Life Hacks http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/5/all en-US 6 Habits That Are Quietly Eating Your Brain http://www.wisebread.com/6-habits-that-are-quietly-eating-your-brain <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-habits-that-are-quietly-eating-your-brain" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man-eating-cake-86490135-small.jpg" alt="man eating cake" title="man eating cake" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Bad habits &mdash; everybody's got 'em. But did you know that some of them are actually making you dumber? That's right, just as you can engage in practices that boost your brain power, there are other actions &mdash; including some you may be taking right now while mistakenly thinking they're harmless &mdash; that actually diminish your intellectual capacity. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-habits-that-are-quietly-making-you-fat-and-have-nothing-to-do-with-eating?ref=seealso">7 Habits That Are Quietly Making You Fat</a>)</p> <p>So read on, smarten up, and don't say we didn't warn you.</p> <h2>1. Overeating</h2> <p>Listen up, men. Especially those of you who carry around a little extra weight. Researchers have found that being overweight may actually increase the <a href="http://www.webmd.com/men/news/20030305/obesity-may-hamper-mens-brain-power">risk of mental decline in men</a>, making it more difficult for their brains to function at peak levels over time. So next time you get the midnight munchies, think not just of the damage it could do to your waistline, but also the harm it could cause to your intellect.</p> <p>Women, by the way, are not at risk for this eating-induced loss of mental function because of where and how the female body stores and distributes fat. Hurray!</p> <h2>2. Using GPS Navigation</h2> <p>A series of studies has uncovered a startling fact about the way we navigate this modern world, and the effect it has on our brains. It turns out that depending on GPS to get from point A to point B may have negative consequences on brain function, especially on the hippocampus, which is involved in <a href="http://phys.org/news/2010-11-reliance-gps-hippocampus-function-age.html">memory and navigation processes</a>. Neuroscientist Veronique Bohbot of McGill University in Montreal contends that it's probably wise for us all to limit our use of GPS strictly for occasions when we're finding the way to a new destination. Then, on the way back, or when we're going somewhere else we're already familiar with, we should turn it off.</p> <h2>3. Working Odd Hours</h2> <p>If you work the graveyard shift or otherwise make a living by a strange schedule, you may want to put in for a change of hours. Studies show that long-term shift work leads to impaired memory and <a href="http://www.swansea.ac.uk/media-centre/latest-research/researchshowslongtermshiftworklinkedtoimpairedbrainpower.php">stunted brain function</a>. &quot;The cognitive impairment observed in the present study may have important safety consequences not only for the individuals concerned, but also for society as a whole, given the increasing number of jobs in high hazard situations that are performed at night,&quot; wrote a team of researchers from the National Center for Scientific Research at the University of Toulouse in France. Experts say it all boils down to the toll sleep disruption has on the brain's ability to store information. The old 9-to-5 doesn't sound so bad afterall, now does it?</p> <h2>4. Getting Stressed Out</h2> <p>Only 37% of Americans feel they are doing an <a href="http://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/stress/2012/impact.aspx#">adequate job of managing their stress</a>. And now there's evidence that stress could be <a href="http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-mindful-self-express/201208/how-prevent-stress-shrinking-your-brain">shrinking our brains</a>. New research shows that prolonged stress is associated with decreased volume in the parts of the brain responsible for regulating thoughts and feelings and creating new memories. So it would seem to reason that it's more important now than ever to pick up a few little tricks to help release those tightly wound tensions we all accumulate in the mind and body as we go about our day. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-little-ways-to-de-stress-and-enjoy-life-more?ref=seealso">6 Little Ways to De-Stress (and Enjoy Life More)</a>)</p> <h2>5. Skipping Meals</h2> <p>When you skip a meal, you aren't just starving your stomach &mdash; you're also <a href="http://www.memphis.edu/update/feb10/health.php">starving your brain</a>. The brain relies on blood sugar from the food we eat as fuel to keep all our neural-activity functioning properly. All it takes is a few hours on an empty stomach for our blood sugar to drop to subnormal levels, which means the brain can't perform optimally. &quot;In short, skipping meals leads to poor cognitive functioning, including loss of memory, concentration, the ability to learn, hand-eye coordination, and the ability to catch mistakes,&quot; said Rallie McAllister, author of <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00C01L6WI/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00C01L6WI&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=WRRRAYANZHVFN22S">Healthy Lunchbox: The Working Mom's Guide to Keeping You and Your Kids Trim</a>.