclosure and how it allows us to develop deeper bonds with others.

Social Penetration Theory: Self-Disclosure Helps Let Your Guard Down

This refers to the reciprocal process of self-disclosure that we create when building up a relationship with another person and how it deepens over time. Everyone has layers to their personality and this process is the back and forth gradual penetration of these layers. It’s a natural process which can sometimes be a fine balance especially in friendships or relationships that contain tension but revealing self-disclosure at the right moments can lead to a deeper understanding of each other.

Social Comparison Theory: Self-Disclosure Helps Spot Your Tribe

Another reason why we self-disclose is through social comparison and sometimes to seek validation from others. We tend to evaluate ourselves based on how we compare with other people. This isn’t necessarily vindictive behaviour but it’s a way of finding out how inferior or superior we are to somebody else. From here we can evaluate how well we may get on with this person and whether their values or beliefs are similar to ours based on their positive or negative reaction. This determines whether or not we want to continue building the relationship.

Self-Disclosure Reciprocity: Self-Disclosure Builds Trust

This is the idea that revealing more intimate thoughts and beliefs with someone allows them to feel like they are trusted and liked, therefore reciprocating their own inner feelings and beliefs back to you.

A study[2] by Susan Sprecher and colleagues from Illinois State University was conducted to see how self-disclosure reciprocity between strangers influenced each others’ likability for one other. They found that the degree to which people reciprocate is directly proportionate to the extent to which they self-disclose. In other words, more trust was built between strangers the more each of them self-disclosed to one another.

How To Use Self-Disclosure to Build Relationships

So what does this mean for our own relationships and how can we use self-disclosure to create stronger bonds?

Timing: Revealing your inner-most secrets on a first meeting is probably not the best time to get the self-disclosure ball rolling. Small talk is usually the best way to start a connection with somebody and a good way to get a basic feel of the other person’s personality. Sensing that the other person is open to developing a friendship with you (which may be after a few small interactions or a couple of longer ones) now would be the time to initiate the process of self-disclosure.

The Best Situation: Self-disclosure works best in a one-on-one situation rather than in a group. A group has differing dynamics and self-disclosing in this situation can lead to it backfiring especially if it’s a more personal piece of information. Keep your self-disclosing to one person at a time since this elicits more trust between the two of you.

What to Disclose: It’s always best to start off with something humorous – a funny or embarrassing story can come across as natural and an act of self-mockery. This causes people to find others instantly more likeable and opens up a feeling of trust to self-disclose back to you. Once your relationship with the person progresses, self-disclosing personal, in-depth information on a gradual basis will deepen the bond further.

How Much to Disclose: This is very dependant on the type of relationship you’re looking to develop. If you’re looking to forge a close friendship then how much you disclose is up to you depending on the amount of trust developed but there is rarely much limitation. If it’s a romantic relationship, the process should be more gradual. This is because an element of secrecy is seen as more alluring in order to keep the attraction going for longer. Once you’ve reached a more stable and trusting stage you can start to self-disclose a little more.

Pay Attention to the Other Person: Remember, when self-disclosing it’s really important to pay attention to the other person’s reactions to what you’re saying. It could be through their body language e.g fidgeting or just lack of a positive reaction but if they come across as uncomfortable as a result of your self-disclosure, then it’s important to adjust it accordingly. They may feel it’s too inappropriate or too soon to open up. Remember, everyone is different and it doesn’t mean a negative reaction automatically equates that the relationship can’t get past the initial stages. Sense the type of person that they are and self-disclose at the appropriate pace.

Reference

[1] Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America: A neural link between affective understanding and interpersonal attraction
[2] Wiley Library: The benefits of turn-taking reciprocal self-disclosure in get-acquainted interactions

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What Is A Serial Dater And Why Can't They Stand Loneliness?

A relationship between compatible people can undoubtedly be a source of great and lasting happiness for both partners. Usually a lonely place in which friends and even lovers are consistently lost and replaced, life is made better by a stable, healthy relationship.

