Category Archives: article

FOCUS AREAS FOR PEACE OF MIND

7 Focus Areas for Peace of Mind 

7 FOCUS AREAS FOR PEACE OF MIND 

What is peace of mind? It is that calmness, the lack of chaos within us. It is just what is, PEACE. Just like our bodies require rest, our minds need rest as well. Rest is not just about a full night sleep. It is not just about getting 8 to 9 hours of continuous sleep that will provide you with peace of mind. Yes, sleep is essential to proper functioning of a human being, but what about mental health? What about other areas of our lives that also require rest? Focusing on these areas is also crucial to peace of mind and it helps us fight those sudden jolts of stress and anxiety.

I got inspired to write about this through a post by TheShineApp on Instagram.

What are these 7 Areas that we need to focus on to achieve peace of mind? Let’s find out

1. Physical Rest for Peace of Mind

Sleep is a form of physical rest, but here I am referring to rest from aggressive physical activity. Exercise and staying active, going for a walk, these are all important, and should not be ignored but there needs to be a balanced approach to life. Too much of anything is not good, yes even ice-cream. Again, that Danny Tanner taught me a lot as a Full House obsessed child.sensory peace of mind

The point is, if you spend an hour or two everyday working out, spend some time giving your body a rest. What is the exercise to rest ratio? There is no hard and fast rule here that needs to be followed. The best advice I can give is, listen to your body. If your body feels pain, do not push it. If your body is sore from too much cardio, lie down. If you had a rigorous training session today, take it slow tomorrow. Take a walk instead of running on that treadmill.

Maybe skip that heavy weightlifting, go for a calming swim instead, or just float, nothing is more calming than that. You get the picture, keep that unnecessary stress and anxiety away by listening to your body, and you will know what it needs. Spend a few hours at the spa, get a pedicure, a relaxing massage, lay down on a recliner and read a book, or sip on some chicken soup. Taking care of yourself and giving your body some rest is necessary for peace of mind.

2. Sensory Rest for Peace of Mind

What are the five sense organs? Yes, I am not including the 6 sense in this list, but we all know it exists!

Five Sense Organs and the Five Sensesrest for peace of mind

  • Eyes – The Sense of Vision
  • Ears – The Sense of Hearing
  • Nose – The Sense of Smell
  • Tongue – The Sense of Taste
  • Skin – The Sense of Touch

Along with physical rest, our senses need rest too. Our sense organs are overworked. We are constantly using our eyes, our tongue, our ears, our noses, and our skin. These are things that we take for granted, we do not even realize it because it is just so normal.

Right now, me typing this blog post, I am using all my sense organs without even thinking about it. My fingers are touching the keyboard, my eyes are looking at the screen, my ears can hear a cooking video on YouTube, my mom is watching, and my ears have no choice but to hear it.

Also, my ears hear my typing, which is louder now that I am aware of my senses more than ever. The things you can achieve if you start focusing! My nose is on an overdrive as well, I can smell dinner, which is making me hungry, so the only sense organ that is currently not being used by me – My tongue is also about to get to work.

The whole point of that tangent is that our senses need a rest, just as much as our bodies do. Close your eyes every now and then, lay down alone in peace, and just do nothing. It is not as easy as it sounds, because the society has taught us that hustle is the only correct way of life.

Therefore, it is so important to talk about the importance of rest. It is crucial for peace of mind. It is crucial to keep the stress and anxiety away. Shut down your gadgets, step into a comfortable, dark room, away from noise and just be.

3. Spiritual Rest for Peace of Mind

Rest your mind and focus on your spirit every now and then, meditation helps, reading scriptures helps, connect with your spirit by mindful breathing exercises. Spending some time in nature also allows you to connect with yourself and explore your true spirit.

Praying helps a lot of people feel calmer and more connected with the universe. Regardless of your faith and whether you are a believer or not, praying has been proven to have a wonderful effect on the mental health. Just knowing that there is a presence looking out for you is assuring and helps people put their minds at ease, in other words it leaves room for spiritual rest.

I have a post about some calming verses in the Bible, click here to read that.

4. Creative Rest for Peace of MindCreative rest for peace of mind, relieve stress and anxiety

Just like everything else, there is a limit to creativity, the right side of your brain is what is utilized when you are being creative. It is incredible and fun to be creative and just create art, music, ideas but just like your body, your brain needs to rest as well. Do not always feel the need to create or be productive.

It is perfectly okay; in fact it is imperative that you give yourself some time-out from creating and instead spend some time enjoying somebody else’ creation. Enjoy creativity by giving your creativity a rest and read a book created by someone else, enjoy music composed by someone else, or simply watch a show and enjoy somebody else’ vision come to life on screen. 

A little Netflix will not hurt anybody. Creative rest is also required for true peace of mind. The pressure to create can also cause stress and anxiety. Rest up.

5. Mental Rest for Peace of Mind

What this basically means is, stop over thinking, stop over analyzing, stop over planning, stop overwhelming yourself with every single little or meaningful thought that may try to make a home in your mind. It is easier said than done, but the key to peace of mind is awareness that you need some.

Awareness that you can create peace of mind, awareness that there are simple ways in which you can teach yourself to feel less stressed out and face stress and anxiety like a champ.

I have quite a few articles about this, I will link one right HERE, and another one right HERE.

6. Emotional Rest for Peace of Mind

It is sad that we live in a world where it has become normal to not show emotions, it has become “cool” to not feel emotions. Some might even brag about not feeling anything, so NEWS FLASH – It is not good for your mental peace. It is NOT normal, it is not cool, and it is certainly not healthy.

Keeping your emotions all bottled up tightly inside you is not going to bring you any peace of mind. Make a habit of expressing your emotions, without worrying about what others might think. First, nobody will judge you for it, secondly, do it for your inner peace.

Crying is therapeutic, crying is natural, people cry when they are overjoyed, we cry when we are sad, it is a natural response to deep emotions. Let it out! Bawl out like a baby, cry into your pillow if you must, then get right back up and move on with your life. Pent up emotions are going to cause a lot of stress and anxiety, if not instantly then eventually. That song from Frozen comes to mind –

Let it go, let it go, don’t hold back anymore, let it go, let it go, turn away and slam the door

Yes, I improvised the lyrics a little, and maybe do not slam doors, or if you must, be gentle. Yes, anger is a real emotion, and it is okay to express it, just try not to break any walls or doors. More assertive, less aggressive. Journaling is a fantastic way to express your emotions without causing a “scene”, if that is something you are worried about. 

7. Social Rest for Peace of Mind

Last but not the least, social rest is essential to mental peace. I cannot stress more on the importance of spending some time alone, every day. Not saying you should turn into a hermit and give up socializing, however, at least an hour by yourself every day is good for your mental health.

It is also necessary to strike a healthy balance, if you are on the other end of the spectrum and barely ever meet anybody, perhaps it is time to do that. Find a happy place and find a healthy balance. Hang out with people, and then hang out in your own company as well.

Wrapping Up

The key to mental peace is to strike a balance. Too much of anything is not good. Too much of creativity, too much sensory stimulation, too much socializing, too much exercise, or even too much spirituality. If you crave peace of mind, you need rest, your body, mind, soul need rest. It is only through rest that you can rejuvenate and energize enough to start afresh and reach out for your dreams. Want to create your perfect life? Rest Up first! After all, you can’t dream unless you sleep.       

 

 

 

Stress Relief Activities that Work

7 Stress Relief Activities – Americans Coping with Stress and Anxiety

7 Stress Relief Activities – Americans Coping with Stress and Anxiety

 

Seven among ten adults state that they feel stressed out in day to day life, and this stress and anxiety has affected their relationships, work, physical and/or mental health. According to the American Psychological Organization, stress and anxiety are a major concern in the United States.

