Life Hacks en-US 11 Easy Memory Hacks <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/11-easy-memory-hacks" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="smelling rosemary" title="smelling rosemary" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Every single day, week, and month you have to keep track of deadlines, appointments, numbers, and bills, and as you try to juggle so many things at the same time, you often cannot remember key things when you need them the most. It's time to stop lamenting your bad memory and do something about it. (See also: <a href="">How to Improve Your Memory (And Maybe Even Get a Little Smarter)</a>)</p> <p>Here are 11 easy lifehacks to boost your memory and improve your chances to recall key data.</p> <h2>1. Use the Visual Peg System</h2> <p>A great way to memorize phone numbers and numerical passwords, while keeping them private, is to associate each number to a visual &quot;peg.&quot; For example, you can use rhyming pegs, such as <em>hive</em> for <em>five</em> and <em>tree</em> for <em>three</em>. <a href="">By associating numbers with visual pegs</a>, you can memorize numbers better and keep a card in your wallet with those passwords. No one else other than you is going to understand that a drawing of a vine, a hive, a tree, and a shoe stands for your PIN 9532.</p> <h2>2. Tell a Story</h2> <p>If you're terrible at remembering a list of errands or action items for the day, here is how to fix it. Tell yourself a short story involving those items. There are three important reasons <a href="">why storytelling makes you more likely to remember that list</a>:</p> <ol> <li>It grabs your attention, which is necessary for your brain to encode information.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Provides action items to your working memory, increasing your chances of storing information.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Facilitates repetition, which helps you retrieve the list of errands faster.</li> </ol> <h2>3. Say It Out Loud</h2> <p>Researchers have found that people who <a href="">study a list of words by saying the words out loud</a> have a better chance of remembering than those who read the same words silently. The science behind this memory hack is that by saying things out loud you are storing not only the written word but also the spoken word.</p> <p>And you don't have to shout out loud; even whispering improves your chances of memorizing something.</p> <h2>4. Get Plenty of Sleep</h2> <p>There are many reasons why sleeping is good for you. Here is one more: <a href="">sleep improves and strengthens your memory</a>.</p> <p>When you sleep, you tend to <a href="">dream about things that are important to you</a>. It is not a coincidence that you tend to dream about important upcoming events, such as a big project deadline or an upcoming baby shower that you're planning. This is your mind allowing you to focus on those events. (See also: <a href="">7 Ways to Sleep Better in Fewer Hours</a>)</p> <p>On top of sleeping more, you should also listen to music or audiobooks related to what you want remember during long snoozes or even short naps. Appropriate background noise doesn't disrupt sleep and <a href="">helps you recall the info later</a>.</p> <h2>5. Walk Six Miles a Week</h2> <p>If walking 10,000 steps a day sounds like too much work, how about just six miles a week?</p> <p>A study has found that <a href="">walking 72 blocks a week helps improve gray matter volume</a>, which is necessary for good memory. An important note: 72 blocks is the sweet spot, walking more than that doesn't lead to greater gray matter.</p> <h2>6. Publicly Commit to Deadlines</h2> <p>By putting your reputation on the line, you increase your chances of remembering a deadline and committing to it. Having the threat of public shaming or disapproval works as a great motivator. You can <a href="">publicly commit to a deadline</a> in front of a group of peers or friends, but if you're really active on Facebook or Twitter, using those channels works just as well.</p> <h2>7. Ignore Stereotypes About Age and Memory</h2> <p>As you grow older, there are enough things to worry about. Worrying about your memory shouldn't be one of them. Older folks that are constantly reminded of stereotypes about age and memory fall victim to a self-fulfilling prophecy. Studies show that <a href="">older people who pay attention to these stereotypes perform worse in memory tests</a>. Keep your golden years truly golden by avoiding people that reinforce negative stereotypes about your age and ability to remember. This will not only keep you positive but also prevent any unnecessary memory handicaps.</p> <h2>8. Chew Gum for 30 Minutes</h2> <p><a href=";jsessionid=0A2DE2D62EF0044943DF6C8395558462.f01t03">Chewing gum while performing a task</a> allows you to better focus on a task and improve your ability to recall information from memory. Studies indicate that no fancy gum is needed &mdash; any will do. You have to chew the gum for at least 30 minutes while doing the task because the top benefits are reaped between the 20 and 30 minute time interval. (See also: <a href="">11 Surprising Benefits Of: Chewing Gum</a>)</p> <h2>9. Clench Your Right Fist, Then Your Left</h2> <p>Get a grip on your memory by clenching the right fist at the right time. Australian scientists figured out that a mere 90 seconds of <a href="">hand clenching improves the activity of your cerebral hemispheres</a>. Boost your memory with this easy hack:</p> <ul> <li>While memorizing something, clench your right fist.</li> <li>When you need to recall that piece of information, clench your left fist.</li> </ul> <h2>10. Smell Rosemary</h2> <p>The scent of <a href="">rosemary essential oil is a great memory booster</a>. Studies have shown that inhaling this oil helps you remember events and be aware to complete tasks at particular times. Additionally, smelling rosemary essential oil has <a href="">other health benefits</a>, such as stress relief, immune system boost, and aid with respiratory diseases.</p> <h2>11. Get Offline</h2> <p>If you want to improve your chances of remembering something, <a href="">close the computer and concentrate on memorizing</a>. Our working memory can only carry up to three or four items. If you try to write an email, read Facebook posts, and remember the time that you have to pick up the cake from the bakery, you're setting yourself up for disaster. Not only will the person asking you to remember something appreciate the gesture, but also you will actually keep your promise to remember.</p> <p><em>What are you favorite memory hacks? Don't forget to share them in comments!</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="11 Easy Memory Hacks" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Damian Davila</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> General Tips memory memory aids remembering Wed, 01 Oct 2014 21:00:05 +0000 Damian Davila 1224679 at 20 Ways to Use Pool Noodles <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/20-ways-to-use-pool-noodles" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="pool noodles" title="pool noodles" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Believe it or not, pool noodles are good for more than beating up your friends on a steamy summer day. Exactly what other practical applications do they have? Let's take a look.</p> <h2>1. Insulate Your Pipes</h2> <p>Cut a slit in the noodle from top to bottom and wrap them around your pipes during the winter to keep them from getting too cold.</p> <h2>2. Protect Children at the Supermarket</h2> <p>Cut a 12-inch piece of the noodle off and slice it from top to bottom to wrap around shopping cart handles so children don't have to touch the germy handle or hurt their head, nose, or teeth by accident.</p> <h2>3. Stuff Your Boots</h2> <p>Keep your boots in boot shape by cutting a piece of noodle long enough to fit inside so they stay erect in the closet.</p> <h2>4. Form Wreath Shapes</h2> <p>Becky Clegg, author of the blog <a href="">Happy is a Verb</a>, says, &quot;I have used pool noodles instead of foam for wreath forms. You just cut the noodle to the size you'd like, put the two ends together, and tape that baby really well. It's so much cheaper!&quot;</p> <h2>5. Quiet the Clanking on Sailboat Masts</h2> <p>Certainly this isn't a common problem for most of us, but if you're a sailor you might be familiar with <a href="">seafarer Dana Greyson</a>'s conundrum.</p> <p>&quot;One thing that drives us sailors crazy is when the wires inside the main mast of our sailboat 'clank,'&quot; says Dana. &quot;Given how small our living space is &mdash; about 150 square feet of living space in our 36 foot sailboat &mdash; it's a real sleep disruptor. We know a number of sailors who've stopped the problem by pulling their mast &mdash; on purpose &mdash; and using pool noodles to quietly contain all the otherwise loose wires inside, then stuffing the wire-filled noodles back down into their mast. We hear from them it's become blissfully quiet. Our mast is due to be pulled in two months and we'll likely follow suit.&quot;</p> <h2>6. Fortify Car Seats for Children</h2> <p>Certified passenger safety technician Cherlyn Jenkins says, &quot;Pool noodles are acceptable to put under certain rear-facing car seats to get the correct angle when you can not otherwise achieve the correct angle.&quot; Please just be careful.</p> <h2>7. Get a Workout In</h2> <p>Fitness pro and author <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00AWF97EI&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=ODJ7SMOFGL4GYF2V"> Noodles for Dumbbells: Water Exercise, Weight Management &amp; More</a> <span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-size: 13px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: normal; orphans: auto; text-align: start; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 0px; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; display: inline !important; float: none; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">Janna Lowell</span> is an expert on how to use noodles to break a sweat. &quot;I am currently quite fond of single leg jumps on the noodle. Beginning with the left foot in the middle, push the noodle to the pool floor and &mdash; keeping both knees slightly bent &mdash; begin jumping up and down with both legs,&quot; she says.</p> <h2>8. Start Stamping</h2> <p>Cut the noodle into different shapes and use them as stamps for craft projects. Circles are easiest, of course, but you can cut the noodle into many other designs.</p> <h2>9. Keep Your Sports Equipment Scratch-Free</h2> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=0877423407&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=PT3SIA4JHHSUDL6V">Living Aboard Your RV</a> author Janet Groene suggests using pool noodles to pad sports equipment when traveling. &quot;Slice [pool noodles] in required lengths to make a buffer to slip over the edge of a surfboard, snow skis, water skis, and so on.&quot;</p> <h2>10. Outfit Your Garage Door to Protect Your Car</h2> <p>Cut a slit in the pool noodle lengthwise and put it on one of the &quot;ribs&quot; of the garage door. When you're parked in the garage with the door shut and open the trunk, the car trunk door will come in contact with the softer surface of the noodle instead of the door, and save your car from scratches.</p> <h2>11. Keep Kids From Rolling Out of Bed</h2> <p><a href="">Mom blogger Katie Moseman</a> says, &quot;When your child transitions from a crib to a toddler bed or a full-size bed, place a pool noodle at the edge of the mattress &mdash; underneath the sheet and the mattress cover &mdash; to keep your child from rolling out of the bed. It works!&quot;</p> <h2>12. Line the Underside of a Loft</h2> <p>Many college students know the pain of standing up underneath their lofted bed and banging their heads on the wood of the bed above. Reduce the amount of concussions your kid gets in a semester by advising them to line the underside with pool noodles to help soften those blows.</p> <h2>13. DIY Your Kids' Halloween Costumes</h2> <p>The possibilities for making Halloween costumes using pool noodles are only limited by your creativity. Find some inspiration at <a href="">Frugal Living Mom</a>, which has suggestions on how to make pool-noodle ninjas, bats, spiders, cowboys, and more.</p> <h2>14. Stop Drafts From Sneaking Under Your Doors</h2> <p>Make a <a href="">two-sided draft stopper</a> to keep warm air in and cold air out.</p> <h2>15. Prevent Creasing on Clothing</h2> <p>The blog Living on the Cheap <a href="">suggests wrapping your clothes hangers in pool noodles</a> to avoid dreaded &quot;hanger dents.&quot; There are a few other fun and creative ideas for pool noodles on the post as well.</p> <h2>16. Invite the Force to Be With You</h2> <p><a href="">Photographer and mom Kristin Griffin</a> details how she and her husband made mock light sabers for her tiny Star Wars fanatic: &quot;My 7-year-old son loves Star Wars, so my husband took red, green and blue pool noodles, pushed a wooden dowel &frac34; of the way into the noodle and used duct tape to keep the noodles in place and cover the handle,&quot; she says. &quot;Now, we have light sabers for both Jedi and Sith lords, and my son loves to battle with them. The noodles are a lot softer than plastic toy light sabers, so there are fewer injuries around our house now, too.&quot;</p> <h2>17. Use as a Roof-Rack Alternative</h2> <p>Don't want to spend the money on a roof rack for your car to prevent large items from scratching it? Fasten a couple pool noodles to the roof and place your equipment on top to keep everything looking its best before and after transit.</p> <h2>18. Childproof Your Home</h2> <p>If you have little ones that are in danger of bumping their heads on tables and other hard objects, cut pool noodles to size and slit lengthwise and wrap the edges.</p> <h2>19. Protect Value Items During a Move</h2> <p>Cut pool noodles to size and slit lengthwise to wrap items like flat-screen TVs and computer monitors for protection during a move.