However, that rarely happens.

Even marriages, supposedly stable relationships by definition, are being wrecked by high levels of divorce.[1] According to the CDC, if 6.9 people out of 1000 got married in the 2000-2014 period, 3.2 filed for divorce. Almost half of the people who vowed eternal love and support for one another could not bring themselves to stay together.

The modern dating environment has encouraged more serial daters.

As a result, speed and online dating have reached record levels of popularity, with online and mobile sites and applications making meeting people easier than ever. With such a great “offer” and a corresponding “demand”, the modern dating environment has spawned its ultimate user and beneficiary – the serial dater.

The serial dater is a very recent breed. Natural expert of the dating sites and applications such as Tinder or PlentyofFish, the speed dater will come home from a date and login into their account without a second thought. This is not because he is looking for true love, but because of deeper psychological motivations.

In actuality, speed daters are not superficial or even morally loose individuals. They make a conscious bid on bachelor life and all its benefits while keeping a foot in the door of romantic engagement. It is their way of trying to keep best of both worlds. If successful for them, this way of living leaves a trail of heartbroken and disappointed lovers behind ever serial dater.

“The greatest downfall of a serial dater is his or her ongoing anxiety about commitment. Quite often, serial daters are jaded and don’t have confidence in everlasting love, so they fill their time with momentary men or women who will fill the void of a long-term relationship”.

Humanity’s understanding of love, supposedly a pure and natural feeling, has changed throughout time. However, it is the modern world and its pervasive high-speed nature that has penetrated even the innermost corners of ourselves, changing our romantic expectations and wants. Serial daters may think they have cracked the code and beat the system, but that only leaves the rest of us struggling to make do and hoping to not get hurt too badly.

There are actually two types of serial daters.

The first type of serial dater is the Pragmatic.

He or she knows that the excitement of a new relationship makes you feel empowered and on top of the world.[2] As a result, they are constantly looking for that feeling in every new and short-lived relationship while maintaining their overall preference for single life. The Pragmatic has all but given up true love, being satisfied by these extreme but fleeting moments of joy.

The second type of serial dater is the Semi-Romantic.

People who fit in this category truly believe in the existence of true love and soul mates and do not see anything wrong with engaging in the dating game. Instead, they view the modern dating market as an opportunity to “play the numbers”. The more people they meet and date, the better changes they have of meeting The One.

A serial dater avoids any serious connections at all costs.

The serial dater is a social being by excellence. The center of the group or party, he or she will make an immediate impression on the opposite gender. As a result, the serial dater will always have at all times at least one person with whom to flirt.

If you are that person, a tell-tale sign is the fact that you are not included in his or her life. You may see each other for a few hours every couple of days, time in which you will feel as the center of the world, but the fact is that you aren’t allowed deeper access into their lives.

Serial daters strictly avoid getting to know you or you getting to know them. This way they can stay emotionally disconnected from their timely partners and can quickly switch from one lover to another. Serious talks about your relationship are also something to avoid at all costs for speed daters. Instead, once out of the “honeymoon” phase of the relationship, they value social approval, sex or material gains more than feelings.

If you realize that you’re dating a serial dater, please walk away from them.

Once you realize that you have picked out a serial dater out of the perpetually overcrowded dating market, the most obvious action would be to gradually distance yourself from him or her.

Serial daters can go to great lengths just for a new romantic conquest but once the battle is fought and castle conquered, their interest quickly fades away. However, strong relationships are defined by constant strains from both partners toward making it work. If your partner shows no sign of such a behavior, he or she might not be the one.

If you meet and recognize a speed dater, resist the impulse to engage with him or her. Nod and laugh but move on. Just as life is too short for serial daters to commit to a potentially disappointing sincere relationship, it can also be too short for others to share in their seemingly fickle romantic life.

Reference

[1] National Centre for Health Statistics: National Marriage and Divorce Rate Trends
[2] Lifehack: 10 Ways To Keep Your Relationship Exciting And Fresh

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