The stressors might shift a little each year, but they also remain the same. America is one of the most stressed out nations in the world, I am not just saying that there is data to prove this. Yes, the American dream is real, but the fulfillment of that dream does not come easily. What is more concerning is that each year the surveys conducted reveal that the levels of stress and anxiety keep growing.

In the 2019 survey, the increase in mass shootings was the biggest stressor that American adults faced, there is no surprise as to what the biggest stressor is in 2020. You guessed it, it is this year’s Pandemic and the amount of stress, anxiety, uncertainty, and fear that comes with it.

However, the good news is that while there is stress and anxiety, and there is lots of it. There are also several coping mechanisms. There are ways to deal with anxiety, and there are things you can do when you feel overwhelmed and stressed out. Simple things that you can do.

Are you losing sleep because of stress and anxiety? Here are a few simple yet effective ways that can help you with stress relief and get your 8-9 hours of beauty sleep.

How are Americans Coping with Stress and Anxiety?

Stress and anxiety are on a rise, but so is education about stress and anxiety. People are more aware, and the awareness amongst people keeps growing each year as well. There is peace in knowing that you are not the only one going through this. There is peace in knowing that there are ways to fight feeling stressed out. There is peace in knowing that there are simply coping mechanisms to deal with stress and anxiety.

According to the American Psychological Association, aka APA, the survey about stress reveals these seven as the most common coping mechanisms practiced by Americans for stress and anxiety.

1. Music for Stress Relief

music for stress relief activities

Surprise! Music to the rescue! It should come as no surprise that the most common out of all stress relief activities, as revealed by the survey is music. Stressed out Americans take to music to fight stress and anxiety. Music is the most fun and simple way you can fight stress and anxiety. You can get lost in the music, it might even be hypnotizing for some, depending on what kind of music for stress relief you pick. Playing music is just as effective as listening to it.

While some people would recommend peaceful, calming, soothing music for stress relief, something soft, melodious, and just sweet to take your mind of things. Some people benefit from hard core rock and roll music for stress relief. I would say listen to whatever works for you. Everybody is different, and it is reasonable to believe that our tastes in music, and what kind of music makes us feel better, also varies from person to person.

Metal music is not exactly the most calming, I would not say it brings you peace of mind, but it might be just what the doctor ordered for your current state of mind. Sometimes, nostalgia works as a great stress relief activity. Just thinking about the good old days, and music takes you back to a different, simpler time like nothing else.

2. Exercise for Stress Relief

The second most common activity for stress relief sighted by Americans is stress relief exercise. Exercise does not mean specifically rigorous weightlifting and cardio. Simply get moving. I would recommend combine 1 and 2 for the best results. Listen to music for stress relief, and combine that with dancing, get up and start moving, no you do not need to be Michael Jackson or Britney Spears for that. Just jump if nothing else. It works, I promise.

Take a walk, step out into nature, as opposed to the treadmill. If it helps thousands of Americans coping with stress and anxiety. They are onto something and it will help you and your loved ones as well.

Swimming is an instant stress relief activity. Something about the work out, combined with the water, the blue of the water, the open sky, indoor pools work just as well too. The bottom line is, standing is always better than sitting, and walking is always better than standing, particularly when it comes to stress relief activities.

3. Praying for Stress Relief

This one might come as a shock to some but praying as one of the stress relief activities was the third most used coping mechanism for stress and anxiety. Sometimes, the situation is out of your control. You cannot fix it, or perhaps you have tried everything you could and now it is out of your control. In this case, praying is the best thing you can do.

You have studied hard and smart for that test, got to the classroom in time, finished your test in time, and now it has been submitted to the examiner to be corrected. You cannot change the answers, you cannot fix that grammatical error, it is out of your control; just pray for the best.

It is pointless to worry about it, I know it is easier said than done, but no harm in trying right. Once you pray, you let it out in the universe, it also acts like a journal, instead of penning down your stress and anxiety in your diary, you are talking to God, it is like therapy, AND it is free. What else can we ask for, right?

The other day I was talking to my friend who is an Agnostic, and he mentioned he prays when he wants something. Does that mean he is a believer? Probably not, but the fact is praying is an effective way to relieve stress. However, it might not be a popular opinion, but it is always nice to believe in things.

4. Yoga for Stress Relief

Yoga for Stress Relief

The fourth most common stress relief activity stated by Americans who participated in the APA survey, was yoga for stress relief. There are hundreds if not thousands of videos that you can find on the internet about stress relief yoga. Just google it or enter yoga for stress relief on YouTube. You are sure to find a ton of different options to choose from.

5. Meditation for Stress Relief

Meditation for stress relief might sound intimidating to many, I have also tried stress relief meditation, I saw an expert who guided me, and I did what he said and tried meditation for stress relief for a couple of months. It did not work because I was not doing it right. I was overthinking it, my thoughts in my head kept getting louder and louder, I was thinking more about when my alarm will go off, and I can carry on with my other activities. That is not how you meditate, and it definitely not how you cope with stress.

However, with a little more time, and effort I realized how simple it really is. All I needed to do was to concentrate on my breathing. Focus on slowing down your breath as you take the air in and let it out. That is all there is to it. Do it for five minutes. Feel your body release stress. It is one of the best stress relief activities in my opinion. Just do not rush it and keep it simple. After all, something that is all about keeping the chaos out, should not have to be complicated.

6. Talking to Someone for Stress Relief

Many Americans understand that emotional support can be crucial to dealing with the stress and anxiety in their lives. Reasons to feel stressed out are many, but so are people in your life. Talk to a friend you rely on, a family member you trust. Your neighbor who has your back, talk to your hair stylist, they are fabulous listeners. The point is Americans seek emotional support as one of the stress relief activities because it truly helps.

If you do not feel comfortable talking to someone you know personally, seek out a counselor. Psychologists, therapists can help you manage stress, it is what they studied for, it is their job, and they are good at it. More and more Americans rely on psychologists for stress relief support, as the percentage increases each year.

Seeing a therapist, or a profession to help relief stress, is becoming more and more acceptable with time. Not just in the United States but worldwide, with increase in awareness about depression, people are now more open to seeking professional help.

7. Smoking for Stress Relief?

There are many stress relief activities that are unhealthy. According to the same survey by APA, many Americans, 14% to be precise, stated smoking as one of their chosen stress relief activities. While this might give some temporary relief, it is not recommended. There are healthy, cheaper, non-cancer-causing alternatives that can and should be used for stress management. Smoking and drinking will do more damage than good in the long run.

 

Wrapping Up

The theme here is to focus on something else, get busy, get distracted, get up and dance, go for a walk, put on some music for stress relief and just enjoy the moment. Practicing yoga or mediation are great stress relief activities, talk it out and at the end of the day, just pray. Pray for peace of mind, pray for a better tomorrow, pray for a calm you.

Wishing you a healthy, mind, body, and soul!

 

 

 

 

 

6 Lessons that I Learned from 2020 and You Should Too

The Number 1 Reason for Stress and Anxiety

The Number 1 Reason for Stress and Anxiety 

 
In my previous post I researched and shared the nine most common reasons for stress and anxiety in the United States. Usually the list has the same issues that the world is grappling with – Stress and anxiety related to work, finances, unemployment, people are stressed out because of relationships, health issues, he economy, the future the past; but there is a new entrant into that list; and it has made such an impact with its first appearance that it has taken the spot of all other stressors and left them behind.
The topmost common and concerning reason for stress and anxiety in the United States today is the coronavirus.
Not just the illness but the consequences of the illness. Its impact on the society, its impact on the economy, its impact on employment, everything is related. Isolation is the new norm; people have lost their peace of mind. Peace of mind that we did not even know we had before this bizarreness started.
 