</p> <h2>6. Eating Soda, Candy, and Sugary Snacks</h2> <p>Yet another reason to wrangle in that sweet tooth: A diet high in <a href="http://www.cbsnews.com/news/need-your-brain-this-food-can-make-you-dumber/">fructose slows the brain</a>, which hampers memory and learning. And studies show all it takes is six weeks of sugary eating for the effects on the mind to begin to show. &quot;Our findings illustrate that what you eat affects how you think,&quot; UCLA biology professor Fernando Gomez-Pinilla told CBS News. &quot;Eating a high-fructose diet over the long term alters your brain's ability to learn and remember information.&quot;</p> <p><em>Are you guilty of any of these bad habits? Planning to stop now? Tell us about it in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-habits-that-are-quietly-eating-your-brain" class="sharethis-link" title="6 Habits That Are Quietly Eating Your Brain" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/brittany-lyte">Brittany Lyte</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-habits-that-are-quietly-eating-your-brain">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-habits-you-must-start-right-now-and-be-a-better-person">20 Habits You Must Start Right Now and Be a Better Person</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-break-bad-habits">How to Break Bad Habits</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-habits-you-must-kick-right-now-and-be-a-better-person">20 Habits You Must Kick Right Now and Be a Better Person</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/breaking-the-bread-code-how-to-get-the-freshest-loaf">Breaking the Bread Code: How to Get the Freshest Loaf</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-surprisingly-easy-way-to-change-your-habits-and-your-life">The Surprisingly Easy Way to Change Your Habits and Your Life</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Food and Drink General Tips bad habits habits intelligence Tue, 25 Nov 2014 13:00:05 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1260291 at http://www.wisebread.com 4 Magic Words and Phrases That Will Make You Sound Smarter http://www.wisebread.com/4-magic-words-and-phrases-that-will-make-you-sound-smarter <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-magic-words-and-phrases-that-will-make-you-sound-smarter" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/business-conversation-513991085-small.jpg" alt="conversation" title="conversation" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Smart is the new sexy.</p> <p><a href="http://youtu.be/zuBSRC1zpHw">Ashton Kutcher</a> said it best, &quot;the sexiest thing in the entire world is being smart, being thoughtful, and being generous. Everything else is crap.&quot; (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/want-to-be-more-attractive-work-these-5-magic-words-and-phrases-into-your-vocabulary?ref=seealso">Want to Be More Attractive? Work These 5 Magic Words (and Phrases) Into Your Vocabulary</a>)</p> <p>However, appearing smart takes more than just throwing on a pair of glasses and learning complicated words, such as denouement or onomatopoeia. To help you smarten up, here are four magic words and phrases to work into your speech and writing.</p> <h2>1. &quot;Because&quot;</h2> <p>This is one of the most powerful words in the English language. It's so powerful that it increases your chances of getting people to agree with you.</p> <p>Let's imagine that you are waiting in a long line to use the photocopier. Somebody tries to cut in and asks you &quot;Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine?&quot; According to one study, <a href="http://www.communicationcache.com/uploads/1/0/8/8/10887248/the_mindlessness_of_ostensibly_thoughtful_action-_the_role_of_placebic_information_in_interpersonal_interaction.pdf">only 60% of individuals would let the person cut in</a>. But when the person tweaks his question to &quot;I have 5 pages. May I use the Xerox machine, <em>because</em> I am in a rush?&quot; a whopping 94% of individuals would let the person cut in.</p> <p>But wait a minute, aren't most of us, including those waiting in line, in a rush? Why in the world would virtually everybody let that person cut in line? The answer is that people simply like to have a reason for doing what they do (a.k.a. &quot;What's in it for me, buddy?&quot;). By using &quot;because&quot; you're providing that reason. Turns out that most of us won't argue when provided a reason, even if it may not be that great.</p> <h2>2. &quot;You're Right&quot;</h2> <p>One of the advantages of being smart is that you win arguments. &quot;You're right&quot; is your magic shortcut to appear smarter during arguments and, hence, win them more often.</p> <p>The main issue with arguments is that they take place when there's a problem that needs to be resolved. Whenever there are problems, you will have to deal with conflicts. If you only focus on the negative aspects of the conflict, then the arguments get heated. Nothing good comes out of a heated discussion.