</p> <h2>20. Impress Your Friends With a Floating Beer Pong Table</h2> <p>And finally, there's absolutely no way you shouldn't have this incredible creation if a) you're under 30 years old, b) you don't have any children, c) you have a pool. A DIY floating beer pong table will be your everything next summer if you <a href="">follow these detailed video instructions</a>.</p> <p><iframe frameborder="0" width="605" height="340" src="//" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p><em>Do you have more ideas for how to use pool noodles in different ways? Let me know in the comments below.</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="20 Ways to Use Pool Noodles" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Mikey Rox</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> DIY General Tips DIY foam making pool noodles Wed, 01 Oct 2014 11:00:07 +0000 Mikey Rox 1224680 at 12 Grammar Mistakes That Are Making You Look Stupid <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/12-grammar-mistakes-that-are-making-you-look-stupid" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="writing" title="writing" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Good grammar is sexy.</p> <p>On the other hand, bad grammar is not only a turn off, but also increases the likelihood that people skip your message altogether. (See also: <a href="">15 Ways to Get People to Respond to Your Email</a>)</p> <p>&quot;If you is not doing it good, the grammar,&quot; you may be appearing dumb to others. So, clean up your speech and your writing by avoiding these 12 common grammar mistakes.</p> <h2>Use the Right Word</h2> <p>As Inigo Montoya said in <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000TJBNHG&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=OZJLP2SBJTMMXSZH">The Princess Bride</a>: &quot;You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.&quot;</p> <h3>1. Specially vs Especially</h3> <p>These two adverbs often confuse people. While both of them indicate that something is particular, they are used in different circumstances.</p> <ul> <li>Use <em>specially</em> to indicate a particular or specific purpose. For example, &quot;I baked this pie <em>specially</em> for this occasion.&quot;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Include &quot;especially&quot; to denote a particular or exceptional quality. For example, &quot;Steve did <em>especially</em> well on today's game.&quot;</li> </ul> <h3>2. Your vs You're</h3> <ul> <li><em>Your</em> is a possessive pronoun.</li> <li><em>You're</em> is a contraction of &quot;you are.&quot;</li> </ul> <p>When in doubt about whether or not you're using <em>you're</em> correctly, expand the contraction. For example, &quot;<em>You're</em> pants are wrinkly&quot; is incorrect (&quot;<em>You are</em> pants are wrinkly&quot;), and it should be &quot;<em>Your</em> pants are wrinkly.&quot;</p> <h3>3. Effect vs Affect</h3> <p>While both words can be used as either verbs or nouns, generally <em>effect</em> is a noun and <em>affect</em> is a verb. We can clarify it a little further.</p> <ul> <li>When you are referring to a result or consequence, use <em>effect</em>. For example, &quot;the <em>effects</em> of this workout are impressive.&quot;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>On the other hand, use <em>affect</em> when indicating the action or influence. For example, &quot;this workout <em>affects</em> the way I walk.&quot;</li> </ul> <h3>4. Elicit vs Illicit</h3> <ul> <li><em>Elicit</em> is a verb meaning &quot;to bring out.&quot;</li> <li><em>Illicit</em> is an adjective indicating that something is illegal or unlawful.</li> </ul> <p>Check out the difference: &quot;The interviewer couldn't <em>elicit</em> information from the executive about the <em>illicit</em> business transactions.&quot;</p> <h3>5. Their vs They're vs There</h3> <ul> <li><em>Their</em> is a possessive pronoun. (&quot;This is <em>their</em> house.&quot;)<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><em>They're</em> is a contraction of &quot;they are.&quot; Use the same test described for <em>you're</em> to check your sentence.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><em>There</em> is an adverb specifying place. (&quot;The entrance to the party is over <em>there</em>.&quot;)</li> </ul> <p>In general, words that sound alike (known as <em>homonyms</em>) are common sources of grammatical errors. While I have selected five of the most common ones, you can also review this <a href="">list of 200 homonyms</a>.</p> <h2>Pronouns</h2> <p>Let's use the following sentence &quot;Mary and Kelly are sisters, and she like to eat cake&quot; to explain two frequent issues when using pronouns.</p> <h3>6. Subject-Pronoun Agreement</h3> <p>The verb tense is singular so &quot;like&quot; must be referring to both Mary and Kelly. We need to switch &quot;she&quot; with &quot;they&quot; to indicate that both sisters like to eat cake: &quot;Mary and Kelly are sisters, and <em>they</em> like to eat cake.&quot;</p> <h3>7. Pronoun Ambiguity</h3> <p>If you were to note that only one of the sisters likes to eat cake, you would write &quot;Mary and Kelly are sisters, and she likes to eat cake.&quot;</p> <p>The problem with this sentence is that we are not sure which sister is the one that likes to eat cake. To prevent pronoun ambiguity replace a pronoun with the correct noun that you're referring to: &quot;Mary and Kelly are sisters, and <em>Mary</em> likes to eat cake.&quot;</p> <h2>Lists and Comparisons</h2> <p>When you build lists or compare items, you have to be consistent in order and form.</p> <h3>8. Parallel Lists</h3> <p>Items in a list need to be in <em>parallel</em> form, which means that all phrases and clauses are similar.</p> <ul> <li>Incorrect: &quot;He was proud of his book, car, and his pet.&quot;</li> <li>Correct: &quot;He was proud of his book, his car, and his pet.&quot;</li> <li>Correct: &quot;He was proud of his book, car, and pet.&quot;</li> </ul> <p>Be consistent in your lists by using either only gerunds or only nouns, not both.</p> <ul> <li>Incorrect: &quot;Developing a plan, investment security, and working fast are essential for entrepreneurial success.&quot;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Correct: &quot;Developing a plan, securing investments, and working fast are essential for entrepreneurial success.&quot;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Correct: &quot;Plan development, investment security, and fast work are essential for entrepreneurial success.&quot;</li> </ul> <p>Maintaining strong parallelism in speech and writing has a bonus effect &mdash; in addition to helping you sound smarter, it will encourage you to think more clearly.</p> <h3>9. Logical Comparisons</h3> <p>Compare items that are both grammatically and logically comparable. Since those items are also in a list, keep the list in parallel form.</p> <ul> <li>Incorrect: &quot;Unlike the economies of Italy and France, England has a terrible economy.&quot;</li> <li>Correct: &quot;Unlike the economies of Italy and France, the economy of England is terrible.&quot;</li> <li>Correct: &quot;Unlike Italy and France, England has a terrible economy.&quot;</li> </ul> <h2>Subjunctive Mood</h2> <p>The subjunctive mood is the verb form used to express a wish, a suggestion, a command, or a condition that is contrary to fact. Despite its fancy name, the subjunctive mood is used quite often.</p> <h3>10. Hypothetical Situations</h3> <p>When talking about hypothetical situations or contrary-to-fact scenarios, use &quot;were&quot; and &quot;would.&quot; A quick way to remember this rule is that the lyrics from <a href="">Gwen Stefani's Rich Girl</a> (&quot;If I was a rich girl&hellip;&quot;) are grammatically incorrect, and those from <a href="">Beyonce's If I Were a Boy</a> are grammatically correct.</p> <h3>11. Orders and Recommendations</h3> <p>Verbs, such as <em>order</em>, <em>demand</em>, <em>wish</em>, and <em>insist</em>, attract the subjunctive mood. When using these and similar verbs the correct sentence format looks like this:</p> <ul> <li>The President demands that taxes be lowered.</li> <li>My mother insists that the door be opened.</li> </ul> <p>After the verb, use &quot;that,&quot; a new subject, and the infinitive form of a verb without the &quot;to.&quot; In these cases, a common mistake when using the subjunctive is to use an unnecessary &quot;should.&quot;</p> <h2>12. Countable vs Uncountable Items</h2> <p>Last but not least, here is my personal grammar pet peeve: the incorrect use of <em>less</em> and <em>few</em>.</p> <ul> <li><em>Less</em> can only refer to uncountable things, such as water, confidence, and energy.</li> <li><em>Few</em> must refer to countable things, such as dollars, persons, and cats.</li> </ul> <p>Notice that while <em>money</em> is not countable, <em>euros</em> are countable. The easiest way to prevent this mistake is by using units of measurement, such as watts for energy and degrees for temperature.</p> <p>I hope that you have <em>less</em> uncertainty about grammar and make <em>fewer </em>mistakes!</p> <p><em>What are your grammar pet peeves? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="12 Grammar Mistakes That Are Making You Look Stupid" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Damian Davila</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> General Tips grammar Mistakes spelling Tue, 30 Sep 2014 11:00:08 +0000 Damian Davila 1222063 at Do You Have Any of These 4 Most Irrational Fears? <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/do-you-have-any-of-these-4-most-irrational-fears" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="scared couple" title="scared couple" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Everyone's afraid of something &mdash; and rightfully so. Masked murderers, burning candles left unattended overnight, and rabid animals are all perfectly healthy things to fear, since they've been known to cause harm or death. (See also: <a href="">9 Techniques That Can Help You Conquer Any Fear</a>)</p> <p>But clowns? As far as we can tell, no one has ever been killed or badly injured by a stuffed clown doll. Not even the walking-talking kind found at the circus. Yet <em>coulrophobia</em>, as it's called, is real for many people. It's true: A series of clown sightings in an English town a year ago <a href="">set off widespread panic and heavy police involvement</a>. This incident alone speaks volumes about how widespread clown phobia really is.</p> <p>Read on for our roundup of the top four real &mdash; yet completely irrational fears &mdash; that plague even the most level-headed among us.</p> <h2>1. Clowns</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="" alt="" /></p> <p>Clowns are supposed to make us laugh. But for many people, just the sight of one of these red-nosed tricksters conjures up the heebie-jeebies &mdash; if not catapulting them into all-out panic mode.</p> <p>While there are no statistics on just how many people suffer from an irrational fear of clowns, studies show it's probably more common than we think. British researchers found that <a href="">wall-hung pictures of clowns in doctor's offices evoked negative feelings</a> ranging from mild dislike to intense hatred in all of the 255 children between the ages of 4 and 16 who were questioned about them.</p> <p>&quot;We found that clowns are universally disliked by children,&quot; said researcher Penny Curtis. &quot;Some found the clown images to be quite frightening.&quot;</p> <h2>2. Spiders</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="" alt="" /></p> <p>Spiders have a way of sneaking up on us &mdash; often we don't notice them 'til they're far too close for comfort. Plus, the webs they weave are creepy. And they've got a lot of legs. These are the major reasons why more than 9 million Americans &mdash; or 3.5% of adults &mdash; are afraid of them.</p> <p>Okay, you probably could have figured that out on your own. But swallow this. Even many <em>entomologists</em> &mdash; the people who study spiders and insects for a living &mdash; experience <a href="">a feeling of panic</a> when in close quarters with these eight-legged creatures. Sort of like an air traffic controller who's afraid of planes. Rather silly, don't you think? Especially when considering that the U.S. has only two spider types &mdash; black widows and brown recluses &mdash; that can be <a href="">harmful to humans</a>. Just a dozen of the <em>40,000</em> spider species worldwide are venomous. In fact, most spiders aren't even capable of piercing the skin.</p> <p>&quot;I've had 100 recluse spiders running up my arm, and I've never been bitten by one,&quot; retired arachnologist Rick Vetter told LiveScience.</p> <p><em>Arachnapobiacs</em> can typically trace their extreme fear of spiders to childhood, research shows. Yet unlike toddlers who live in fear of the the Bogey Man, arachnophobiacs haven't outgrown that feeling of dread.</p> <h2>3. Failure</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="" alt="" /></p> <p>The funny thing about failure is this: The more we dodge opportunities because we fear it, the less likely we are to succeed. Fear of failure makes us stagnant. <a href="">It breeds procrastination</a>. Indeed, it is fear of failure that makes us fail because it greatly reduces our chances at success.</p> <p>If you're having misgivings about any of this, a famous line from Thomas Edison should squash all doubts: &quot;I have not failed 10,000 times. I have not failed once. I have succeeded in proving that those 10,000 ways will not work. When I have eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work.&quot;</p> <p>Afterall, this is the man who invented the lightbulb &mdash; apparently on attempt number 10,001.</p> <h2>4. The Dark</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="" alt="" /></p> <p>Walk into a windowless room. Now turn out the lights. Nothing has changed, save for your ability to see. And maybe something else: Do you feel something? A tremor of fear, perhaps?