Face masks, hand sanitizers, lock downs, Govt imposed restrictions that sometimes feel like a curfew – this is the new normal now, globally. It is what the whole world is talking about, these are some very peculiar times, feels like a plot right out of a science fiction movie.
If somebody had told me in 2019 that there would be a virus that would force the world to stay home, and cause so much chaos, insanity, stress and anxiety, a virus that resulted in human beings being terrified of other human beings, I’d tell them to go find their lost marbles. Number one reason for stress and anxiety

6 Lessons that I Learned from 2020 and You Should Too

There is a lesson to be learned in everything, life teaches you more when it is not going the way you had planned. But to learn from these stressful situations, you need to open yourself up, open your mind to the lessons that you can take in from every little problem you are faced with.
There are ways to strengthen the body, we go to the gym to strengthen our muscles, we take vitamins to strengthen our system, what about our minds? Our emotional strength? Equally if not more important than anything else. Stress is vital for survival, in small doses it motivates us, in large doses, it can destroy us internally and even kill us. Let’s take the number 1 stressor today and turn it into something positive. Let’s turn this into life lessons:

1. Reduce Stress and Anxiety by Slowing Down

As a believer, I honestly believe nothing happens without reason. Every single event, regardless how little or catastrophic, has been brought to us for a reason. What could the reason be for this crazy quarantine causing virus? It means we need to slow down. We need to spend more time doing the little things in life that bring us peace of mind. We need to calm down!
We are running after success, money, fame, goals constantly, and while it is great to have goals and ambitions. As Danny Tanner very eloquently stated “Too much of anything is not good, yes even ice cream.” There needs to be a balance, we need to slow down physically and mentally. 
Feeling stressed out and uncertain about the past, present or future? Smell the flowers, sit out in the backyard and gaze aimlessly at the sky, the shapes of the clouds, listen to some music for peace of mind. Get drenched in the rain, it is a lot of fun, you might catch a cold so do not quote me on that one but yes, it is a fantastic way to destress. Stop running, slow down, take a walk instead.

2. Find Comfort in your Own Company

Finding comfort in your own company is crucial. I see people going crazy all over the world, as if staying at home is the worst thing that could happen to them. What happened to the appeal of “Netflix and Chill”? The whole world seemed to want it, all of us wanted just to have one month of doing nothing. Here it is! We have it! It has been forced on up.
And dare I say, this was the only way we would ever get it – A few weeks of staying home and doing nothing! Is it really that hard to live with yourself? If it is then we need to re-think our lives. There is strength in being OKAY living internally occasionally, without any external stimuli. Imagine not needing anybody to be happy! 
This year, almost every nation worldwide was forced to stay home, in fact failing to comply with those orders were an act of crime and punishable by law. Many people all around India were arrested for being seen outside during lockdowns. For many, it was a requirement to go out and work to be able to eat that day. However, for many, it was just an act of rebellion.
There is power in loving your own company. You build your own peace of mind. There is strength in isolation, of course this should not lead to loneliness and agoraphobia; that is a whole other story. But think of it this way, if you are happy in your own company, without needing any body else to entertain you, how amazing would your life be? You meet people, make friends, because you genuinely want to, not because you need to, to get away from yourself.

3. We really need an Internet Quarantine

alone time for stress and anxiety - stressed out

Technology has consumed us! Literally, need I say more? Could we get through this self-isolation without social media? Without YouTube? without Netflix? Without Tick Tock? Without Video Games? If all of these were also part of the “Stay away from” list, what would we do? I have been wanting to read more, but have I? NO! I do not know a lot of people who are spending this time reading books. I am wondering if we will ever have an internet quarantine.
What would that be like? Imagine a month of no internet, just going out and spending all your time outdoors? reading books? Playing board games? Do not know about you, but I am intrigued! Maybe a month without the internet is just what the doctor ordered. Maybe a month without the internet, will make us see what us is around directly through our eyes, and not through our screens.
Maybe a month without the internet will help us our addiction to it, or at least help many realize that they are addicted to it. Maybe a month without the internet, will reduce stress and anxiety. Think of the 1990s, no cell phones, no computers, no internet, no WhatsApp, Facebook, YouTube. Just our friends, our families, our lives, home picnics, the outdoors. Just thinking about those times brings me peace of mind.
We live in a world where we cannot imagine our lives without the internet, after all, I wont even be able to post this blog post without access to the internet. I will not have a job without the internet, But how about this? How about minimizing the amount of time we mindless scroll down our Instagram? how about minimizing the amount of time we check our messages every day?
How about minimizing the amount of time we spend on watching prank videos on YouTube, how about we spend that time building a hobby? A career? A plan? Coloring? Painting? Learning a new skill? Meeting our neighbors? Catching a movie, a cup of coffee with an old friend? I am already trying to make this change into my life. Let’s do this together!

4. We Cannot Plan Everything – There is Peace in Knowing That

Destiny is real! Weddings have been postponed, graduations have been cancelled, family vacations have been delayed. When we plan events like this, we think about the weather, or we pray for everyone’s health. Never do we EVER prepare for “what if a crazy virus infects the world, and we are asked to cancel the wedding?”. Destiny is just that. It is unpredictable, it is pre-written. It is scary but also there is peace of mind in knowing.
It is calming to realize that we do not have to plan everything because what is meant to be…WILL BE! It helps reduce stress and anxiety to be aware that we cannot and should not try to think of every single event in our lives. Instead of fretting over trying to control every aspect of your life, learn to sit back sometimes, breathe, slowly, and smile knowing that destiny will unfold, regardless of your plans, or you stressing out about it.

5. The Most Basic Need is the Need to Survive

Maslow’s Need Hierarchy is real! Before the Covid19 shook the world at its core, we were obsessing over impeachments, political propaganda, religious warfare, Climate Control, Elections and then, suddenly, the whole world was preoccupied with the need for survival.
Stocking up on groceries and medication and toilet paper became the new norm. All united in this need for survival, fighting the same enemy, united by this strangeness, at least temporarily. Nothing can cause more stress and anxiety than the human and animal need to survive, to live and to live in peace.

6. Never Take Anything for Grantedrelease stress and anxiety - no to technology

This crazy year taught me never to take anything for granted. It was the things that we did not even think twice before doing that were taken away from us – Being able to spend time with friends, family, going out for a walk, taking your dogs out for a walk, sharing a cup of coffee or tea with your best friends, inviting your brother or sister over for dinner.
How about, going to sleep without stressing out about waking up with a strange illness? Hugging your parents without fearing for their life. Being able to leave your house without a mask, being able to go to a restaurant and working on your laptop in peace, not overusing the hand sanitizer and feeling your skin stretch and dry out in anguish. Not having to sanitize your groceries before storing everything in the refrigerator.
I do not know about you, but these are things I thought would never change. These are things we do not even feel grateful for, because these are so little, right? These things could never be taken from us? We were never going to not hug our loved ones. However, all these simple, everyday things were impacted this year, and if it can happen once, it can happen again. The thought of meeting strangers on the road caused stress and anxiety this year. Bottom line is, never take anything for granted. You wake up in the morning and breathe? Be grateful!

Wrapping Up

Let’s all learn from this. Let’s take the lessons we learn from this into the future, the future after quarantine needs to be different. Once this is all over and we continue living exactly the way we lived before, then what was it all for? What was the point of this year? What was the point of corona and quarantine? There is ALWAYS a point, there is always a lesson, there is always a change that needs to be made. Let’s move forward to 2021 with that change in mind.
 

stress and anxiety - stress in the US

Top 9 Reasons for Stress and Anxiety in the US

One in three people say they experienced a lot of stress during the previous day. Stress and anxiety are a major source of concern. Especially with the unexpected virus that shocked the world in the beginning of 2020, the levels of stress and anxiety are off the charts. Even people who had little experience with them have reported to be showing symptoms that are caused by stress and anxiety. These symptoms include headaches, fatigue, and sleeplessness.