</p> <p>The best way to keep a balanced argument is to make <a href="http://www.salon.com/2012/06/03/your_words_matter/">three positive comments for every negative comment</a> that you make. By keeping the negativity in check, you're increasing your chances of solving the problem. &quot;You're right&quot; achieves this for you.</p> <p>&quot;You're right&quot; is a magic phrase for two reasons. First, it's an easy crutch to use when you can't come up with a positive comment. For example, you can use it when the other person mentions a fact (&quot;You're right, the invoice does show 17 widgets.&quot;). Second, &quot;You're right&quot; kicks in the rule of reciprocation. By making this concession, the other person is obligated to return a concession of their own.</p> <h2>3. &quot;Instantly&quot;</h2> <p>From headache-relief pills to menu items to answers, we want things to work right now.</p> <p><a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22633679">MRI studies</a> have shown that our brains get all excited at the mention of instant gratification. That's why you can't sound like it will take too long to work with you. You have to add to your vocabulary words that trigger that much needed instant gratification, such as &quot;instantly,&quot; &quot;immediately,&quot; and &quot;fast.&quot;</p> <ul> <li>Say &quot;I'll get back to you <em>immediately</em>&quot; instead of &quot;I'll get back to you.&quot;</li> <li>Promise to deliver <em>fast</em> results, not just results.</li> <li>Assert &quot;my proposal addresses your needs <em>instantly</em>.&quot;</li> </ul> <p>An important warning is that when you use &quot;instantly,&quot; you must deliver on your promise. Nothing is worse than failing to meet the high standards that made somebody choose you over somebody else. You may get away with under-delivering on your promises once, but once the word gets out, nobody will buy your empty promises any more.</p> <h2>4. &quot;Even&hellip;&quot;</h2> <p>Throughout your day you do your best to convince other people to do things, for example:</p> <ul> <li>Asking your 5-year old son to eat his vegetables.</li> <li>Requesting your boss for an extra 20 minutes during your lunch break.</li> <li>Calling your insurance company for a discount on your premium.</li> </ul> <p>We have already discussed how using &quot;because&quot; dramatically increases your chances of getting your way, but here's an extra way to make your offer irresistible: Downplay your request through the smart use of &quot;even&quot;.</p> <p>In a study, <a href="http://www.mhhe.com/cls/psy/ch15/foot.mhtml">people were asked for donations</a> using two types of requests:</p> <ol> <li>&quot;Would you be willing to help by giving a donation?&quot;</li> <li>&quot;Would you be willing to help by giving a donation? <em>Even</em> a penny will help.&quot;</li> </ol> <p>When using the first question, only 28% of people donated. When using the second question that included the &quot;even&quot; statement, 50% of people donated.</p> <p>By setting minimal parameters for your request, you can make people almost twice as likely to agree to it. The best part of this study is that donors that responded to the second question donated the same amounts as donors from the first question. This means that if you ask your boss, &quot;Can I get an extra 20 minutes for my lunch break? <em>Even</em> five will help,&quot; she will still agree to give you the full 20 minutes.</p> <p><em>What words or phrases do you find smart? Please share them in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-magic-words-and-phrases-that-will-make-you-sound-smarter" class="sharethis-link" title="4 Magic Words and Phrases That Will Make You Sound Smarter" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/damian-davila">Damian Davila</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-magic-words-and-phrases-that-will-make-you-sound-smarter">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-does-ymmv-mean-the-official-guide-to-decoding-the-language">What Does “YMMV” Mean? The Official Guide to Decoding the Language of Frugality</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/you-can-learn-a-new-language-just-use-one-of-these-3-apps">You CAN Learn a New Language — Just Use One of These 3 Apps</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-habits-that-are-quietly-eating-your-brain">6 Habits That Are Quietly Eating Your Brain</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-really-easy-ways-to-unclog-drains">10 Really Easy Ways to Unclog Drains</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-more-grammar-mistakes-that-are-making-you-look-stupid">12 More Grammar Mistakes That Are Making You Look Stupid</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> General Tips language magic words sound smarter Mon, 24 Nov 2014 13:00:10 +0000 Damian Davila 1258686 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Free Apps to Boost Your Online Productivity http://www.wisebread.com/8-free-apps-to-boost-your-online-productivity <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-free-apps-to-boost-your-online-productivity" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/businesswoman-working-computer-474862453-small.jpg" alt="businesswoman working" title="businesswoman working" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I feel fortunate to be in my thirties. In my opinion, it's the sweet spot for all things related to technology. I'm old enough to remember life before computers took over entirely. Yet, I'm young enough to quickly adapt and learn new things that make my life happier and more productive. No matter your age, however, you could be using your computer (and time) more effectively and efficiently. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-tools-that-stop-computer-distractions-and-help-you-stay-on-task?ref=seealso">6 Tools That Stop Computer Distractions and Keep You on Task</a>)</p> <p>Here are some free applications you can download today to do just that.</p> <h2>1. Inbox Tamer</h2> <p>There's no greater distraction than those little email notifications popping up at the bottom of your screen. I used to waste a lot of time checking email whenever I'd get anything new. Eventually, I tried closing the application entirely, only to find I'd forget to check and miss important messages. Well, now there's <a href="http://inboxpause.com/">Inbox Pause</a>, which delays the notifications so they won't interrupt your workflow.</p> <h2>2. Social Director</h2> <p>There are a lot of tools out there to block social media and other programs while you work, but <a href="http://getcoldturkey.com/">Cold Turkey</a> happens to be free. You can even customize the settings to block certain pages during certain activities through specific groupings. There are upgraded versions with scheduling capabilities, the power to identify certain users (for parents), etc. &mdash; but the basic version gets the job done.</p> <h2>3. Blue Light Blocker</h2> <p>I downloaded <a href="https://justgetflux.com/">f.lux</a> just last month, and I already see it's the beginning of a beautiful relationship. The software makes the colors on your screen adapt to the time of day. If it's late and nearing bedtime, it'll filter out the blue light, which can disrupt sleep patterns, and replace it with an amber glow. You can customize how little or much you want your display to shift, but I'm already falling asleep much faster after firing off articles before my head hits the pillow.</p> <h2>4. Message Wrangler</h2> <p>If you use Gmail, <a href="http://www.boomeranggmail.com/">Boomerang</a> is your new best friend. It lets you draft messages now and schedule to send later. It reminds you if you don't hear back on that important email you sent last week. And it even lets you clear out your inbox &mdash; and mind &mdash; temporarily and return the messages when you're ready to read them.</p> <h2>5. Time Tracker</h2> <p>Do you know how you're spending your time on the computer? <a href="https://www.rescuetime.com/">RescueTime</a> can make it a lot easier to track. The Lite version (it's free) enables you to record your time on websites and in different applications and set goals for yourself. The application also provides you with a weekly email report of your progress (or lack thereof).</p> <h2>6. Program Launcher</h2> <p>Have you ever wanted to open your programs with just a few keystrokes? <a href="http://www.launchy.net/">Launchy</a> lets you do just that. You'll forget about your menu, the icons cluttering your desktop, and even your file manager with this smart application. With over 120K users, I'd say it's working well for the masses.</p> <h2>7. Image Manipulator</h2> <p>Can't afford the leading image manipulation software? Try <a href="http://www.gimp.org/">GIMP</a> for your photo retouching needs. You can paint, add text, create layers, rotate, scale, and much more. This application will save you time on creating images for your presentations and give you some powerful tools for personal use as well.</p> <h2>8. Password Keeper</h2> <p>Over time, all those passwords can get quite hard generate and remember. And keeping them in a book next to your laptop isn't exactly convenient &mdash; or safe. Enter <a href="https://lastpass.com/">LastPass</a> &mdash; the last password you'll need to remember. The application manages all your login information for different sites and autofills for you. You can even streamline your online shopping experience by setting up secure payment accounts. Best of all, LastPass helps create unique passwords that follow the best security practices.</p> <p><em>What's your favorite (and free!) computer productivity hack? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-free-apps-to-boost-your-online-productivity" class="sharethis-link" title="8 Free Apps to Boost Your Online Productivity" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-free-apps-to-boost-your-online-productivity">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-critical-steps-to-protect-your-data-in-the-cloud">10 Critical Steps to Protect Your Data in the Cloud</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-self-improvement-apps-to-make-you-smarter-stronger-and-happier">10 Self-Improvement Apps to Make You Smarter, Stronger, and Happier</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-youre-wasting-time-without-realizing-it">10 Ways You&#039;re Wasting Time Without Realizing It</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-best-productivity-apps-for-really-busy-people-like-you">The 10 Best Productivity Apps for Really Busy People Like You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-back-to-school-iphone-apps">10 Back-to-School iPhone Apps</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Productivity apps computers PC time savers Fri, 21 Nov 2014 19:00:09 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1257593 at http://www.wisebread.com 12 More Grammar Mistakes That Are Making You Look Stupid http://www.wisebread.com/12-more-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-more-grammar-mistakes-that-are-making-you-look-stupid" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/businessman-writing-450814525-small.jpg" alt="businessman writing" title="businessman writing" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Having bad grammar can be a job killer.</p> <ul> <li><a href="https://hbr.org/2012/07/i-wont-hire-people-who-use-poo/">Some employers won't hire people who use poor grammar</a>.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Even in industries, such as IT, <a href="http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/career-management/would-you-hire-someone-with-poor-grammar-skills/">good grammar is a requirement</a>.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Human resource experts see <a href="http://www.cbsnews.com/news/why-sloppiness-is-killing-your-job-search/">bad grammar as an obstacle to landing the job</a>.</li> </ul> <p>Simply put: If you're not able to distinguish the difference between &quot;your&quot; and &quot;you're,&quot; employers may not be comfortable with your learning curve.</p> <p>So take action today, and fix these 12 more grammar mistakes that are making you look stupid. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-grammar-mistakes-that-are-making-you-look-stupid?ref=seealso">12 Grammar Mistakes That Are Making You Look Stupid</a>)</p> <h2>Mixing Up Words</h2> <p>At the top of the list of grammar mistakes is the misuse of homonyms (words that sound alike). Let's look at some common mixups.</p> <h3>1. Its vs It's</h3> <ul> <li><em>Its</em> is a possessive pronoun</li> <li><em>It's</em> is a contraction of &quot;it is.&quot;</li> </ul> <p>The test to determine whether or not you're using &quot;it's&quot; correctly is to replace it for &quot;it is.&quot; For example, &quot;<em>It's</em> an apple&quot; is correct (&quot;<em>It is</em> an apple&quot; makes sense), and &quot;<em>It's</em> red car is awesome&quot; is incorrect (&quot;<em>It is</em> red car is awesome&quot; doesn't make sense).</p> <h3>2. Lose vs Loose</h3> <p>That extra &quot;o&quot; makes a world of difference.</p> <ul> <li>Use <em>lose</em> to indicate that you're unable to find something or someone, or fail to win a game or contest. For example, &quot;when I play chess with grandpa, I <em>lose</em> all the time!&quot;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>On the other hand, use <em>loose</em> when something is not tightly fastened, attached, or held. For example, &quot;wearing <em>loose</em> pants is very comfortable.&quot;</li> </ul> <h3>3. To vs Too vs Two</h3> <ul> <li><em>To</em> indicates place or direction. (&quot;I moved from Maryland to Hawaii.&quot;) <em>To</em> is also used when you're using a verb in its infinitive form. (&quot;<em>To</em> make that move was great!&quot;)<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><em>Too</em> means also. (&quot;I made that move, <em>too</em>!&quot;)<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><em>Two</em> is the number after one. (&quot;<em>Two</em> people moved from Maryland to Hawaii.&quot;)</li> </ul> <p>Now that you know the difference, test yourself with this sentence: &quot;I'm to/too/two tired to/too/two help you carry these to/too/two suitcases to/too/two the taxi.&quot;</p> <h3>4. Accept vs Except</h3> <p>While these words may sound alike, they have very different meanings. Generally <em>except</em> is a preposition (it can also be a verb or conjunction) and <em>accept</em> is a verb. Here are some examples.</p> <ul> <li>The most common use of except is to exclude somebody or something. For example, &quot;the family was all there <em>except</em> Uncle Jerry.&quot;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Use accept when you take or receive something, such as in the event that &quot;you <em>accept</em> the Oscar on behalf of Leonardo DiCaprio.&quot;</li> </ul> <h3>5. Advice vs Advise</h3> <p>Confusing these two words can sound like nails scratching on a chalkboard. <em>Advice</em> is a noun and <em>advise</em> is a verb.</p> <ul> <li>Use <em>advice</em> to refer to guidance or recommendations. (&quot;I accept your <em>advice</em>.&quot;)<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>On the other hand, use <em>advise</em> to indicate the action of giving suggestions or recommendations. (&quot;I <em>advise</em> you to go home.