</p> <p>Studies show that <a href="">fear of darkness is actually fear of the unknown</a>. It's one of the reasons many of us dread spiders &mdash; the creepy crawlies have a way of sneaking up on us. It's startling at best. But for someone with a spider phobia, it's an all-out terror.</p> <p>Fear of the dark is quite similar. Many of us fear what we can't see, or what we can see only when it's already upon us. Humans are highly visual people. We depend on our sense of sight more than any of the other senses. And when it's impaired or eliminated, we tend to freak out.</p> <p><em>What are you afraid of that you know you probably shouldn't be? Please share in comments (where it's well-lit, there are no spiders nor clowns, and failure is not an option).</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="Do You Have Any of These 4 Most Irrational Fears?" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Brittany Lyte</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> General Tips fear fears frightened irrational fears Mon, 29 Sep 2014 11:00:04 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1221086 at 23 Airport Hacks to Remember Before Your Next Flight <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/23-airport-hacks-to-remember-before-your-next-flight" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="businessman airport" title="businessman airport" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Traveling is always a fun and exciting experience, but getting through the airport can be a struggle. If it happens to be an unlucky day, you'll get stuck with long lines, rude airport security officials, or delayed flights. Luckily with just a little bit of research, there are many ways you can make your journey faster and more comfortable. We rounded up all the tips and tricks so you don't have to! Learn to navigate airports like a pro with the advice below. You'll be surprised how much time and money you end up saving.</p> <p>RELATED: <a href="">Expert Travel Tips You Never Thought Of</a></p> <h2>1. Bring Your Own Ziploc Bags</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="" alt="" /></p> <p>Since TSA requires you to separate your liquids into clear plastic bags, it is always a good idea to bring spare Ziploc bags in case you lose one or if you're buying tiny travel liquids last minute. For carry-on bags, TSA has a <a href="">3-1-1 liquids rule</a> and you are only allowed to have one quart-sized clear plastic bag.</p> <h2>2. Freeze Your Liquids to Bring on Planes</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="" alt="" /></p> <p>The only con to this trick is your liquids must actually be frozen solid like a rock. If you're on a long flight, however, consider freezing your favorite drinks.</p> <h2>3. Pack Your Own Snacks</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="" alt="" /></p> <p>If you can, you should avoid buying snacks and drinks at airports because they're overpriced. Instead, pack nuts, cereal bars, candy, and other dry goods to munch on while you wait for your flight.</p> <h2>4. Bring an Empty Water Bottle</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="" /></p> <p>Like snacks, water usually costs a lot more at airports. The best way to cheat the system is to bring an empty water bottle or canteen and fill it up once you get past security checkpoints.</p> <h2>5. Take a Nap at the Airport</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="" /></p> <p>Some airports, like London's Heathrow, offer <a href="">sleeping pods</a> where you can catch up on rest between long flight transfers. Pay $39 for four hours and you can take a shower (body wash and towels are provided) and enjoy a comfortable nap (not on the airport floor). If you're traveling internationally, check to see if your airport location offers this sleeping amenity. Your body will thank you.</p> <h2>6. Pick the Checkpoint Farthest to the Left</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="" /></p> <p>If you hate waiting in line (and who doesn't?), research shows that most people are right-handed and tend to turn right first, so do the opposite and go left. For more on how to find faster airport security lines, follow <a href="">these tips</a>.</p> <h2>7. Sign Up For a VIP Airport Lounge</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="" /></p> <p>If you're a frequent flier, you can use your flyer miles to buy a membership to <a href="">airport lounges</a>. Most lounges also offer day passes (under $50). These private, fancy spots are perfect for resting and offer amenities such as a great bar and knowledgeable staff.</p> <h2>8. Don't Be Afraid to Ask For Free Things</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="" /></p> <p>Especially when it comes to flight upgrades. Take advantage of special events; if you were recently married (on your honeymoon) or have a birthday, tell the airline staff &mdash; they may be willing to upgrade you. Traveling alone also makes it easier to ask for a flight upgrade as well as just simply asking! Do so quietly, and the worse that can happen is a polite no.</p> <h2>9. Bring Alcohol on the Plane</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="" /></p> <p>You're allowed to take bottles of alcohol that are 100ml or less through security as long as they fit into your one-quart Ziploc bag.</p> <h2>10. Wear Your Extra Luggage</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="" alt="" /></p> <p>Worried about your carry-on going over the weight limit? Wear the heaviest items and wear layers to get past security. Then head to the nearest bathroom and switch out of the clothes.</p> <h2>11. Fly Red-Eye</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="" /></p> <p>If you really hate packed airports and rush-hour traffic and don't mind overnight flights, try booking a plane that leaves past 10 p.m. You can simply go to sleep and wake up at your next destination without all the usual airport hassle.</p> <h2>12. Collect Unused Hotel Toiletries</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="" /></p> <p>And bring them with you next time you travel. These mini bottles are the perfect carry-on items, and you won't have to shell out the extra money for reusable bottles or travel liquids.</p> <h2>13. Sign Up For TSA Precheck or Global Entry</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="" /></p> <p>These programs allow you to bypass long lines and get into another country twice as fast. <a href="">Check to see</a> if you can apply for global entry.</p> <h2>14. Store Your Laptop in an Easy-to-Access Place</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="" /></p> <p>If you don't have a laptop case, invest in one. Security usually makes you scan your laptop separately, so always have it in an easy-to-reach spot of your bag or suitcase.</p> <h2>15. Always Check For Free WiFi</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="" /></p> <p>There is also a trick circulating that adding &quot;?.jpg&quot; to the end of a URL allows you to access the Internet for free.</p> <h2>16. Wear Glasses</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="" alt="" /></p> <p>If you wear contacts, you'll notice how your eyes often get really dry during the flight (as well as the rest of your skin). Glasses may not make a fashion statement, but you'll be comfortable, and you can always switch into contacts once you land.</p> <h2>17. Bring a Light Scarf or Sweater</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="" alt="" /></p> <p>Always expect an airport or plane to be cold. Bring a light blanket or extra sweater, hoodie, or scarf to keep yourself warm before and during the flight.</p> <h2>18. Bring Wet Wipes</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="" alt="" /></p> <p>Planes are one of the easiest places to catch germs and a cold. Pack wet wipes to use during the flight or while you're at the airport. They'll keep your hands clean and refresh your face after a flight.</p> <h2>19. Check Airport Real-Time Conditions</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="" alt="" /></p> <p>Check to see <a href="">what's happening</a> at your airport (whether there's a delay in flights, long lines, or other issues) before you leave your home.</p> <h2>20. Wrap Your Luggage Handle</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="" alt="" /></p> <p>If you're the type to worry about someone else taking your luggage, make your suitcase identifiable by tying brightly colored fabric or ribbon to the handles. You'll be able to spot that red bow amid all the black suitcases rolling out.</p> <h2>21. Carry a Portable Battery Charger</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="" alt="" /></p> <p>Airports have charging stations, and that's usually the spot everyone gravitates toward. And often you can't get a seat next to an outlet, so you end up standing off to the side while keeping an eye on your phone that's charging. To be on the safe side, carry around a small portable charger that you can pull out anytime.</p> <h2>22. Skip the Taxi Service</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="" alt="" /></p> <p>Check out the local transportation systems at your airport destination. See if there are air trains you can take to a regular metro or a bus that will take you to your destination. Avoid taxi services if you can, but if you really want to travel via car, check out services like Uber (which can be a lot cheaper in European countries).</p> <h2>23. Download Offline Google Maps</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="" alt="" /></p> <p>In case there is no WiFi when you land at your destination and you have a limited online data plan, download the Google Maps app beforehand.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> The airport is no picnic, but you can make it bearable with this collection of clever air transport how-tos and workarounds. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-guestpost-blurb"> <div class="field-label">Guest Post Blurb:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p style="text-align:center;"><a style="border:none;" href=""><img style="height:95px; width:300px" src="" alt="" /></a></p> <p><em>This is a guest contribution from our friends at </em><a href=""><em>POPSUGAR Smart Living</em></a><em>. Check out more useful articles from this partner:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="">Pack These 11 Travel Essentials to Save Money</a></li> <li><a href="">10 Ways to Earn Money While You're on Vacation</a></li> <li><a href="">6 Travel Apps For the Best Vacation Ever</a></li> </ul> <p>&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">POPSUGAR Smart Living</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> General Tips Travel air travel airlines airport flying Fri, 26 Sep 2014 21:00:03 +0000 POPSUGAR Smart Living 1214846 at People Who Love Their Bodies Never Do These 17 Things — Do You? <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/people-who-love-their-bodies-never-do-these-17-things-do-you" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="happy businessman" title="happy businessman" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Do you love your body? Do you want to?</p> <p>When you love your body, you'll treat it in certain ways. You will lavish love on it, revel in it, and enjoy all of the things it allows you to do.</p> <p>This means that you also will not do certain things to it. You won't act unkindly, or disrespectfully, or in ways that will harm your body in the long run. (See also: <a href="">This is What It Really Costs to Get Sick</a>)</p> <p>Not sure what this looks like in real life? Here are some behaviors that people who love their bodies never engage in.</p> <h2>1. Sleep Too Much</h2> <p>Surprise, surprise. Sleeping too much has <a href="">some of the same bad side effects</a> as sleeping too little, including a propensity towards obesity and diabetes. So, sleep seven to nine hours each night and you're good.</p> <h2>2. Stress Out All the Time</h2> <p>It's normal to be stressed every once in a while. Even high stress can be okay, as long as your levels go back down after a while. But continued high stress means you're in &quot;fight or flight&quot; mode all the time, which <a href="">can cause heart problems, depression, and even PTSD</a>.</p> <h2>3. Stay Inside All Day</h2> <p>You need vitamin D to help keep up your energy and avoid depression. The best way to get this is <a href="">via sunlight</a>, which you can only do by spending at least a few minutes outside. Don't get a sunburn! Instead, expose your skin for about half the time it would take you to start turning pink.</p> <h2>4. Train Too Hard</h2> <p>When you want to change your body, it's easy to exercise hard, for a long time. Too much exercise, though, leaves you <a href="">more likely to get sick</a>. Since illness often undermines exercise plans, train at moderate levels so you can sustain your health and improve your performance.</p> <h2>5. Stop Laughing</h2> <p>Laughing can help reduce your stress, improve your memory, and help your mind perform better. It also helps you regain perspective, even in difficult situations. So do what you need to do to laugh: Talk to a funny friend, listen to a child's joke, or watch someone funny on TV.</p> <h2>6. Binge Drink</h2> <p>Drinking a lot of alcohol over a short period of time is <a href="">never good for you</a>, and when you do it often, you can get everything from mouth cancer to heart arrhythmias. If you regularly have more than four drinks (for a woman) or five (for a man), change your habits to care for your body.</p> <h2>7. Forget to Apply Sunscreen</h2> <p>This one is almost a no brainer, if you don't want skin cancer. Still, we avoid it because it's a pain to put on and it's greasy and gross. But it's worth it!</p> <h2>8. Smoke. At All. Ever. Even Socially.</h2> <p>Any smoking, <a href="">even the occasional social cigarette</a>, raises your risks of cancer and lung or heart disease. Very few occasional or social smokers stay that way, since nicotine is highly addictive. So just stay away.