Top 10 Most Stressed out Countries in the World

According to Gallup, A global analytics, and advice firm, here is a list of the most stressed out countries in the world:

[table id=4 /]

Most Common Reasons for Stress and Anxiety in the US:

The United States of America is in the seventh spot for the worlds most stressed out countries. Los Angeles was discovered to be the most stressed out city in the United States, according to the Gallop survey, New York and Chicago are few of the other cities in the United States that were found to have the highest level of stress and anxiety.

stress and anxiety - affect on relationships

What causes this? United States of America, is globally considered to be the land where dreams come true, the American dream, so, why are people living in this dream land so stressed out? Here are the top reasons.

1.      Coronavirus

The pandemic is a reality that none of us thought was possible. Millennials and Gen Z-ers alike, had never even imagined a world where hugs became a source of fear, and masks became the norm. The uncertainty caused by the virus, the constant fear or catching the virus, or a loved one catching the virus. The Government’s response to coronavirus all add up to the levels of stress and anxiety in the country.

2.     Work

Of course, it is not a surprise that in country as independent as the United States of America, work is a major source for stress and anxiety. The 2020 poll reveals that the number of people who sighted “work” as a stressor is greater this year, as compared to the previous year. The percentage increased from 64% in 2019 to 70% in 2020, according to apa.org.

The change in work routines, because of coronavirus, the uncertainty of employment, the work from home was appreciated by many people but many were not thrilled with the concept of their homes turning into their offices overnight. A lot of employees faced salary cuts or were apprehensive about the possibility of salary cuts in future. It is no surprise that all these factors contributed to the increase in work related stress and anxiety among Americans.

3.     Money

Just like work, money is a major factor in the rise in stress and anxiety across the country. The two are connected, with unemployment on all-time high, businesses failing to break-even and thousands of people reporting bankruptcy this year, it is a given that meeting necessary financial needs has not been an easy task for many households in this past year.

4.    Economy

The coronavirus caused the economy to suffer tremendously, in a way that had not been seen in a long time. Stress and anxiety caused by the major decline in the American economy saw the largest rise. It went from 46% last year, to 70% this year, based on a survey conducted by the American Psychological Association. The American citizens are obviously concerned about the country’s economical status.

5.     Relationship

Relationships like spouse, kids, siblings, partners, is another major reason for stress and anxiety for Americans.  Concern about their safety, wellbeing future. Amidst the pandemic, and changed work routines, with kids studying from home, and couples working from home, divorce rates increased, separation, arguments, leading to stress and anxiety also increased. Peace of mind suffered as couples tried to adjust to their suddenly changed reality.

stress and anxiety disrupted routines6.    Disrupted Routines

75% of the survey takers in America stated they experienced stress and anxiety because of disrupted routines. Children spent the entire year studying from home. Home schooling became a norm, and this not only affecting the children but also their parents, who had to adjust to the sudden change in routine.

The mornings changed, the night routines changed, the days changed. Suddenly children must be taught, their minds need to be stimulated within the confines of the house. Work from home, though a blessing in disguise for many Americans, was not an easy adjustment, this constant balancing act between taking care of the kids at home, and meeting up with work responsivities has been a cause for the rise in stress and anxiety among many Americans.

7.     Housing Costs and other Basic Needs

Another cause of anxiety and stress among Americans is to pay the housing, rents on time. Being able to meet the monthly requirements needed to pay the electricity bills, telephone, bills, other utilities has caused panic and stress across the country in the past, but more so this year.

The obsession with hoarding toilet paper during the beginning few months of the pandemic shows clearly how the uncertainty of the future impacted people. Being able to have access to necessities like food and water caused an uproar and caused a lot of public displays of desperation across the country. Several videos can be found on the internet to prove that. I am sure a lot of those people caught on tape are embarrassed about that now. I could be wrong though.

8.    Missing out on Major Milestones

The same survey conducted by the American Psychological Association, also reveals that missing out on major milestones has also resulted in stress and anxiety.

Missing out on graduation ceremonies, Prom, not being able to celebrate your sweet sixteenth birthday or the first birthday of your baby, cancelling weddings, or celebrating virtual weddings, or weddings with a handful of guests as opposed to how you had been planning is a justifiable cause for losing peace of mind.

9.    Self-isolation

Not being able to step outside for some fresh air, the fear of stepping out, not being able to meet friends and family, being forced to stay alone in something that is very similar to solitary confinement caused a lot of loneliness, and mental health suffered as a result. Introverts were affected as well, but introverts adjusted to this a lot better than extroverts.

Those used to the gregarious way of life were deeply impacted by the virus inflicted self-isolation. While a lot of people are now used to the recluse way of life, they say it takes an average of 66 days  to form a new habit, so it can be assumed that this self-isolation has become an acquired taste for many over the last few months of coronavirus. Habits are not always good, and self-isolation is not one habit that I would recommend. It has and will continue to trigger stress and anxiety in several people of all ages.

10.                        Racism

People of color have reported a higher degree of stress and anxiety. Black Lives Matter started in the United States, but it has become a global movement. The reason for this is the high level of fear and anger within the African Americans in the country. Anxiety is mainly caused by fear. That is the connection. People of color are more likely than white adults to report stressors in their life, according to the same survey by APA.

Symptoms of Stress and Anxiety

Women have consistently ranked above men when it comes to suffering from stress and anxiety. Over the years several surveys have been conducted to understand the triggers, the reasons, and the impact of stress, and it is a fact that more women experience stress than men.

Sometimes, it might not be obvious that a person is dealing with stress. They might lack the awareness, or perhaps, they are in denial.

Here are some common symptoms of stress and anxiety:

1.                   Easily angered: Stress and anxiety might make you snappy and easily lose their temper.

2.                  Nervous: You suddenly become nervous about things that did not affect you like that before.

3.                  Fatigue: Constantly feeling exhaustion, tired even with little to no physical activity is also a sign of stress and anxiety.

4.                  Burn out: A survey by Gallop showed burn-out to be a stressor as well. Burn-out is lack of motivationto do the activities that once excited you.

stress relief Wrapping Up

Yes, stress and anxiety has grown over the years, however, one must remember nothing is permanent. If we are facing difficult times today, tomorrow we will see better days. There are a few ways to relieve stress. I have a post about it, click here for that.

The most common ways that Americans say they have successfully managed stress are by listening to music that calms them down, exercising, or just simply going for walk. Watching your favorite movie, or TV shows helps as well. Reading, praying, spending time with loved ones, spending time on forming new hobbies or pursuing old ones is a fantastic way to achieve peace of mind, or reduce stress and anxiety.

Candles for Peace of Mind - Reduce Stress and Anxiety

Scented Candles for Peace of Mind – Reduce Stress and Anxiety

Scented Candles for Peace of Mind – Reduce Stress and Anxiety

The popularity of Candles

Candles have come a long way. In ancient times candles were used as a source of light. This was before electricity was even invented. Kerosene and gas lamps were used to light up a place after sunset. Soon candles became more of a trend than a practical necessity. Today, most of the credit for the popularity of candles can be given to YouTubers. If you follow any famous YouTuber, you are sure to find at least one favorite candle in their haul videos.

How do Candles Reduce Stress and Anxiety?

Yes, I do watch a lot of YouTube, but my interest in candles is mainly because of its healing properties. Can candles heal? The short answer is “Yes”, candles have been known to reduce the affects of stress and anxiety, thus bring about peace of mind. It is the oldest and the easiest way to calm the internal chaos.

Candles – There is something calming about that word, or is it just me? Just say the word out loud “Candle”, do you feel it? Originally the word was derived from the Latin word “Candere”, which means to shine, and shine it did.