</p> <h2>9. Skip Stretching</h2> <p>While we're on the topic of exercise, don't forego stretching. Some studies show that <a href="">forgetting to stretch can make you more prone to injury</a>, which hurts your body both now and for the long term. It also reduces your flexibility, which you want to <a href="">maintain as you get older</a>.</p> <h2>10. Have Unprotected Sex</h2> <p>This is a huge risk factor for health problems down the road. Protect yourself, so you can avoid STDs, including AIDS, as well as unwanted pregnancy. Respect your own body and that of your partner, and <a href="">use a condom</a>.</p> <h2>11. Ignore Illness</h2> <p>If you have a medical condition, <a href="">take care of yourself</a>. Even if it means changing your lifestyle, making the effort could mean the difference between good health and poor. Finding out that you have a chronic condition can feel overwhelming, hopeless, and defeating. Take a deep breath, work with your doctor, and find people who will support you as you figure out how to care for yourself.</p> <h2>12. Feel Down About Your Body</h2> <p>When your body isn't looking or acting the way you want it to, it's easy to insult yourself or think poorly about how you look and who you are. Instead, <a href="">work to accept yourself as you are</a>, even if you know changes could be made to improve your health.</p> <h2>13. Avoid the Doctor</h2> <p>Yearly check ups are a pain, but they help you <a href="">stay on top of your health</a>. They also give you a chance to ask those annoying little questions, which can mean the difference between good and poor health. If you don't have a doctor, ask your friends who they see or see who your health insurance company recommends.</p> <h2>14. Live On Junk Food</h2> <p>We all eat a brownie now and then, but eating junk food regularly leads to <a href="">all sorts of problems</a>. If you struggle with this, begin finding satisfying substitutes for your favorite foods. For instance, you might eat kale chips instead of potato chips (don't knock 'em 'til you've tried 'em!).</p> <h2>15. Dine Out Every Night</h2> <p>After a long day, no one wants to cook, especially if it's hot in your home. But people who prepare their own food are more likely to avoid <a href="">medical problems</a>. If that doesn't convince you, cooking at home is cheaper and better for the environment than dining out.</p> <h2>16. Stop Eating</h2> <p>It can be easy to want to stop eating entirely, especially when you're frustrated with your weight or under a lot of stress. You will be <a href="">healthier and happier</a>, though, if you choose a diet plan that allows you plenty of calories and helps make sure you feel full.</p> <h2>17. Spend All Day Sitting</h2> <p>When you stay sitting for hours and hours, it <a href="">hurts your body in all sorts of ways</a>. You lower your ability to take up glucose, raise your triglycerides and bad (LDL) cholesterol, and raise your risk of dying from heart disease and certain types of cancer. Instead, take breaks and get moving.</p> <p><em>Have you stopped doing something that's helped you love your body more? What would it be like for you to implement these ideas?</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="People Who Love Their Bodies Never Do These 17 Things — Do You?" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Sarah Winfrey</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> General Tips Health and Beauty bad health fitness Health healthy living self care Fri, 26 Sep 2014 17:00:05 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1221084 at 10 Serious Health Benefits of Laughter <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-serious-health-benefits-of-laughter" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="couple laughing" title="couple laughing" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>They say that laughter is the best medicine. While it certainly isn't going to cure any major ailments, laughter can, in fact, improve your chances of keeping them at bay and alleviate them quicker if you've fallen ill. (See also: <a href="">25 Healthy Changes You Can Make Today</a>)</p> <p>Laughing at that? Then read on as health experts weigh in on the benefits of laughter, some of which may surprise you.</p> <h2>1. Reduces Stress</h2> <p>When you're overwhelmed by stress, find a reason to get your chuckle on, says <a href=""> certified holistic health coach</a> Francesca Alfano. &quot;Your body responds positively to a good laugh both emotionally and physically,&quot; she says. &quot;Laughing activates your stress response by reducing the level of stress hormones such as cortisol, leaving you with a good relaxed feeling. It also can stimulate a physical release by aiding in muscle relaxation. I recommend my clients go out and watch a funny movie, go to a comedy show, or simple ways to find humor in everyday life [when they're stressed].&quot;</p> <h2>2. Burns Calories</h2> <p>According to Canada's Best Health magazine, &quot;<a href="">laughing for 10 to minutes raises energy expenditure</a>, increases heart rate and can burn up to 40 calories.&quot; Just don't mistake this benefit as a way to combat those large fries with a shake. Dr. Maciej Buchowski, a professor of medicine at Vanderbilt University, warns that you shouldn't consider humor's affect on your ability to burn calories a weight-loss method. &quot;People can't eat at McDonald's and then expect to laugh their lunch away,&quot; he tells Best Health.</p> <h2>3. Helps Us Breathe Better</h2> <p>Did you know that there's such a thing as laughter yoga? It's totally legit, and there are awesome benefits to it, the best of which is helping to keep the lungs healthy. <a href="">According to the American School of Laughter Yoga</a> (yep, that's a thing, too), &quot;Hearty extended laughter helps to provide longer exhalation, thus ridding the lungs of residual air, which is then replaced by fresh air containing a higher level of oxygen. The secret to breathing deeper is to exhale more fully. Laughter empties your lungs of more air than it takes in resulting in a cleansing effect. This is especially helpful for people who are suffering from respiratory ailments, such as asthma.&quot;</p> <h2>4. Lowers Defenses</h2> <p>Got your guard up? If it's affecting your outlook on life, start laughing more. <a href="">Licensed marriage and family therapist Lisa Bahar</a> says, &quot;Laughter, when genuine, is a form of joy and creates happy feelings within the system and body. Laughter serves your mental health by enhancing more positive outlooks on life and in turn creates better coping mechanisms overall due to the defenses being lowered.&quot; She provides a caveat, however, of which we should be conscious and careful: &quot;Laughter can also be a mask for feelings; that is the cautionary.&quot;</p> <h2>5. Improves Cardiovascular, Respiratory, and Skeletal Muscular Health</h2> <p>Allen Klein, author of <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=0874775191&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=ZKX7AQ5TJ26OAA2E">The Healing Power of Humor</a> and <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=0979875587&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=RNQQ5BPRY4YL2GIP">Learning to Laugh When You Feel Like Crying</a>, tells us three ways that laughter positively affects different systems of our bodies.</p> <h3>Cardiovascular Health</h3> <p>&quot;Heart rate and blood pressure go up [when you're laughing]. When you stop laughing, they go down again. Very much like what happens when you do aerobic exercise,&quot; he says.</p> <h3>Respiratory Health</h3> <p>Klein explains, &quot;When you laugh you take in and breathe out large amounts of air. Thus your lungs get a workout and you get more oxygen in your blood, which carries oxygen to your brain helping you to think better.&quot;</p> <h3>Skeletal Muscular Health</h3> <p>&quot;We all know the expression 'fall-down laughter' &mdash; when we laugh so hard sometimes that we can hardly stand up,&quot; he says. &quot;Laughter is a great muscle relaxer. Sometime we even laugh so heartily and relax our muscles so much that we 'pee in our pants.'&quot;</p> <h2>6. Expels Aggressive Impulses</h2> <p>When you have the urge to lash out &mdash; and who doesn't from time to time? &mdash; it's best to take a step back and lift your spirits through laughter. Dr. Fran Walfish is a leading couples relationship and family psychologist and regular on-camera contributor to NBC Nightly News With Brian Williams. She says, &quot;Laughter relaxes the body and releases stress. It also is an acceptable healthy expulsion of aggressive impulses. The sound that is vocalized can be paralleled to a scream. There is a release. The trigger for laughter is often a helpful distraction to daily worries and concerns. This is an added benefit. Studies have shown that laughter reduces certain stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline.&quot;</p> <h2>7. Positively Affects the Creative Process</h2> <p><a href="">John Morreal</a>, founder of the International Society for Humor Studies, says, &quot;Humor loosens up the mental gears. It encourages out-of-the-ordinary ways of looking at things.&quot; Dr. William Fry, professor of psychiatry at Stanford University, echoes that sentiment. &quot;Creativity and humor are identical,&quot; he says. &quot;They both involve bringing together two items which do not have an obvious connection, and creating a relationship.&quot;</p> <h2>8. Has Benefits Similar to Meditation</h2> <p>A laugh-out-loud situation is pretty much the opposite of quiet, no-interruption meditation, but it turns out that they have similar benefits for the body. Lee Berk, associate professor of pathology and human anatomy at Loma Linda University, said <a href="">in an article on that</a> &quot;joyful laughter immediately produces the same brain wave frequencies experienced by people in a true meditative state.&quot; Certified laughter wellness instructor and <a href="">laughter yoga leader Noreen Braman</a> has found this claim to be accurate. &quot;Going all the way back to Norman Cousins, (author of <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=0393326845&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=INKURDRCEE4VPAKN">Anatomy of an Illness</a>), we know that laughter brings pain relief &mdash; and I am living proof of that,&quot; she says. &quot;I have had fibromyalgia for many years, and since 2010 I have been finding pain relief through laughter, especially when I am leading a group in contagious laughter exercises.&quot;</p> <h2>9. Boosts the Immune System</h2> <p>As I detailed earlier, laughter benefits specific areas of the body but it also helps boost the immune system as a whole. says, &quot;<a href="">Laughter decreases stress hormones</a> and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease.&quot;</p> <h2>10. Works Out Your Abs</h2> <p>This is a benefit I can get behind if it means I can spend less time in the gym. <a href="">Laughter can help tone</a> that the dreaded midsection: &quot;When you are laughing, the muscles in your stomach expand and contract, similar to when you intentionally exercise your abs,&quot; explains writer E.C. LaMeaux. &quot;Meanwhile, the muscles you are not using to laugh are getting an opportunity to relax. Add laughter to your ab routine and make getting a toned tummy more enjoyable.&quot; Totally on it!</p> <p><em>How does laughter benefit you? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="10 Serious Health Benefits of Laughter" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Mikey Rox</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> General Tips Health and Beauty easy health funny bone laugh laughter Fri, 26 Sep 2014 15:00:04 +0000 Mikey Rox 1221083 at 15 Time-Saving Tools Everyone Should Own <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/15-time-saving-tools-everyone-should-own" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="woman smartphone" title="woman smartphone" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Feel like there's just not enough time in the day? Join the club. It feels like I'm going nonstop from before sunup to waaaay past sundown every day. I haven't found a solution that will add any time to my daily routine, but I have found a few ways to cut back on the time I'm spending on tasks that otherwise could be more efficient. (See also: <a href="">You Need a Time Budget</a>)</p> <p>Take a look at some of my time-saving solutions here, then let me know how you shave a few minutes off your day in the comments below.</p> <h2>1. Food Processor</h2> <p>I enjoy cooking, and I usually make time to eat a healthy meal at home, but I don't always have the time (or energy) to cut, chop, peel, grate, and slice my breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Rather, I use a food processor whenever it makes sense to quickly and effortlessly manipulate the ingredients I need so I can speed up the cooking process and feed my hungry tummy faster. <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00A6JHPK8&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=ZWCJVCQYHLUO3GZJ">KitchenAid makes a great processor</a> (the assortment of blades are beyond helpful), but <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B003O47MKA&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=ZR6ZGBIKSY3QGPL5">Ninja also makes a line of powerful food prep products</a> that I personally give my seal of approval.</p> <h2>2. Backup Gadget Batteries</h2> <p>iPhone users in particular know the daily struggle of seeing 1% at 11 a.m. even though they awoke four hours before with a fully charged device. Thus, we're forced to charge our phones multiple times a day to avoid being without power when we're not near a socket. In fact, I've personally spent 20 minutes or more on multiple occasions in an actual Apple store just to get a little juice. A rechargeable, on-the-go battery, however &mdash; <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;field-keywords=mophie&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;url=search-alias%3Daps&amp;linkId=4MOINVFV3IS6JINE">like the ones from Mophie</a> &mdash; drastically cuts back on the instances that I have to stop and recharge my phone when I'm out and about. I plug it in at night and take it with me to avert any low-battery crises.