The low light from the candle is not blinding like the sun, you can stare at it, and get lost in it. There is something meditative about it, something that fills the heart with positivity, something that brings peace of mind. Combining this visual therapy, with aromatherapy is a powerful combination. A combination that can help alleviate stress and anxiety.

Is Burning Candles Bad for You?

Excess of anything is not good. Burning candles can have a lot of benefits, but before I go ahead and talk about some of the other advantages of burning candles, I also want to remind you that candles can be harmful. Some candles, when burned release a toxic gas which can be harmful to the environment, as well as to the people around these toxic compounds that are released in the air because of this burning candle.

Therefore, organic candles have become popular. Candles are fantastic but it is recommended not to burn them all the time. According to housebeautiful.com, the claims that burning candles is harmful are not backed by science or research. Yes, burning candles do emit poisonous, toxic, harmful compounds; however, the amount of these substances produced by burning candles is very minute and will not cause more damage than the damage caused by the air we already breathe. As for scented candles, that have essential oil in them – Essential oils are not harmful, unless you have allergies or you are asthmatic.

So, the bottom line is, as I mentioned before, too much of anything is not good. Burning candles will not cause any damage, but it depends on how long you are burning them. It is not advised to burn candles day and night. The good news is you do not have to feel guilty about burning these candles. Do not lose your peace of mind over this. Burn them when you are feeling stress and anxiety and feel yourself calming down with the glowing flame. 

Why do candles make you feel better? Uses of Candles in Daily Life

The slow, soothing burning of a candles, infused with some of the best, most calming essential oils is a great recipe for peace of mind. Both are known to reduce levels of stress and anxiety. I am including some of the best sellers of scented candles from Amazon, if you use any of the links to order, I will make a small commission. Here are some of the top benefits of burning candles.

Psychology of Candles 1 – Can Increase Productivity

Candles are a soothing, easy way to increase your level of productivity. There are certain scents that help with sharpening the mind. Some of these are rosemary, cinnamon, lemon.

Psychology of Candles 2 – Uplift your Mood

Feeling low? Burn a candle, cozy up by the fireplace, and a hot cup of chamomile tea and instantly feel better. Aromatherapy is real, notice how smelling freshly brewed coffee, or cinnamon rolls in the oven can instantly make you feel better? That is the power of aromatherapy. Lemon is known to have a fresh, uplifting aromatic qualities that can light up any dingy room.

Psychology of Candles 3 – Promote Better Sleep

Burning a candlelight instead of the usual lights in your house is a great way to get better sleep. The light from candles is not harmful to your eyes or skin. The light from candles is soothing to the soul. It helps bring peace of mind, reduces stress and anxiety, and helps you sleep better at night.

Psychology of Candles 4 – Reduce stress and Anxiety

That is correct, probably the cheapest way to reduce stress and anxiety in a person is to gift them some scented candles. There is a reason why every self-care routine consists of burning some candles by your bed at night, or taking a warm, soothing bath with some lit up aromatic candles.

Clary sage is a wonderful essential oil, that is known to reduce stress and anxiety in women, by control cortisol. Cortisol is known as the stress hormone that is found in women.

Clary sage, when combined in a candle can thus help with women who are prone to stress and anxiety, by promoting peace of mind. Frankincense is also great for this purpose.

Psychology of Candles 5 – Creates a Relaxing, Calming, Soothing Ambience

Ever wonder why spas everywhere light up all sorts of candles? It is because not only does it promote peace of mind, which is what people seek at a spa, but also it creates a calming, peaceful ambience. A candle can change the energy of a room. The fire from the candle, the light from the candle, the aroma from the candle, brings you closer to your spiritual side, it brings you closer to your positive side, it brings you closer to peace, to warmth, to God.

Peppermint and chamomile are relaxing, the scent can sooth the soul and create a peaceful ambience by doing so. Candles make great gifts as well.

Wrapping up

Fall is a favorite season for many, and it is known for many things to begin with. Fall is known for the cool weather, the autumn leaves, the beauty around us, it is the time to bring out the boots, and the cozy socks. It is also the time for candles.

That is the reason I chose this time to pen down this post. I love candles, there is something so feminine, classy, and soothing about candles. So, I set out on a quest to find some of the best Fall candles for the season and decided to share my research with you.

Which is your favorite candle scent? Feel free to share in the comment section below. Warm and Peaceful vibes your way.  

 

 

 

 

 

Marilyn Monroe - Quotes and Sayings

Marilyn Monroe Quotes and Sayings

Marilyn Monroe Quotes and Sayings

Marilyn Monroe is one of the most famous names even today, it has been fifty years since Marilyn died and her life, her death, her quotes are still remembered and talked about. Marilyn Monroe was a style icon in the 50s. She was a famous American actress, model and a comedian who became a sex symbol through her bold roles in movies.

There are so many celebrities who have come and gone but there are very few that have left such an impact that their lives are discussed almost 60 years after it’s ended.

Marilyn Monroe – What makes her so Memorable?

Marilyn Monroe's Childhood1. A Difficult Childhood

The first thing that makes Marilyn Monroe stand apart is the fact that she overcame a difficult childhood. Her father was absent, her mother was a Schizophrenic, which led to young Marilyn being moved in and out of foster care.

 It was a wonder how a woman in the 50s with such a tragic history could not only survive but make such a name and career for herself. Her PR team exploited her tragic childhood to bring in more press for the actress during her initial fame.

 

2. The way Marilyn Monroe Looked

Her Appearance is widely talked about even today, Marilyn Monroe might not have been born “beautiful” by Hollywood standards, but she grew into it. Marilyn Monroe worked hard on her looks, her makeup skills were way ahead of her time – She was one of the first to popularize the winged eyeliner to make her eyes look wider.

She layered her lipstick to make her lips look poutier. She bleached her brown hair for that blonde hair, which was probably one of the most striking features about her, that including the big blue eyes.

 Marylin Monroe did not leave any stone unturned when it came to her physical appeal, she went under the knife and got several surgeries done to change her physical features. A move that her agent convinced her to take, he also paid for the surgeries. 

Marilyn Monroe's Beauty

3.  Her very Public Relationships

The third thing that sets her apart from the rest and highly responsible for her popularity were her relationships. She was married three times and had several famous partners throughout her life. Some famous names include Marlon Brando, Frank Sinatra, Joe DiMaggio.

4. There was something Mysterious about Marilyn Monroe

The fourth thing that adds more of an appeal to her persona was the mystery. Despite the bold roles she played, there was a mystery about her. Her beautiful smile never hid the deep sadness behind her eyes. Nobody knew who she really was off camera and that is something that adds to her great appeal, so many years after she died. Her mystery and intrigue are clear through some of her quotes and sayings. 

 5. She Died Young at the age of 36

The fifth reason why she still has such an influence in the world is because she died young. Her tragic life ending the way it did and created more of an enigma around her mystique. People wanted to know every thing they could about her life and death.

 6. Marilyn Monroe was Wise

She might have played the ditsy blonde very well, but there is no doubt that she was wiser than her years. The ditsy little bold but poor girl act is part of her fame, and she played that part really well, but her interviews, her diaries, the way she answered the questions asked, shows how incredibly smart and insightful Marilyn truly was. She is still quoted, and her quotes and sayings continue to inspire generations to come.

 

Here is a list of some of Marilyn Monroe Quotes and Sayings & what we can Learn from them:

Marilyn Monroe's Quotes

 

“No one ever told me I was pretty when I was a little girl. All little girls should be told they’re pretty, even if they aren’t.”

 

They should also be told that they are talented, smart, creative, funny, interesting, capable, strong, kind and amazing. Law of attraction is real, if you hear it, you believe it, and if you believe it, you become it.

 “If there is only one thing in my life that I am proud of, it’s that I’ve never been a kept woman.”

 We must remember that this was said over 6 decades ago, when being a “kept woman” was not only accepted but also applauded. Like I said, she was way beyond her years.

 

“Keep smiling, because life is a beautiful thing and there’s so much to smile about.”

 Considering how tragic her life was, starting from the day she was born up until her fame, her depression, mental health, these words hit you hard. Her optimism hits you hard and it is something we can all learn from.

Marilyn Monroe's Saying

“We should all start to live before we get too old.”

 Marilyn never got to be old, as she died at 36, but she lived a lot in those 36 years. 

“I am trying to find myself. Sometimes that’s not easy.”

 It is never easy. It is endless, it can take years and sometimes we never find ourselves, but the aim is to continue trying. I recommend trying many things, doing a lot of new things that we find interesting, entertaining, satisfying, true to us and we might one day find ourselves. The secret is in not giving up. 

“If I’d observed all the rules, I’d never got anywhere.”

 Also, if we remember when this was spoken, these words are truly groundbreaking. While I believe sometimes rules help us, and help make our lives easier, but yes .. sometimes it is okay to break some of these rules. When it comes to living a life that is true to yourself, break those rules. 

Marilyn Monroe Quotes

“Dreaming about being an actress is more exciting than being one.”

It is more about the journey than the destination. It is about the experiences. The little droplets of life that we live in those moments that resonate with us throughout life. Too deep?

 

“I don’t want to make money. I just want to be wonderful.”

 And she was wonderful, she made money doing what she wanted, what she loved, isn’t that the dream? 

 “I’m selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I’m out of control, and at times hard to handle. But if you can’t handle me at my worst, then you don’t deserve me at my best.”

 This is probably one of Marilyn Monroe’s most quoted quotes. Why? Because it resonates with most of us. We all have our moments, when we are our worst selves, but isn’t that just human nature? It is not natural to be our best selves all the time.

 

Peace of Mind - 9 Ways“I restore myself when I’m alone.”

 I love this quote because this is me. I say it all the time. You need your alone time – from your kids, from your friends, from your partner, from yourselves too sometimes. In which case, meditate. But for the love of yourself, spend at least an hour by yourself every day. An hour of doing nothing, ironically increases productivity. Here is a post I wrote about this topic.

 

“This life is what you make it. No matter what, you’re going to mess up sometimes, it’s a universal truth. But the good part is you get to decide how you’re going to mess it up.”

 Never run after perfection, it is okay to be imperfect if as long as you are getting things done. As long as you are moving ahead. As long as you have the ability to think for yourself. Make mistakes, celebrate failures as much as successes. it just means you tried.

 

“A girl doesn’t need anyone that doesn’t need her.”

 And don’t you ever forget that. Wanting someone is different, the moment you start needing them, you absolutely need to get out. This is what a co-dependent relationship looks like. 

 

To Wrap Up

Marilyn Monroe was inspiring, beautiful, interesting, and sensational. To me the best thing about her is the fact that, though she was far from perfect, she was truly herself. She was fearless, and it was this fearlessness that latches on to people; those of us that were not even alive back when she died. She continues to live on through her famous quotes and sayings. 

Why should you be a better listener

How to Become a Better Listener – 11 Simple Ways

How to Become a Better Listener – 11 Simple Ways

Difference Between Listening and Hearing

You know how when you start eating less, after a while, your stomach stops needing more food. Your body finds it harder to process the food that you’ve stopped eating. Same way, if you are not in a habit of listening to people, after a while, it will affect your ability to hear. Let that sink in!

Listening is different from hearing. Hearing means that you have the ability to hear, because you have ears that thankfully work and you are capable of hearing the birds, the rain, the baby crying, the kids playing, a married couple arguing, you get the picture. You hear things even when you might not want to, simply because of your ability to hear, which is one of the 6 senses.

However, listening is about choice. It is about whether you care to use your sense of hearing.

A few examples, “I can hear the married couple arguing, but I can’t listen to what they are saying.”

“I heard my teacher explain this before, but I don’t remember because I wasn’t really listening.”

I know what you’re thinking, you didn’t come here for a lesson in vocabulary, but it’s important to understand the difference between the two, because a lot of people use the two words interchangeably.

Why is it Important to be a Good Listener?

It is extremely important to work on having better listening skills. Listening is a rare art; everybody wants to talk. Everybody wants to show how much they know, “I know”, does that sound familiar? It is the two words we say and hear a lot. You never learn anything new from talking, but you can always learn some thing new and interesting by listening.

The Importance of being a good Listening

Better Listening Skills will Help you out in all Walks of Life:

  • Better listening skills will help you at work, when your employers, employees or fellow colleagues are trying to express an amazing idea that they have. Listening to them will make them feel important, appreciated, and in turn they will appreciate you for making them feel that way.
  • Better listening skills will help you build stronger relationships. You want to make your partner feel understood, you want them to feel like they can come to you when they are having a bad day. After all, having each other’s backs in times of need is the true essence of all relationships.
  • Better listening skills will make people want to talk to you more. People might forget the things you say, but they always remember how you made them feel. It is as simple as that, simply by listening to people, you make them feel loved, you make them feel valued and understood. Isn’t that a power you wish to have?
  • Better listening skills will help you make more friends. “How to make friends as an adult”, it is one of the most asked questions on google. Let me tell you, it is no rocket science. You make good friends by being a good friend. How to be a good friend? There are a lot of requirements here, but getting to the basics, become a better listener.

How to Become a Better Listener / Tips for being a Good Listener

Now that we know, why it’s imperative that you try to become a good listener, and if you think you already are a good listener, there’s always scope for improvement and here are a few tips for being a better listener.

1. Do not get distracted when someone is talking to you

This includes internal, as well as external distractions. It is extremely easy to get distracted. There is so much going on around you, and so much going inside you.

Internal Distractions: Our minds are constantly thinking, try not to think of a to-do list, or a bucket list. Instead, try to focus that energy on the person who is talking to you now.

External Distractions: The biggest culprit of all, the cell phone! Put it away. Do not look at any screen. I know that beautiful, shiny object across the room is distracting, and it will still be there when the conversation is over. You can do it!

2. Let them finish their sentences

Better listening skills

People should not have to speak super-fast, just so they are able to finish their sentences.

Scenario 1:

You are in the middle of a rant, your thoughts are flowing, you are venting out, expressing yourself and BAM, you are interrupted in the middle. Can you go back to exactly what was going on in your mind before you were interrupted?

Scenario 2:

Something amazing happened in your life, or you had a great idea and you have been dying to share it with a friend, you’re building it up in your head, you’re so excited to tell them and before you are able to finish the whole story, they cut you off.

Imagine yourself in these scenarios, does that sound fun? Think about that next time you feel the urge to say something when someone is talking. Resist the temptation to jump in with a response. They will finish, I promise.

3. Use Non-verbal Responses

Encourage the person talking to you by letting them know that you want to be a part of the conversation. Effective communication requires at least two people. Talking is not the only method of communication. So, what should you do when you are trying to be a better listener?

  • Nod your head in agreement or disagreement
  • Raise your eyebrows to show interest
  • Maintain eye contact. If you are in a group, maintain eye contact with the others in the group as well, this shows the person talking that you are interested in what they are saying. You are part of the group and exchanging reactions with each other.
  • Do not stare at them without blinking. A blank stare is a clear-cut sign that you are only pretending to listen.
  • Utter words like “Oh”, “wow”, “no way!”, “Oh My God!”, “really?”, “interesting”, etc

4. Ask THE RIGHT questions

Ask questions related to the topic of the conversation. If they are talking about their goals and dreams, asking a question about what they ate for breakfast will not help your case. It will be obviously that you clearly were not listening to what they were saying, but instead you were thinking about food.