</p> <h2>3. Slow Cooker</h2> <p>There's not much better in this world than coming home after a long, hard day at work to a house that smells delicious because dinner is ready to eat. I don't use my slow cooker much in the summer, but I'm looking forward to stealing a little me-time this fall and winter thanks to my Crock-Pot. I'm also fond of this handy little attachment for slow cookers called the <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00ET9E7U2&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=WLEWWACF42T4LJW4">Lid Pocket</a>, which helps me reduce the potential of an OCD attack when I have to put the lid on the counter or sink when taking it off &mdash; and I know I'm not alone.</p> <h2>4. Smartphone and Apps</h2> <p>There's no denying that smartphones help us save time in innumerable ways, from eliminating the need to clip coupons and helping us make lists to managing the security on our homes and keeping in touch with friends. If I had to pick my favorite time-saving app though, I think it would be my mobile banking app. When my bank launched it, it was like trumpets from the heavens were playin' my jam. Now I deposit my checks online, transfer money easily, and even sign up for in-app deals that give me cash back on participating purchases.</p> <h2>5. BB Cream</h2> <p>Erin Konrad, a spokesperson for, told me about BB Cream. I didn't know much about this facial cosmetic product before Erin chimed in, but Wiki describes it as an all-in-one replacement for serum, moisturizer, primer, foundation, and sunblock. &quot;I love using a BB cream in my beauty regimen; it has multiple uses, which can help save me time during my morning routine,&quot; Erin says. &quot;I love anything that allows me to sleep in a few more minutes.&quot;</p> <h2>6. Programmable Coffee Maker</h2> <p>I'm not a coffee drinker myself &mdash; to be honest, I don't get it at all &mdash; but I don't have to be a java head to know that a programmable coffee maker can shave a good five to 10 minutes off your morning routine if you set it to brew just before you get up or while you're doing your other daily routines. There's also another cool gadget that will help you save time in the morning, the <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00GKNOH8W&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=4GMUXPG5QLDH53QJ">Gamila Impress Coffee Brewer</a>, which gives you the fresh taste of a French Press while you're on the move. I had a chance to try it for another post and even I was impressed.</p> <h2>7. Dishwasher</h2> <p>Most homes have dishwashers nowadays, so let's consider this one an &quot;oldie but a goodie.&quot; In fact, it may even be the biggest time saver of them all. Remember when you had to wash and dry all those dishes by hand? How long did it take you &mdash; 20, 30 minutes? More? Who has time for that &mdash; or dishpan hands? Not me. I just load it and forget it. Until it's time to unload it, of course; you know nobody else in the house is gonna do it.</p> <h2>8. Exercise Equipment</h2> <p>You can save a lot of time and money by buying exercise equipment for your home. I'm not talking about expensive machines, but rather inexpensive pieces like dumbbells, resistance bands, and over-the-door pull-up bars that will help you stay in shape without wasting time going back and forth to the gym multiple times a week. You'll also save anywhere from $10 to $100 a month on gym membership after the initial investment on the equipment.</p> <h2>9. Coin Sorter</h2> <p>My dad used to keep a huge water jug full of coins in his bedroom when I was a kid. Every year or so he would empty it out and spend hours &mdash; like many hours! &mdash; counting and wrapping the coins so he could take them to the bank and cash them in. Of course, these days you also can take your coins to a public machine and have them sorted and counted for you, but that'll cost you upwards of 8% to 10% of your total take.</p> <p>A great solution to save time and money is to purchase a coin sorter for your home and get in the habit of throwing your change into it every day. When the coin wrappers are full, set them aside until you're ready to take them to the bank. I'd also advise buying a fairly decent sorter. I purchased a relatively cheap one in the past and it wasn't worth the plastic it cost to make it.</p> <h2>10. DVR</h2> <p>I don't watch much TV anymore, but back in the day I was a junkie, scheduling my activities around my favorite shows. But thanks to my DVR, I now can do more of what I want and need to do &mdash; like pump out these Wise Bread articles to help you live a more efficient and fiscally responsible life &mdash; because I know I can watch my programs later. Which is perfect for a lazy Sunday when there's nothing else on anyway.</p> <h2>11. Autonomous Cleaning Robots</h2> <p>When <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000UUBCNO&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=RRJ3CWOUE4UVFCJC">Roomba</a> was first invented the line only consisted of a round disc that would move around your carpeted floor and suck up all the junk that you used to have pick up by manually pushing a vacuum cleaner. That product still exists, though it's now a much more advanced version, but the line also include models that will scrub and mop floors and clean pools and gutters. I can't even begin to quantify how much time these little babies save, but it's not drop in the bucket.</p> <h2>12. All-in-One Washer Dryer</h2> <p>I'm not sure if it's okay for a grown man to look at shiny new appliances like a wild cat eyes a juicy piece of fresh meat, but my obsession is real and perhaps a tad frightening. Nonetheless, I'm totally into the high-efficiency, all-in-one washer-dryers. I know I'm not the only person who hates going back and forth to the washer and dryer putting clothes in and taking them out of one machine on another all day long, and this is the perfect solution.</p> <p>It's important to note, however, that while the machine's TurboWash will dramatically reduce wash time, the dryer (because it's non-vented) may take longer than you're used to. But who cares? When it's done, it's done, and you can get back to your DVR.</p> <h2>13. No-Iron Clothing</h2> <p>I would probably have to iron no-iron clothing &mdash; because I'm totally a freak about ironing my clothes &mdash; but for people who loathe it but have to do it if they want to look presentable and professional, I think this is a great compromise. If you're skeptical about how well no-iron clothing performs, Good Housekeeping put a few brands to the test, <a href="">as reported by ABC News</a>.</p> <h2>14. George Foreman Grill</h2> <p>For those of us who live in urban areas and have no room for a real grill &mdash; or can't own one altogether &mdash; a <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B001NXC65K&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=QJ5RAST22J6QQ6NM">George Foreman Grill</a> is a great compromise appliance. There's no charcoal to burn of course, so you're saving time there, but the other awesome time-saving aspect of these grills is that they cook both sides of the food at once, essentially cutting your time in the kitchen in half. Plus, reviews have always been on the positive side for the grills, so you know you're getting a good product.</p> <h2>15. Hybrid or Electric Car</h2> <p>I left this entry last because as a society we're still not quite ready to fully embrace hybrid and electric cars, but we are moving steadily in that direction. Alas, once these kind of cars become commonplace, positive results will abound. We won't pollute the environment as much, we won't have to rely on foreign oil so heavily, and we won't have to pop in and out of gas stations as much (or ever if your car is completely electric). You can get where you're going faster and cheaper, which will make your trip all the more relaxing. Aaaah.</p> <p><em>Do you have more time-saving items that everyone should own to suggest? Let me know in the comments below.</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="15 Time-Saving Tools Everyone Should Own" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Mikey Rox</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Family Productivity Shopping efficiency gadgets labor savers time time savers Thu, 25 Sep 2014 15:00:07 +0000 Mikey Rox 1220280 at The 4 Most Effective Times for Setting a New Goal <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-4-most-effective-times-for-setting-a-new-goal" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="woman exercising" title="woman exercising" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There's a bit of science behind birthday wishes and the resolutions we make on New Year's Day.</p> <p>Research shows that we're more apt to achieve our goals and aspirations if we set out to do so at the start of a new month, the first of the year, or after we celebrate a birthday. Chalk it up to the &quot;fresh start effect&quot; &mdash; <a href="">that little boost of willpower our psyche lends us</a> when we attempt something new or difficult on a clean slate. Timing isn't everything, but when it comes to achieving our goals it's truly half the battle. Be it dieting or a pledge to call Mom more often, our odds for success are increasingly favorable if we begin the challenge with a tabula rasa. (See also: <a href="">6 Steps to Achieving All Your Goals</a>)</p> <p>Read on for step-by-step guide for figuring out the best time to start chasing after your next personal or professional ambition.</p> <h2>Give Yourself a Fresh Start</h2> <p>We're more likely to tackle our goals with vigor and a heightened level of commitment if we start the journey on the day after a holiday, the day after our birthday, New Year's Day, the first day of the month, or the first day of the semester on the scholastic calendar. Researchers have found that we reach our goals more readily when we create a new beginning, thereby distancing ourselves from our past failures and false starts.</p> <p>&quot;Framing certain days as opportunities for fresh starts may help people make choices that maximize their odds of achieving their aspirations,&quot; concludes the study on the &quot;fresh start effect.&quot; &quot;For example, employers could potentially reframe transition points in the workplace (a desk move or a return from vacation) to increase the adoption of aspirational activities.&quot;</p> <p>However, it's important to note that we tend to lose steam as we move farther in time from our fresh start date. But if we survey and savor all the little successes that nudge us toward our end goal, we'll be more apt to stay on track.</p> <h2>Is Your Resolution Related to Your Health? Start on a Monday</h2> <p>Research shows that <a href="">we're more likely to think about our health and well-being on a Monday</a>. So, why fight it? Use this opportunity at the start of the week to assess your diet, exercise habits, and lifestyle choices. Make changes and set goals accordingly.</p> <p>For example, Lisa Bonchek Adams, a Connecticut-based mother of three who <a href="">famously tweets her experience living with stage four breast cancer</a>, is the creator of #mondaypleads, a social media campaign designed to encourage people to make a doctor appointment they've been putting off every Monday.</p> <h2>Break Bad Habits, Start Better Ones After a Change in Circumstances</h2> <p>We can more easily break bad habits like smoking or adopt new positive behaviors like catching up with the news each morning if we <a href="">begin the process after experiencing a major change in lifestyle or environment</a>, such as a move to a new house or the start of a new marriage or job. Research shows that altering our lives in significant ways helps facilitate new changes to our routine. For example, if we aspire to become a more diligent student, it'll be easier for us to adopt a stricter study schedule while cutting down on our time spent watching television if we transfer to a different college, change our area of study, or move into a new living environment.</p> <p><em>How do you decide to start on your next goal?</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="The 4 Most Effective Times for Setting a New Goal" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Brittany Lyte</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> General Tips achievement goal setting goals success Thu, 25 Sep 2014 11:00:05 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1219251 at 11 Time Saving Hacks From the World's Busiest People <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/11-time-saving-hacks-from-the-worlds-busiest-people" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="business meeting" title="business meeting" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>&quot;Being busy does not always mean real work,&quot; said Thomas Edison.</p> <p>Seeming to do a lot but not accomplishing anything is a complete waste of time. For example, <a href="">only 2% of people can multitask successfully</a>. Instead of working harder, you need to work smarter.</p> <p>So check out these 11 time saving hacks from some of the world's busiest people.</p> <h2>1. Never Say Yes on a Call</h2> <p>This is a must for Dharmesh Shah, Hubspot CTO and Founder.</p> <p>He points to this <a href="">cartoon from The Oatmeal</a> as a great explanation why people have a hard time saying &quot;no.&quot; However, he insists that you need to enforce a strict policy to <a href="">never say yes to something on the call</a>. You need to give yourself time to think about the issue and follow-up via email. This reduces your remorse about commitment too fast, prevents you from getting involved with time-suckers, and avoids &quot;he-said-she-said&quot; arguments through documentation.</p> <h2>2. Check Email Only Twice Per Day</h2> <p>The <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=030746363X&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=QZA2OBAP5HVKMEOU">4-Hour Workweek</a> was a #1 The New York Times bestseller because it was filled with great time saving hacks. Its author, Tim Ferriss, recommends that you <a href="">only check your email twice a day</a> and have everybody, including your boss, accept it. It is a fact that the average person spends <a href="">about 13 hours every week</a> sorting through email.</p> <p>A writer from Fast Company test drove checking out email only twice a day and was able to cut down her <a href="">time spent on email from 14 to 5 hours per week</a>. Tim recommends using these <a href="">two tried-and true email autoresponders</a> to train others to follow your new email regime. (See also: <a href="">15 Ways to Get People to Respond to Your Email</a>)</p> <h2>3. Delegate, Delegate, Delegate</h2> <p>Now that you are spending less time on your email, you need to be more efficient at it.</p> <p>Like Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, you can burn through your email inbox by delegating tasks to the appropriate person. He famously manages his email inbox by forwarding every message with just &quot;?&quot; to the appropriate person. The lesson is that you don't need to do everything yourself and that you should trust others to do their jobs. They will be more efficient in solving the problem than you.</p> <h2>4. Outsource Non-Priorities</h2> <p>Matt DeCelles, Co-founder of William Painter, recommends that you need to <a href=";share=1">prioritize the most important tasks</a>. Whatever is not important (e.g. transcribing a one-hour meeting recording or breaking down the data from six email lists into the fields of an email database) needs to be outsourced. He recommends using sites, such as <a href="">Elance</a> and <a href="">Fiverr</a>, to hire freelancers for a wide variety of tasks at reasonable rates.</p> <p>Also, he recommends the use of <a href="">Fancy Hands</a> and <a href="">Zirtual</a> to hire virtual assistants for about $10 per hour. This way you can focus on the work that truly matters.</p> <h2>5. Have a &quot;No Meetings&quot; Day</h2> <p>Facebook Co-founder, Dustin Moskowitz's favorite time saving hack is &quot;<a href="">No Meeting Wednesdays</a>.&quot; The idea is is that most people should have have at least one day of the week completely clear of meetings so that they can focus on critical work.</p> <p>For example, on his &quot;No Meeting Wednesday&quot; Dustin focuses only on coding. After all, that's how he became one of the world's youngest self-made billionaires. Dustin recommends to use judgment and decide when to make exceptions (e.g. an outstanding candidate is only available to interview on Wednesdays). (See also: <a href="">The 6 Youngest Entrepreneurs to Make It Big</a>)</p> <h2>6. Run Meetings Effectively</h2> <p>When you do need to meet, run meetings like Google's Larry Page. The company's VP of Business Operations <a href="">Kristen Gil broke down Larry's rules on meetings</a> into a clear list of key items.</p> <ul> <li>Every meeting must have a decision maker. If it doesn't, then no meeting is required.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Meetings should consist of no more than 10 people. No &quot;flies in the wall.&quot;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Decisions should never wait for a meeting. If meeting cannot be held ASAP, then make a call.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Empower decision makers to kill projects and, more importantly, meetings.</li> </ul> <h2>7. Keep a List of Action Items</h2> <p>Even though Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg runs one of the highest valued companies in the world, she still leaves around 5:30 p.m. every day to have dinner with her husband and spend time with her kids. Mark Zuckerberg describes her as &quot;superhuman.&quot;</p> <p>Her trick is that she doesn't work eight hours a day &mdash; she completes a finite number of tasks per day. In a high tech company, she goes analog by keeping a <a href="">spiral-bound notebook with discussion points and action items</a>. As she goes through her day, she crosses out the action items. If she can cover the action items from an hour long meeting in 10 minutes, she adjourns the meeting.</p> <h2>8. Use the Two-Minute Rule</h2> <p>Keep your list of action items, but be willing to <a href="">accept a new task if it takes less than two minutes</a> to complete. If it takes more than that, then delegate it or include it in a future list of action items.</p> <p>This is the mantra of David Allen, author of <a href=";cat=3&amp;page=">Getting Things Done</a>. David Allens' GTD management system and two-minute rule is used by some of the busiest people, including <a href="">Oprah Winfrey, Will Smith, and Tom Cruise</a>.</p> <h2>9. Make Time for One-on-Ones</h2> <p>If you go over the <a href="">top 8 reasons your best people are about to quit</a>, you quickly realize that people quit their bosses, not their jobs. There are plenty of <a href="">employee surveys</a> to support this.</p> <p>That's why Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman makes times to meet one-on-one with one of his direct reports every week. He claims that this is the <a href="">single most important management tip</a> he has learned. By listening to the personal and professional problems of his employees, he shows that he truly cares about his employees and nips any issues in the bud.</p> <p>After all, one estimate puts the <a href="">average cost of recruiting, hiring, and training a new employee at close to $4,000</a>.</p> <h2>10. Take a Nap</h2> <p>Job stress is estimated to cost America <a href="">over $300 billion a year</a>.</p> <p>That's why Arianna Huffington provides her team with <a href="">two nap rooms at The Huffington Post</a>. By taking and letting others take one-hour naps, Arianna maintains a high energy operation at all times and puts a dent on job stress related costs. Additionally, chasing your cup of coffee with a nap is a great habit to maximize the effects of a caffeine fix. (See also: <a href="">20 Habits You Must Start Right Now and Be a Better Person</a>)</p> <h2>11. Take a Serious Vacation</h2> <p>The busiest people are so busy with the day-to-day that they often cannot concentrate on the strategic, long term issues. By taking serious vacations, they invent the time to think about those issues.</p> <p>It may sound contradictory, but in countries where people take more vacation each year, <a href="">employees are more productive per hour worked</a>. Jim Moffat, chairman and chief executive of Deloitte Consulting LLP, takes serious notice of this fact and <a href="">forces himself to take a summer break</a>.</p> <p>He believes this is time saving hack because during that time, he can:</p> <ul> <li>Focus on developing a strategy for the upcoming 9-to-24 month period;</li> <li>Evaluate whether or not hired employees are qualified for serious tasks; and</li> <li>Test his succession strategy.</li> </ul> <p>In a nutshell: If your company cannot survive without you for a few days, then there is a big problem.</p> <p><em>What is your favorite time saving hack?</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="11 Time Saving Hacks From the World&#039;s Busiest People" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Damian Davila</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Productivity getting things done organization productivity time-savers Wed, 24 Sep 2014 17:00:08 +0000 Damian Davila 1219249 at 9 Easy Ways to Start Taking Better Care of Yourself Today <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-easy-ways-to-start-taking-better-care-of-yourself-today" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="office worker break" title="office worker break" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You probably have a clear list of priorities in your life. There are people who are important to you, a job you're committed to, and other obligations that fill up your schedule. But where do <em>you</em> fall on your own list of priorities? (See also: <a href="">10 Habits of Financially Happy People</a>)</p> <p>This isn't a matter of selfishness; it's a matter of self-care. You won't be able to care for anyone else if you're stressed, depressed, or depleted. So start a personal recharge today with these nine easy ways to take better care of yourself.</p> <h2>1. Make (and Keep!) Appointments with Yourself</h2> <p>Without formally scheduling some time to take for ourselves, life has a way of making sure every last moment gets filled up. Carve out some you time by making appointments with yourself. Be sure to treat these to-dos with the same seriousness you would any other appointments. Since you wouldn't miss a scheduled visit with your doctor, dentist, or hairdresser, you shouldn't miss one with yourself.</p> <h2>2. Take a Break</h2> <p>If you can't devote an entire day or even a full hour, reserve a few minutes to take better care of yourself throughout the day. For instance, <a href="">just two minutes of meditation</a> can reduce anxiety levels and help clear your thinking. The next time you find yourself waiting for a meeting to start, sitting on the subway, or otherwise stalled on the hamster-wheel of modern life, set the timer on your phone for two minutes and just focus on your breathing.</p> <h2>3. &hellip;And Then Take a Longer Break</h2> <p>It's no secret that Americans work long, hard hours, but did you know that 41% of us <a href="">don't even plan to take all the vacation time</a> we've accumulated? Even if you don't have the time or money to take a long-distance trip, <a href="">plan a quick get-away</a> close to home. Or, schedule a &quot;staycation&quot; and revisit a few of those hobbies you've been putting off. Better yet, simply enjoy the wild luxury of having nothing in particular to do!</p> <h2>4. Get Moving</h2> <p>Walking is one of the most basic forms of exercise recommended by doctors for people of all ages and ability levels. Walking is also slow-paced, so it can calm your mind as well as exercise your body. Enhance the experience by taking a walk through beautiful scenery or along a new and undiscovered route. Explore creative ways to <a href="">fit walking into your day</a>, like parking farther away from your destination or walking in place during TV commercials.</p> <h2>5. Indulge in DIY Spa Therapy</h2> <p>We all have basic personal hygiene rituals, so why not make yours special? Substitute a quick shower for a soothing bath and light some candles for more ambiance. Take it to the next level with <a href="">at-home spa treatments</a> &mdash; your body, mind, and frazzled last nerve will thank you.</p> <h2>6. On the Rocks? Hold the Sugar and Caffeine</h2> <p>Switching your coffee for warm water with lemon will banish caffeine jitters and promote better health. Sugar is another ingredient to consider eliminating from your drinks. Skip the sweet stuff and enjoy fruit and vegetable juices instead. Cut the natural sugar levels in these drinks by diluting with water. Experiment with <a href=",,20559953,00.html">nutritious juice recipes</a> that will satisfy your taste buds and support your health goals, too.</p> <h2>7. Reap the Benefits of Sleep</h2> <p>Don't think of a good night's sleep as a luxury; think of it as an absolute necessity. Research shows that <a href="">lack of sleep is linked to a host of maladies</a> from the common cold to heart disease. Keep yourself refreshed and less susceptible to anxiety by staying well-rested. While naps are a great way to recharge quickly, if you're having trouble sleeping on a consistent basis, <a href="">try inexpensive natural remedies</a> and learn how to <a href="">sleep better in fewer hours</a>.</p> <h2>8. Eat Well</h2> <p>Besides getting enough sleep, eating a nutritious diet is one of the most basic things we can do to nurture our well-being. Remember, what you eat matters as much as what you don't eat. Adding more fresh fruits and vegetables to your diet can be as simple as limiting grocery shopping to the perimeter of the store (junk food and processed food tends to pool in the middle). And since some foods are known for their stress-relieving properties; start building healthy meals around <a href="">foods that help calm nerves</a>. You'll be sure to notice a difference.</p> <h2>9. Floss</h2> <p>I'm not kidding. You know you should do it; your dentist tells you to do it &mdash; but is flossing a consistent part of your daily routine? If not, it's time to turn over a new leaf. Flossing isn't just a fundamental part of dental hygiene &mdash; some dentists even assert it's more important that brushing &mdash; the practice is <a href="">linked to overall longevity</a>. Protect your health by avoiding periodontal disease and tooth loss. You'll feel better and smile brighter.</p> <p><em>How do you take care of yourself? What's the least expensive but most effective method for recharging your batteries and reclaiming part of your day? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="9 Easy Ways to Start Taking Better Care of Yourself Today" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Kentin Waits</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Frugal Living General Tips exercise fitness Health hygiene mood self care self improvement Wed, 24 Sep 2014 15:00:05 +0000 Kentin Waits 1219247 at How to Fight Off Every Cause of Bad Breath <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-fight-off-every-cause-of-bad-breath" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="man brushing teeth" title="man brushing teeth" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There are few things more off-putting than being in close proximity to someone with chronic bad breath. We've all been there before, and we all hope that we're not the ones on the offending end. <a href="">WebMD describes bad breath</a> as the result of poor dental habits, and points out that it may be a sign of other health problems. (See also: <a href="">11 Surprising Benefits Of: Chewing Gum</a>)</p> <p>So how do you fight this embarrassing condition? Take a look at several ways to breathe easier and more pleasant by using what's in your arsenal to battle those bad-breath bullies.