5. Keep an Open Mind

Try not to let your personal judgements, beliefs, agendas clog your mind. Open your mind up to the possibility of new ideas. This is a great way to not only learn something new, but also when you listen with an open mind, you are less likely to interrupt.

6. Wait for your Turn

Yes, it is advisable to ask questions – The appropriate questions at the appropriate time is equally important. Keep the question in mind and wait for a natural pause in the conversation, do not keep interrupting the conversation to ask questions every 5 seconds. Be patient, your turn will come.

7. Do not try to fill in Every Pause by Talking

There might be a pause because the speaker is just trying to gather his/her thoughts, catching his/her breath, instead of jumping in to fill this natural pause, process what has just been said. This shows that you were not just waiting for your turn to talk but listening intently to what was being said.

8. Ask Deep Questions

Ask questions that will assure the speaker that you are interested in what they are saying. Let the questions be open ended. Instead of asking, “Did that upset you?”, try asking, “How did that make you feel?”

9. Force yourself to Focus

Some people are natural good listeners, for others it does not come naturally. Do not worry if that is you, you are in a majority. However, if that is the case, force yourself to be a better listener. It may be difficult at first, but if you keep forcing your brain to do something, over a period, it becomes a habit.

10. Wait for a response when you ask a question

Please do not ask “How are you”, “How was your day”, and then proceed to talk about yourself before giving them a chance to respond. It’s just rude.

11. Set your Intention

This might sound silly, but sometimes all it takes is a little self-awareness and self-motivation. About to hang out with a friend, a relative, teammates, any other group, when you leave your house, say it to yourself, “Today I will listen more and speak less”. Set this intention, and every day you will find yourself getting a little better at it.

To Conclude

These tips for being a good listener will come easily to you if you genuinely care about what the other person is feeling and saying. Listening is one of the most important skills required for effective communication. Unfortunately, it is also the rarest to find. But the good news is, like all other skills, it can be something you can teach yourself. If you are reading this blog, it is safe to assume, it is a skill that you are trying to improve at. Like I said, self-awareness is step one, you are already moving in the right direction.

Who do you go to when you just want to vent out? You can learn a lot by observing them. Did you find this information useful? Feel free to let me know in the comment section below.

Good Luck and have fun Listening! You will be surprised how interesting people are when you listen to them. 

Want to find out the secret to a stress free life? Click here

world photography day

World Photography Day – The Origin and Evolution of Photography

The Origin of World Photography Day

world photography day - The daguerreotype which was the first camera

Imagine a world without instagram, facebook, youtube; social media wouldn’t be what it is today without photographs. The world as we know it, wouldn’t be the same without photographs. In other words, the world as we know it today, wouldn’t exist without Frenchmen Louis Daguerre developing a photographic process which was named after him as the Daguerreotype.

louis daguerre, invented the first camera

As the world celebrates World Photography Day or World Photo Day on August 19th, 2020, lets take a look at the origin and the evolution of photographs over the years. 

How did the Daguerreotype Come into Existence?

Louis Daguerre, a French artist, had immense love for theater design, painting and architecture. He teamed up with Nicéphore Niépce, an inventor who was famous for inventing the first ever surviving camera photograph.

Niepce died in 1933, before the two came up with the Daguerreotype, however, Daguerre continued experimenting and soon the world had the Daguerreotype, the world’s oldest camera, which marked the origin of World Photography Day.

On August 19th, 1839, The French Government presented the Daguerreotype as a gift from France to the world, and this is why August 19th is celebrated as World Photograph Day every year. 

What is the Significance of World Photo Day / International Photograph Day?

World Photograph Day is celebrated every year on August 19th, as a way to celebrate the origin and the evolution of photography. World Photography Day encourages people from all walks of life, across the globe to share their photographs with others, and in doing so add more sparkle, vibrancy, color and exuberance to the world.

It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that photography, as a form of art and expression has helped a lot of people in dealing with the stress in their life

The Evolution of Photography over the Years

A photo taken in the 1830sJust like any other great invention, the camera has seen several updates over the years. These updates can easily be seen in the quality of pictures that has improved over time. On the right, you can see a picture taken in the 1830s. 

For several decades, the world knew of only black and white photographs. But that would change in the 1860s. The first color photograph made by the three-color method suggested by James Clerk Maxwell in 1855,  was taken in 1861 by Thomas Sutton. The subject is a colored ribbon, usually described as a tartan ribbon. The First Color Photo

The Three color method was only one of the many ways used to add color to photographs, it was highly inconvenient and time consuming to add color to photos that way, which is why many inventors experimented in the labs to figure out a more convenient and faster way to take colored photographs. 

However, just like any great invention, it wasn’t an easy task and many inventors started thinking of it to be a pipe dream. It was not for several more decades that color photography became a common practice and accessible to the public.

Several photographers remained skeptical about the idea of colors in photographs and it was greatly debated among photographers when colored photographs first became accessible to everybody in the 1930s, with black and white images still being the more respectable form of art. 

To Conclude

I am still a fan of black and white photographs but aren’t you glad, we had these amazing inventors that contributed and gave us this incredible gift of colors to capture this beautiful, vibrant world that we live in? Lets celebrate the history and the evolution of the camera and photography by sharing some of your best photographs on social media.

Don’t forget to tag them #WorldPhotographyDay, for a chance to be featured on WorldPhotographyDay.com. They are currently accepting submissions for photos and you might be one of the lucky ones to be featured on their website. Good Luck! 

How to Improve your Life

10 Simple Ways to Improve your Quality of Life

10 Simple Ways to Improve your Quality of Life

“This is how I am” – How many times have you heard that before? While, it is true that you are who we are and staying true to your unique personality is cool, but does that mean you can’t try to change for the better? Do you have to accept your flaws, because “this is me”.

Life is about growth, it is about development, it is about evolution, it is about becoming the best version of yourself. It is not only good sense, but a requirement to constantly try and improve your life.

Imagine a world where nothing ever changed, the birds never learned to fly, the caterpillar never blossomed into a beautiful butterfly, children never learned to walk, women never left their comfortable homes, men still lived like nomads.. close your eyes and think of it for a minute. Doesn’t look like a lot of fun, does it? Change is imperative, personal growth is beautiful and we must always strive to be better than we are today. Only then can you improve your quality of life. 

Here’s How to Improve your Life – Based on Advice…

  • Given to me by someone
  • Given by me to someone
  • Given by me to myself
  • Given by someone to someone else

1. Under promise and over deliver

Sometimes, in the heat of the moment, we say everything that comes to our mind and make promises that we are not able to follow through even though we intend to keep these promises. We end up losing the trust of the people we make these promises to. So, it is better to speak less and deliver more, and make sure that next time you make a promise, people believe it.

You will see how you can improve your life simply by following this simple rule.

2. It’s not what you say, but how you say it

Words mean something, and once you say something, you can’t take it back. A little tact can go a long way. It is good to be honest but sometimes people take it too far. If your “truth” hurts feelings, is it really worth it? Isn’t it better and classier to speak your mind but in a way that you don’t break hearts.

Changing the way you phrase your sentences makes the world of a difference. The tone and body language is even more important. It’s amazing how being a bit more tactful can improve your relationships and in doing so improve your life.

3. Treat yourself like you would treat a friend

Be your best friend - Pieces of Advice for a better life

Are you over critical of yourself? Do you put too many expectations on yourself? Are you too harsh with yourself? Every time you see yourself putting way too much pressure on yourself, stand in front of the mirror and pretend that you’re talking to a friend. What would you say to a friend in a similar situation? 

Skeptical about this? Try it! Talk to yourself like you would talk to your best friend and feel how your quality of life improves.

4. Stop trying to please everybody

It feels great to be adored by everyone, and it is nice- to do things for people as well. But there needs to be a balance between genuinely being there for people out of affection, and being a people pleaser to the point where you become a doormat.

If you do not get over your habit of wanting to please everyone, you’ll never learn or achieve anything of value. People will respect you more if you stand your ground and know your value, it’s also good for your peace of mind (Click here) 

5. Learn to say “no”

Is “sorry” really the hardest word? Some may argue. “No” is definitely a close second. It is hard sometimes; you want to be there for people. You want to make your loved ones happy. You wish to give them the world. However, it is important to make sure you don’t compromise your self-worth, beliefs and mental peace in order to appease others. Stand your ground and how you can improve your life.

It is okay to say no, and if you lose people for standing up for yourselves, do you really want them in your life? The answer is easy, NO. 

6. If it’s fragile, let it break

This one’s one of my favorite ways to improve your quality of life! You cannot keep walking on egg shells, if keeping a person in your life means that you have to be cautious around them, make sure you don’t anger them, watch every word that comes out of your mouth like a hawk because you are always afraid they will leave you if you say or do anything that upsets them; it is a toxic relationship, it is a fear-based relationship. Living in constant fear at the most is deadly and at the least is unhealthy. If a relationship can break so easily, let it break. 

Get out of your comfort zone - Great Piece of Advice7. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there, aka, get out of your comfort zone

This is a great way to improve your life. I, like many others fall in my comfort zone pretty easily. It’s called the comfort zone for a reason – it’s comfortable, it’s familiar, it’s non-threatening. However, it is outside our comfort zones that we can truly discover ourselves.

It is when we put ourselves out there, that our true potential reveals itself. Getting out of my comfort zone has also made me a happier person, so I can vouch that this will truly help improve your quality of life.

Hard work Beats talent8. Hardwork beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard

Ever wonder how a few mega talented singers, actors slowly fade away and you find those who might not have the best voice or the best acting skills slowly becoming much more popular and successful? Luck is definitely important, and so is hard work.

Your classmates that were considered “average” by the teachers and other students might end up becoming more successful than those that were naturally smarter and got better grades in school. This is because of sheer hard work, perseverance and practice.

9. Always have a PLAN B

This again is one of the many simple things that improve your life. We all have dreams and it’s fabulous to go after those dreams. But if you think you’ve tried everything you could and that dream is still not coming true, allow yourself to dream another dream. Destiny is not a myth and you can’t fight it. If one door doesn’t open no matter how hard you kick it, it’s not your door.

But there might be another door just around the corner, that will open for you. And you know what? You might like the interiors of door number 2 a lot better. My students benefitted from this advice, and so will you. 

Always have a Plan B #piecesofadvice10. Accept yourself, but never completely

Nothing destroys potential more than complacency. In other words, accept yourself but never completely. If you accept yourself fully, you stop trying to change, to improve, to learn more. You start to think you already know everything there is to know. You think you’ve accomplished everything there is to accomplish. This destroy growth.

There is always stuff to learn, always things we can do better and several things that improve your quality of life. Growth never stops, growth within us – our habits, our personalities, our knowledge, our focus, our drive, our dreams. There’s always scope for improvement.

To Conclude

That’s it, these are just a few words of wisdom that will help improve your life. Self awareness and self improvement go hand in hand, you are not who you were five years ago and you won’t be who you are five years from today. That doesn’t mean you are a chameleon constantly changing colors, it simply means you are a human being – always evolving. 

What has been your favorite advice given to you by someone? How has it impacted your life? How have you improved your life? Feel free to share in the comment section.

 

8 UNEXPECTED FOODS FOR INSTANT STRESS RELIEF

What should we eat for instant stress relief? Ever wonder why we tend to crave certain foods when we are stressed out? It’s because they actually help calm our nerves. We are living in extremely troubling times, needless to say 2020 has been the most stress inducing year globally. A lot of things are out of our control, but there are a few things that can be done to help mitigate the stress. Here is a list of 8 secret foods for instant stress relief:

Looking for some color inspo to help calm you down? Here’s a post to help you with that!

 

water for instant stress relief1. Water for instant stress relief

Water is not really food but it is the most important on this list. Dehydration has a link to a rise in cortisol levels, cortisol is a hormone that increases stress and anxiety in people. Drinking water keeps the body hydrated, and that is going to reduce symptoms of anxiety that come from dehydration. It is cold in most of the world right now, and it is easy to forget to drink water. I recommend always keeping a glass or bottle of water with you. It has helped me drink more water than I normally did.

2. Oranges for instant stress relief

Orange for Stress Relief

Oranges are rich in Vitamin C, this famous fruit has been a subject of several studies that suggest that vitamins can help reduce stress inducing hormones and result in a healthy immune system. Eating oranges and other citrus fruits, like lemons, grapefruits, limes, tangerines, clementine, help keep your blood pressure in control during stressful situations.

3. Spinach for instant stress relief

spinach for Stress Relief

Spinach? Yes, Popeye was not kidding with this leafy, green, not so delicious vegetable. Spinach may not give you instant biceps that will help you save Olive Oyl for the 100th time, but this fabulous leaf is filled with the goodness of magnesium. This secret food for instant stress relief will help you keep those pesky headaches at bay, energize you for the home life and reduce stress.

4. Milk for instant stress relief

milk for Stress Relief

Milk for stress relief? I always say, when in doubt, go back in time and learn from the age-old traditions. Our forefathers knew a thing or two about stress as well. Something tells me it might have been a lot lesser than the 2020 stress but nonetheless, it was something. A warm glass of milk instantly provides a warm, cozy feeling. Milk has a protein that is known to soothe the mind, body, and soul. I would recommend, adding a teaspoon of hot chocolate to this warm cup of delight for higher gratification.

5. Herbal Tea for instant stress relief

tea for Stress Relief

While we are talking about beverages, Tea that is low in caffein is a great way to destress that exhausted, overthinking mind of yours. Need instant stress relief? Try a cup of tea with honey, or a sweetener of your choice if you cannot have unsweetened tea. It is like a hug in a cup. I would highly recommend peppermint or chamomile tea.

6. Cashews for instant stress relief

cashews for Stress Relief

Cashews are rich in Vitamin B6 and magnesium, these nuts are known to regulate the nervous system and help lighten the mood. Not to mention, they are delicious. Warning: These nuts are extremely addictive and high in fat so do not eat more than 1/4th of a cup of this instant stress relief food.

7. Dark Chocolate for instant stress relief

dark chocolate for Stress Relief

It was discovered about a decade ago that eating chocolate is not such a bad thing after all, especially when it is dark chocolate. According to studies from Loma Linda University in California, dark chocolate helps with the mood swings, inflammation, immunity, and memory. Dark chocolate, with at least 70 per cent cacao, is another great addition to this list of 8 secret foods for instant stress relief. 

8. Turmeric for instant stress relief

turmeric for Stress Relief

Turmeric: Studies have suggested that consuming more turmeric resulted in reduced stress. This yellow spice is a staple in every kitchen in India and been the subject of several researches. It is super easy to add a pinch of turmeric to just about anything – Meals, rice, smoothies, tea, coffee, milk. It has little flavor and I personally enjoy the fresh orange color it leaves behind. A pinch of turmeric goes a long way. Increasing the consumption of turmeric can lead to lowering anxiety.

Wrapping Up

Our diet has an incredible impact on how we feel in our day to day lives. A balanced diet, with the right quantity of vitamins, minerals and rich in antioxidants can impact how we feel throughout the day, and if continued, even month and year. Of course, it is important to strike a balance between what we should eat and what we want to eat. Sometimes, giving in to those high sugar cravings is all the secret we need to feel instant stress relief.

For every other time, there’s Mastercard? Nah, there is this list that can help you calm those nerves. Also, do not forget to hit the snooze button. Nothing like a good night’s sleep to relax and rejuvinate. Click here for ways to sleep when stressed out.