</p> <h2>1. Take Good Care of Your Mouth</h2> <p>One major cause of bad breath comes from the food we eat. Food particles can stay in your mouth and promote bacterial growth. But there's also a pesky problem of food with strong odors (like onions and garlic) being digested, absorbed into the bloodstream, carried to your lungs, and released through your mouth as a malicious odor. <a href="">Brush your teeth and your tongue</a> twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, floss regularly, replace your toothbrush every two to three months, and thoroughly clean dentures each morning if you have them.</p> <h2>2. Rinse After Eating and Drinking</h2> <p>If you don't have a toothbrush handy at all times (although you might want to think about keeping one at work at the very least), it's wise to rinse after eating and drinking, so you can flush out the food particles and reduce the opportunity for bad breath to gestate. Personally, I do this after every meal; I'm not a big fan of leftovers sticking around my mouth for too long. As a result, I'm kissably fresh all day long.</p> <h2>3. Visit the Dentist Regularly</h2> <p>Your bad breath may be a result of periodontal disease, dry mouth, or other problems that your dentist can diagnose and treat when you visit at least twice yearly for a checkup and cleaning.</p> <h2>4. Cut Back on Coffee and Alcohol</h2> <p>&quot;Coffee and alcohol are both responsible for causing a decrease in salivary flow,&quot; says<a href=""> celebrity cosmetic dentist Dr. Joseph Banker</a>. While it may be extreme to stop drinking these beverages altogether, you may want to cut back considerably if you're battling bad breath. Saliva helps keep your mouth from getting dry and removes food particles, both of which are catalysts for bad breath.</p> <h2>5. Stop Smoking or Chewing Tobacco</h2> <p>Easier said than done, I know. But kicking the habit is one giant leap toward fresher breath &mdash; and a longer life. According to Oral-B, bad breath is an <a href="">early sign of oral cancer</a>. &quot;Smoking is more than just a cause of bad breath &mdash; it significantly raises your risk of developing oral cancer, which includes cancer of the mouth, throat, salivary glands, tongue or lip.&quot; But you already knew that.</p> <h2>6. Drink More Water</h2> <p>Water is the best thing for your body that you can drink, and it also can combat bad breath by keeping your whistle wet. Water helps <a href="">keep your mouth moist</a>, which is a good start since dry mouth can lead to bad breath. Another benefit to drinking more water than other beverages is that you'll allow fewer bad-breath-causing agents into your body, like you would from coffee or soda. Need more convincing? Water helps produce &quot;plenty of saliva because it <a href="">helps clean your mouth</a>; it's naturally antibacterial, and it washes away food particles.&quot; On another note, &quot;chewing gum (preferably sugarless) or sucking on candy (preferably sugarless) also stimulates the production of saliva, which helps wash away food particles and bacteria. Gums and mints containing xylitol are best,&quot; advises WebMD.</p> <h2>7. Eat More Yogurt</h2> <p>&quot;Japanese investigators in a 2005 study<a href=""> found that yogurt, because of its probiotics, helped fight bad breath</a> by reducing levels of hydrogen sulfide, a leading cause of bad breath,&quot; says Faina Dendze, a spokesperson for Maia Greek Yogurt. Twenty-four volunteers participated in this study, and 80% experienced a reduction in bad breath, which was attributed to eating sugarless yogurt over a period of two weeks. The study also found that levels of plaque and gingivitis were also lower among yogurt eaters.</p> <h2>8. Eat Less Meat (and Possibly More Carbs)</h2> <p>It's not entirely hard to believe that meat is a bad-breath culprit; it's so easy for those particles to get stuck in your mouth. And unfortunately, you may have to cut back on your carnivorous ways if you want better-smelling breath. &quot;<a href="">High-protein and low-carb diets</a>, while a possible boon to your waist size, aren't great for your breath. Eating fewer than 100 grams of carbohydrates a day triggers a condition known as ketosis, a metabolic state that causes your body to burn fat instead of sugar. Ketosis is notorious for causing bad breath.&quot;</p> <h2>9. Try Natural, Herbal Remedies</h2> <p><a href="">Green tea helps your breath stay fresh</a> because of its antibacterial compounds that naturally fight germs. Add a cinnamon stick to pack even more punch since cinnamon is ripe with essential oils to fight bad breath. You also can go the fresh herb route by chewing on the like of mint, parsley, cilantro, and dill, which themselves offer only a temporary solution while the high levels of chlorophyll in the herbs can provide longer lasting relief.</p> <h2>10. Keep a Log of the Foods You Eat</h2> <p>Keep a diary of the food you eat and bring it to the dentist so she can provide expert advice on the major bad breath culprits. The medications you're taking (if any) may also be contributors, so it's best to bring a list of those as well.</p> <p><em>Do you have other ways to get prevent or eliminate bad breath? Let me know in the comments below.</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="How to Fight Off Every Cause of Bad Breath" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Mikey Rox</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> General Tips bad breath diet oral care Wed, 24 Sep 2014 11:00:05 +0000 Mikey Rox 1219248 at 10 Ways You're Wasting Time Without Realizing It <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-ways-youre-wasting-time-without-realizing-it" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="woman working headphones" title="woman working headphones" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Time is one thing that we seem to have less of as life wears on. (See also: <a href="">15 Ways to Save Time in the Morning</a>)</p> <p>The days fly by and we're stressed to come up with any extra minutes. But what if we could free up our schedule and finish our to-do lists? Some people are just busy with little or no recourse, but others are wasting time without even knowing that it's happening. Here's a look at a few ways we can be more aware of our time and be better managers of it.</p> <h2>1. Leaving Email &quot;Up&quot;</h2> <p>You may work a job where you must have email up on a constant basis. But if you don't, there's no reason to run it when you aren't waiting on a particular message. If you're working on a project, just close your email and check them periodically throughout the day. Avoiding that catchy little &quot;(1)&quot; that often distracts your train of thought can save you a lot of time.</p> <h2>2. Listening to Music</h2> <p>In some cases, listening to music can help pass the time when engaging in mundane or mindless tasks. But when it comes to work that you need to think intentionally about, like crafting a sales pitch, writing a report, or even just reading something, <a href="">music can slow you down</a>, thereby increasing the time spent on the task and decreasing the resulting quality of your work.</p> <h2>3. Paying for Lunch</h2> <p>In some cases, you need to spend money to make money. But paying for lunch is often a double-figure investment and can cost you close to (or more than) an hour of work. <a href="">Pack a lunch instead</a> of eating out and you'll get back an hour's worth of pay, which<a href=""> can really add up</a>.</p> <h2>4. Not Taking a Break</h2> <p>It might seem counterproductive (or even impossible) to stop what you're doing at work or home to take a break. However, <a href="">numerous studies have shown</a> that taking a break, or even a short nap, can actually boost your productivity and increase the quality of your work output.</p> <h2>5. Not Making a To-Do List</h2> <p>Even if you can remember everything you need to do, making a to-do list can help you focus by streamlining your schedule and giving you a failsafe to avoid forgetting important tasks.</p> <h2>6. Using a Gadget When Pen and Paper Will Do</h2> <p>Tablets and smartphones can be excellent productivity tools. But when it comes to taking notes or <a href="">quickly writing down ideas</a>, you may be better off with the much simpler pen and paper.</p> <h2>7. Going to Meetings</h2> <p>It's becoming increasingly common for meetings to be viewed as <a href="">productivity killers</a>. That's not to say they don't have their place, but a<a href=""> brutally objective view</a> of the typical workplace meeting shows us that we're wasting a lot of precious time.</p> <h2>8. Attending Technology-Related Classes</h2> <p>It's not to say that all work-related classes are a waste of time, but a lot of the information that used to only exist inside classrooms now exists for free on the Internet. Particularly when it comes to technology-related topics, you can learn almost everything there is to know in a free, online format.</p> <p>Places like <a href="">Khanacademy</a> and <a href="">Code Academy</a> are great places to start.</p> <h2>9. Running Dual Monitors</h2> <p>A lot of people find dual monitors to be more productive because it allows them to avoid having to switch back and forth between different applications or documents. While that's true, it only applies in certain professions. For example, graphic designers and programmers will often have need for more than one screen. But if it's not an obvious necessity, more than one monitor often makes things more distracting because it tempts you to put something that's not work-related on the second screen. In most cases, it'll be more efficient to stick with one monitor.</p> <h2>10. Not Putting Your Clothes Out the Night Before</h2> <p>One incredibly simple thing you can do to save time before you go to bed is set your clothes out for the next day the night before. It makes early mornings a lot quicker as it gets you out of your bedroom without having to search through drawers, possibly in the dark out of fear that you'll wake someone up.</p> <h2>Time to Be Saved</h2> <p>There's no question that it's easy to crowd our lives with obligations and tight schedules. But there is time to be saved if we're willing to be objective about our own scheduling and work habits. If we remove the unnecessary time wasters and get specific about where we can get be more efficient, most of us can get back more than 60 minutes a day. For many, that can make a huge difference by allowing them to be more focused, relaxed and allow them to feel less rushed every day.</p> <p><em>How do you conserve and avoid wasting time? Are the tactics you employ at home and work much different? Let me know in the comments section.</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="10 Ways You&#039;re Wasting Time Without Realizing It" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Mikey Rox</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Organization Productivity efficiency saving time shortcuts time time savers time sucks Tue, 23 Sep 2014 21:00:04 +0000 Mikey Rox 1218888 at 15 Little Ways to Make Yourself a Better Person While Watching TV Tonight <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/15-little-ways-to-make-yourself-a-better-person-while-watching-tv-tonight" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="stretching watching TV" title="stretching watching TV" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>In the middle of channel surfing, fighting over the remote, or rolling your eyes at the latest unreal reality show premise, is it possible to become a better person? Maybe so. (See also: <a href="">25 Fun, Frugal Things to Do Tonight Besides Watch TV</a>)</p> <p>If you'd like to flex your multitasking muscles and turn TV time into personal development time, here are 15 ways to get started tonight.</p> <h2>1. Pen a Personal Thank-You</h2> <p>Ahh&hellip; the lost art of the hand-written thank-you note &mdash; let's revive it tonight. Surely you have someone to thank for something. Take five minutes and 49 cents to show how much you appreciate a kind act or thoughtful gesture. Or, explore other <a href="">ways to creatively say thanks</a>.</p> <h2>2. Walk</h2> <p>Watching TV doesn't have to be a sedentary act. If you're feeling a little lethargic (like you and the couch are dangerously close to melding into a single cushiony entity), get up and move. Walk in place or position the treadmill so you don't miss a single crying jag on The Biggest Loser. Then, walk at a comfortable pace; don't worry about breaking a sweat. When you're done, you've recharged your batteries a little and burned a few calories.</p> <h2>3. Stretch</h2> <p>Besides promoting relaxation, <a href="">simple yoga stretches</a> can improve posture and circulation. It's easy to combine slow stretching with TV watching without missing a plot twist. Who knows, you may enjoy it so much that you find other ways to <a href="">fit stretching into your day</a>.</p> <h2>4. Remember a Birthday</h2> <p>Use a commercial break (and let's face it, there are quite a few) to pull up the calendar on your smartphone. Are there any birthdays on the horizon that you should take note of? Make someone smile by remembering their special day this year.</p> <h2>5. Give Yourself a Mud-Mask Facial</h2> <p>Why not turn TV time into spa time? Before you settle in to watch your favorite program, take a long warm shower and apply a pore-cleansing mud mask. Then just relax and revel in the self-indulgent moment. Or, explore other ways to <a href="">make your home feel like a spa</a>.</p> <h2>6. Fuss Over Fido</h2> <p>Okay, this might not make you a better person, but it will make your dog or cat love you just a little bit more (if that's possible). Get grooming &mdash; and while you're at it, throw in some play time, some belly rubs, and a treat or two.</p> <h2>7. Plan an Event With Your Kids, Parents, or Partner</h2> <p>Since everyone congregates around the TV anyway, take advantage of the togetherness. Coordinate a weekend getaway, a family vacation, or an on-the-cheap staycation. You may even get so caught up in the planning that you forget all about Keeping Up With the Kardashians.</p> <h2>8. Flirt</h2> <p>Love still makes the world go 'round. Making time for our partners is a great way to acknowledge what's most important in our lives. Sure, watching TV may not be the sexiest pursuit, but it can still be playful. Surprise your significant other with some innocent (or not-so-innocent) flirting and see if you make it to the end of Conan O'Brien.</p> <h2>9. Take a News Diet</h2> <p>Sometimes no news really is good news. While it's important to stay informed, consuming a constant stream of bad news can be anxiety-producing and leave us feeling powerless. If the state of the world is getting you down, limit your news exposure. Instead, immerse yourself in an uplifting story, absurd comedy, or interesting educational program.</p> <h2>10. Be Thankful</h2> <p>Another commercial break? Okay, this time think of three or four significant things you're thankful for. If you're alone, say them out loud to yourself. If you're with friends or family, do a quick round-robin and have everyone share. The point is to interrupt a relatively mindless act with a mindful one and take a moment to appreciate our good fortune.</p> <h2>11. Repeat the Mantra, &quot;Little Things Enlarge Others&quot;</h2> <p>In our busy lives, it's easy to lose focus on the people around us. Reserve a bit of TV time to consider the mantra, &quot;Little things enlarge others.&quot; In other words, what little things could you do tomorrow to make others feel a bit bigger? Offering a sincere compliment to a spouse, bringing a warm muffin to an over-worked colleague, or paying it forward in the coffee shop are all small but wonderful ways to get started.</p> <h2>12. Restyle Your Smile</h2> <p>Research the <a href="">best teeth whiteners</a> and start improving your smile and your confidence immediately. Since you'll be lounging and not engaged in heavy conversation, apply strips or other teeth whitening treatments while you watch TV. And when it's time for a snack break, don't jeopardize your efforts. Choose <a href="">foods that help whiten teeth</a>.</p> <h2>13. Donate a Buck or Two</h2> <p>Worthy charities need donations of time and money to survive. If your schedule is tight, use TV time to make an online contribution or send in check to a cause that's near and dear to your heart. Want to help, but not sure where to start? <a href="">Visit Charity Navigator</a> to research charities by category and review rankings of their financial health, accountability, and transparency.</p> <h2>14. Get Wordy</h2> <p>With so much technology at our fingertips, this one is easy. Vocabulary-building app <a href="">Vocabology</a> delivers a word of the day &mdash; even in different languages &mdash; and includes an audible pronunciation feature. Or, expand your linguistic horizons the old-fashioned way by thumbing through the dictionary. Pull out a word you don't know and use commercial breaks to spell it, learn it, and use it in a sentence.</p> <h2>15. Message a Memory</h2> <p>Our minds are filled with volumes of wonderful memories that usually include dear friends and family. Why not take five minutes and relive a favorite memory via a text message to the cast of characters involved? It's sure to put a smile on the faces of college friends, parents and grandparents, and siblings alike.</p> <p>There you have it &mdash; 15 ways to blossom while watching Blossom, 15 ways to improve yourself while watching TV (even if you're not a Jeopardy! fan). So, the next time you kick back for a little tube time, ask yourself, what else could I be doing?</p> <p><em>Do you pursue other activities while watching TV? How has TV time made you a better person?</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="15 Little Ways to Make Yourself a Better Person While Watching TV Tonight" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Kentin Waits</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> General Tips Personal Development couch gratitude self-imporvement tv Tue, 23 Sep 2014 09:00:07 +0000 Kentin Waits 1218889 at 16 Ways You Are Causing Road Rage <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/16-ways-you-are-causing-road-rage" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="angry driver" title="angry driver" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Ever gotten into such a tizzy in the car that your head nearly exploded? You're not the only one. reports that <a href="">66% of traffic fatalities are caused by aggressive driving</a> &mdash; or &quot;road rage&quot; &mdash; and half of drivers who are on the receiving end of an aggressive behavior, such as horn honking, a rude gesture, or tailgating admit to responding with aggressive behavior themselves. (See also: <a href="">12 Ways You're Driving Your Coworkers Insane</a>)</p> <p>You can help prevent road rage, however, if you drive responsibly and recognize the common catalysts for most incidents. In no particular order, here are 16 highly contentious vehicular sins you might be committing that have the potential to escalate to a dangerous level.</p> <h2>1. Driving Slow in the Fast Lane and Refusing to Move Over</h2> <p>It's hard choose the most offensive of all driving offenses from this list, but this one is definitely near the top. There's nothing that will have me calling you all kinds of names not fit for church if you're driving five miles or more <em>under</em> the speed limit in the left lane of the highway. And on two lane highways? It's called the &quot;passing lane.&quot; If you aren't passing, move right!</p> <h2>2. Keeping Pace With the Car Next to You So No One Behind Can Pass</h2> <p>Yeah, you know this guy. He's driving the exact speed as the car next to him so nobody behind can pass. Not only is this really creepy &mdash; I don't want some stranger staring me down for an extended period of time while I'm driving &mdash; but it's also downright rude. Speed up or fall back so I can escape this torture already.</p> <h2>3. Riding Your Brakes for No Apparent Reason</h2> <p>What's that ahead of you? Oh, nothing? You just want to press on your brakes every 10 seconds because you feel like 25 in a 35-mile-per-hour zone is too fast? Or maybe you're just a poor driver who needs to be reevaluated by the DMV. Whatever the case, get with the program pal; people are losing their patience.</p> <h2>4. Endangering Lives Because You're Fiddling With Your Phone</h2> <p>Everybody thinks that they've mastered the skill &mdash; and maybe you have &mdash; but you also have to consider the unpredictability of other drivers on the road who can do any number of things to affect your own driving. The National Safety Council reports that<a href=""> more than 25% of all automobile crashes are associated with cell phone use</a> these days. And if you're not paying attention, the potential outcome of this situation can be worse than you've ever imagined. If you're at fault, you might be paying for it for the rest of your life. Listen to Oprah, folks; don't text (or talk or browse the Internet) and drive.</p> <h2>5. Flying Into a Rage for No Good Reason</h2> <p>Did the driver that offended you really do something so bad that you now have to go to confession this weekend? Probably not, so why did you react so aggressively?</p> <p>Author Rachelle Henry thinks that it's important to <a href="">not project your feelings onto others</a> &mdash; especially when in the car &mdash; if they really didn't do anything wrong. &quot;When I had a job that I hated, every morning during my morning commute someone managed to upset me by doing something 'stupid,' and I would become irrationally angry,&quot; she says. &quot;When I no longer had that job and was happy, I let things roll off of me.&quot; It's all about perspective, my friends. Evaluate your happiness level to see if there's a reason you're lashing out prematurely.</p> <h2>6. Failing to Use Blinkers When Changing Lanes</h2> <p>How am I supposed to know that you'd like to get in front of me or that you'd like to glide across three lanes of traffic in an attempt to avoid missing the exit if you don't have a blinker on? I don't &mdash; which makes for an excellent case in court when you cause a crash.</p> <h2>7. Speeding Up When You Spot Someone Trying to Merge</h2> <p>It never fails that as soon as I turn my blinker on to merge into another lane, the person trailing behind me in the intended lane suddenly gets a lead foot. It's one of those give-me-strength moments that are best handled with regulated breathing and a long count to 10.</p> <h2>8. Turning on Your Blinker Two Seconds Before You Turn</h2> <p>It would be nice to know that you'd like to make that right turn more than a few seconds before you make it. But what do you care, right? If I rear-end you, it's my fault regardless. Don't be that person.</p> <h2>9. Weaseling Your Way Into the On- or Off-Ramp at the Last Second</h2> <p>Listen, I live in Manhattan, where traffic is treacherous nearly 24/7, so I understand the plight of not wanting to wait in line for another dreadful few minutes to take the next exit. But have some compassion. The folks ahead of you have been waiting <em>longer</em> than you, so it's a real you-know-what move to cut them off so you can get home quicker.</p> <p>It might also be helpful to know that you could become fodder for someone else when you act a fool, like so many people did for Kerri Kochanski, author of <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=1482319403&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=X4O4CXRKNHQFHKUS">1,001 People That Suck</a>, which features an entire chapter on road rage. &quot;One day I was so aggravated by a driver who cut me off,&quot; she says. &quot;Instead of stalking and confronting the driver, or turning my anger inward, I decided to write a book about this person &mdash; and other anonymous people who do rude, crappy things and get away with it. Maybe they wouldn't suffer a consequence from their actions, but at least they would be 'officially' labeled as 'people that suck.' And that would make me feel better, and it would prevent me from landing in jail.&quot;</p> <h2>10. Blasting Your Horn Prematurely</h2> <p>The light <em>just</em> turned green. Give the driver a break before you fly into a blaring, obnoxious fit because they didn't take off like it's the Daytona 500 the moment the light changed.</p> <h2>11. Rubbernecking</h2> <p>We're all guilty of this, which is the problem. Rubbernecking jams up the road so badly that the delay can last for miles &mdash; even when the accident is on the other side of the road. As soon as you pass it, however, it's a wide-open highway. Why, whhhhhy do we do this to ourselves?</p> <h2>12. Bicyclists Who Don't Follow the Rules of the Road</h2> <p>I've seen bicyclists who have purposefully gone the opposite way of oncoming traffic, those who have blown through red lights with absolutely no regard for drivers, and riders who take up a regular traffic lane with their 14-miles-per-hour nonsense and don't give a lick that anybody's behind them. Note to all the bicyclists out there: You're riding a bike; the rest of us are driving cars. One hurts a whole lot more than the other, so be courteous and obey the rules.</p> <h2>13. Holding Up Turning Traffic When You're Not Turning in a Turn-Only Lane</h2> <p>Many times this is a mistake, so I'll just impart on you that it's important to pay attention to the signs painted on the road ahead of you. If you're not turning, you shouldn't be in the turn-only lane holding up everybody else. That's a real good way to get beeped to death in some places.</p> <h2>14. Multitasking at the Wheel</h2> <p>We've already discussed how you shouldn't fiddle with your phone while you're driving, but there are other distractions that can cause problems on the road. Here's a quick list of no-nos: Eating, putting on makeup, reading a newspaper (I have seen this in action and I was in total shock), doing anything with the person in the passenger seat that would be deemed illegal if you got caught, doing anything with yourself that would be deemed illegal if you got caught. Focus on safe driving so everybody gets home with all the parts with which they started the day.</p> <h2>15. Standing in a Parking Space to Save It</h2> <p>I believe in first-come, first-served, so if the vehicle is not around to claim a spot, you shouldn't have your body in it so nobody else can take it; that's not how this works.</p> <p>Last holiday season I encountered a girl in a parking space that she refused to give up to four nice ladies in a car that pulled up because her &quot;mother was on the way.&quot; She also claimed that her mother was handicapped, at which point I showed her the very available handicapped spot just across the street. She didn't want to hear any of it, refused to budge, and basically wore the four nice ladies down until they moved along. Of course, when her mother showed up (who was driving and also flipped the ladies off), the only handicap she appeared to have was an incredibly rude daughter.</p> <h2>16. Swooping Into a Parking Spot That Has Been Claimed by Another Driver</h2> <p>This is another personal situation I've dealt with, and maybe you have too. I drove around a busy parking lot on a Saturday afternoon for what seemed like forever until I finally found a spot. I put my blinker on and waited for the car to pull out so I could pull in. Before I had a chance, however, a car swooped in from the opposite direction and slid right in. And wouldn't you know that she had the audacity to start screaming at me when I expressed my frustration at her for being selfish and inconsiderate? Soooome people!</p> <p><em>Do you have driving scenarios that are likely to send someone into road rage that you'd like to add? I'd love to hear your stories in the comments section below.</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="16 Ways You Are Causing Road Rage" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Mikey Rox</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> General Tips Lifestyle Personal Development general tips lifestyle personal development Mon, 22 Sep 2014 15:00:11 +0000 Mikey Rox 1216065 at