&quot;)</li> </ul> <h2>Idioms</h2> <p>An idiom is an expression whose meaning is not predictable from the usual meanings of the words that make it up. The most mistakes with idioms involve verbs and their associated prepositions.</p> <h3>6. Distinguish From vs Distinguish Between&hellip; And&hellip;.</h3> <p>Both idioms are correct, but you need to use the right prepositions at the right time.</p> <ul> <li>Incorrect: &quot;Some people can't <em>distinguish</em> Monet <em>and</em> Manet.&quot;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Correct: &quot;Some people can't <em>distinguish between</em> Monet <em>and</em> Manet.&quot;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Correct: Some people can't <em>distinguish</em> Monet <em>from</em> Manet.&quot;</li> </ul> <h3>7. Consider</h3> <p>When you use &quot;consider,&quot; you don't add the preposition &quot;as.&quot;</p> <p>I <em>consider</em> this a common mistake because people think of the similar idiomatic expression, &quot;regard as.&quot;</p> <h3>8. Supposed To</h3> <p>In this case, the problem is not the preposition but the verb tense in the idiom.</p> <ul> <li>Incorrect: &quot;I was suppose to call you last weekend.&quot;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Correct: &quot;I was <em>supposed to</em> call you last weekend.&quot;</li> </ul> <h2>Made Up Words or Phrases</h2> <p>These words don't even exist, yet somehow end up in our speech and writing. Here are some terrifying abuses of the English language.</p> <h3>9. Irregardless</h3> <p>Holy double negatives, Batman!</p> <p>&quot;Irregardless&quot; is not a word. When you're trying to say &quot;anyhow&quot; or &quot;anyway&quot; use &quot;regardless.&quot; When you use &quot;regardless&quot; at the beginning of a sentence, add the preposition &quot;of.&quot;</p> <ul> <li>Correct: &quot;They knew it was going to rain; they went to the park <em>regardless</em>.&quot;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Correct: &quot;<em>Regardless of</em> the rain, they went to the beach.&quot;</li> </ul> <h3>10. Could of, Would of, and Should of</h3> <p>When said quickly &quot;I would've gone to the movies if you had invited me,&quot; some people may hear &quot;would of.&quot; This happens because &quot;would have&quot; is contracted as &quot;would've.&quot;</p> <p>&quot;Could of,&quot; &quot;would of,&quot; and &quot;should of&quot; are speech slurs of &quot;could've,&quot; &quot;would've,&quot; and &quot;should've.&quot; When writing out these expressions, make sure to spell them correctly as &quot;could've,&quot; &quot;would've,&quot; and &quot;should've.&quot;</p> <h3>11. Doggy-Dog World</h3> <p>A &quot;doggy-dog&quot; world sounds like a wonderful paradise filled with tiny, fluffy, and cuddly puppies.</p> <p>If you're trying to say that the world is a vicious place filled with people that will betray one another to get to the top, then you must be referring to a &quot;dog-eat-dog world.&quot;</p> <h3>12. Dangling Participle</h3> <p>Last but not least, here is my second favorite grammar pet peeve: the dangling participle.</p> <p>Also known as dangling modifier, the dangling participle is one of the most common grammar mistakes. Not only will this error make you look dumb, but also it will render your speech or writing almost unintelligible.</p> <ul> <li>Incorrect: &quot;By studying every day, the grade increased from 70 to 90.&quot;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Correct: &quot;By studying every day, Mike increased his score from 70 to 90.&quot;</li> </ul> <p>Notice that a modifier (&quot;By studying every day&quot;) attaches to the first noun it meets. Since grades don't study, the modifier is misplaced in the first example. In the second, it modifies &quot;Mike,&quot; and we understand how he improved his score.</p> <p>Modifier phrases, such as participles, must be right before or right after the noun that they're modifying. Take a look at this next example:</p> <ul> <li>Incorrect: &quot;After declining for months, the company turned around its revenue.&quot;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Better: &quot;After declining for months, the revenue was turned around by the company.&quot;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Best: &quot;The company turned around the revenue, which had been declining for months.&quot; (This is the best choice because it avoids the use of passive voice.)</li> </ul> <p>By paying attention to these grammar mistakes, you are improving the chances of landing your dream job.</p> <p><em>What are your grammar pet peeves? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-more-grammar-mistakes-that-are-making-you-look-stupid" class="sharethis-link" title="12 More Grammar Mistakes That Are Making You Look Stupid" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/damian-davila">Damian Davila</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-more-grammar-mistakes-that-are-making-you-look-stupid">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-grammar-mistakes-that-are-making-you-look-stupid">12 Grammar Mistakes That Are Making You Look Stupid</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/change-your-life-by-learning-how-to-admit-youre-wrong">Change Your Life by Learning How to Admit You&#039;re Wrong</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-stupidest-things-smart-people-do">The 10 Stupidest Things Smart People Do</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/lessons-learned-from-new-years-eves-gone-wrong">Lessons Learned from New Year&#039;s Eves Gone Wrong</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-habits-that-are-quietly-eating-your-brain">6 Habits That Are Quietly Eating Your Brain</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> General Tips diction grammar Mistakes spelling Fri, 21 Nov 2014 15:00:16 +0000 Damian Davila 1257851 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Survive the 5 Most Common Emergency Situations http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-survive-the-5-most-common-emergency-situations <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-survive-the-5-most-common-emergency-situations" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman-flat-tire-177572755-small.jpg" alt="woman flat tire" title="woman flat tire" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Nuclear fallout, asteroid strikes, and sinkholes are rare. But, yes, emergencies do happen. And while you'd be foolish to spend time preparing for any of <em>those</em> three disasters, it's smart and doubly worthwhile to prep for some of the more common ones. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-emergency-situations-you-must-prepare-for-and-5-you-can-ignore?ref=seealso">5 Emergency Situations You Must Prepare For</a>)</p> <p>Read on for our round-up of likely red alert scenarios, complete with tips on how to prevent and get out of them.</p> <h2>1. A Bad Case of Frostbite</h2> <p>If you spend time at high altitudes or in sub-zero climes, chances are you've flirted with frostbite. A mild case can mean your skin becomes partially frozen &mdash; and when it warms back up it's going to hurt like heck. But a bad case of <a href="http://www.ncemi.org/cse/cse1104.htm">frostbite can lead to severe blistering</a>, permanent cold sensitivity, and long-term loss of feeling. Not to mention it's a warning sign of life-threatening hypothermia.</p> <p>So if you think you've been exposed to frostbite of this magnitude &mdash; or if you're at all uncertain &mdash; it's important to remove yourself from the elements as quickly as possible and seek professional emergency medical treatment. As you make your way to the medics, keep in mind two important don'ts. Never use friction to warm body parts that have been exposed to frostbite, for this can further damage the tissue. And never rewarm frostbitten skin while you're still out in the elements &mdash; you'll run the risk of refreezing and doubly damaging your skin.</p> <h2>2. Flat Tires And Blowouts</h2> <p>Prior to 2007 when tire pressure monitoring systems were installed in all vehicles, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimated flat tires and blowouts as the cause of 414 fatalities, 10,275 non-fatal injuries, and 78,392 crashes on American roads annually. Tire pressure monitoring systems have made us safer, but <a href="http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/811617.pdf">tire troubles are still one of the most common problems faced by drivers</a>. That's because the tires are the only part of the car that are in constant contact with the road, making them extremely vulnerable.</p> <p>The best way to prevent a faulty tire situation is to check your air pressure regularly, rotate your tires every time you change the oil, and keep an eye on the treads, making sure to replace any tires that appear worn out. And <a href="http://www.procarcare.com/icarumba/resourcecenter/encyclopedia/icar_resourcecenter_encyclopedia_emergency2.asp#blowouts">if you do hear a tire pop</a> or experience a sudden lack of control in steering while whizzing down the highway, follow these steps: Get a firm grip on the wheel and slowly apply the brakes (sudden braking can propel your car into a spin-out), pull over to the side of the road, and activate your flashers. Once you're safely stopped out of the way of traffic, change the tire yourself or call for help.</p> <h2>3. A Severe Storm Threat</h2> <p>Be it a hurricane, blizzard, or wildfire, Mother Nature can wreak havoc on our lives. Where you live will help determine what kind of storm event you ought to prepare for, but nonetheless most disaster kits contain many of the same key ingredients. These kits should be assembled well in advance of an emergency, and they should contain <a href="http://www.ready.gov/build-a-kit">everything you need to survive for 72 hours</a>.</p> <p>Some of those items include nonperishable food for you and your pets, bottled water, a sleeping bag or warm blanket for everyone in your household, prescription medications, first aid supplies, matches, a flashlight with extra batteries, and a whistle to signal for help. Be sure to keep your kit in a secure location &mdash; and be sure that everyone in the house knows where it is. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-safest-cities-in-america-from-natural-disasters?ref=seealso">Safest Cities in America From Natural Disasters</a>)</p> <h2>4. Getting The Pink Slip</h2> <p><a href="http://www.gallup.com/poll/168563/job-loss-quickly-lead-hardship.aspx">Four in 10 Americans would feel financial hardship</a> a month from now if they were to lose their job today. Gallup's 2014 Economy and Personal Finance Poll also found that 23% of Americans earning $50,000 or less said they are very or fairly likely to lose their job in the near future. For Americans earning more than $50,000, it's 12%.</p> <p>&quot;With long-term unemployment a serious problem in recent years, many U.S. workers are not in a position financially to go a month, or even a week, without finding a new job if laid off,&quot; the Gallup poll concludes. &quot;That underscores the economic hardship that unemployment of any length can bring on U.S. families, particularly for younger and lower-income workers.&quot;</p> <p>One of the top reasons so many Americans fall into a financial black hole when they lose employment is that they didn't see it coming. So the best way to prevent yourself from falling into this trap is to prepare for the unexpected by creating an emergency savings fund. Paul Golden, spokesman for the National Endowment for Financial Education, recommends setting aside three to six months of living expenses to <a href="http://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/articles/2013/12/26/why-you-need-an-emergency-fund-in-the-new-year">offset any future potential job loss</a>. During a recession, that amount should increase to six to nine months of expenses, Golden says.</p> <h2>5. House Fires</h2> <p>Every year there are <a href="http://www.nfpa.org/research/reports-and-statistics/fires-by-property-type/residential/home-fires">more than 360,000 house fires</a>, killing about 2,500 people and causing more than $7 billion in property damage in the U.S. Cooking equipment is the leading cause of house fires, followed by cigarette smoking and faulty heating equipment. And since two of every five house fires starts in the kitchen, one of the best ways to prevent one in your home is to fire-proof the area around your stove by removing anything flammable (think dish towels, anything made of paper or plastic) within three feet of the burners. It's also important to install and <a href="http://www.redcross.org/prepare/location/home-family/prevent-home-fires">test your home smoke alarm</a> to ensure that it's working properly.</p> <p><em>Are you prepared? For what? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-survive-the-5-most-common-emergency-situations" class="sharethis-link" title="How to Survive the 5 Most Common Emergency Situations " rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/brittany-lyte">Brittany Lyte</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-survive-the-5-most-common-emergency-situations">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-weird-ways-to-keep-you-and-your-stuff-safe">7 Weird Ways to Keep You and Your Stuff Safe</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-6-stages-of-dealing-with-financial-disaster">The 6 Stages of Dealing With Financial Disaster</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-habits-that-are-quietly-eating-your-brain">6 Habits That Are Quietly Eating Your Brain</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-magic-words-and-phrases-that-will-make-you-sound-smarter">4 Magic Words and Phrases That Will Make You Sound Smarter</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-really-easy-ways-to-unclog-drains">10 Really Easy Ways to Unclog Drains</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> General Tips disasters emergencies insurance preparation Thu, 20 Nov 2014 12:00:07 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1257139 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Look Rich on Social Media http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-look-rich-on-social-media <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-look-rich-on-social-media" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/friends-club-selfie-518830809-small.jpg" alt="friends club selfie" title="friends club selfie" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>A few weeks ago my esteemed Wise Bread editors asked me to write <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-look-rich-without-having-much-money">How to Look Rich Without Having Much Money</a>, the title of which is self-explanatory and one that I knew would ruffle more than a few feathers. I'm a glutton for punishment.</p> <p>That's also why I've chosen to take on this new piece. Because while social media is as much about sharing content and staying in touch with friends and loved ones, it's also about smoke and mirrors &mdash; that perceived self that we put out into the world to make our real lives seem a little more exciting. But why stop there? If you want to make it seem a lot more exciting, read on. Fake it till ya make it, as they say &mdash; and this is how you do it.</p> <h2>1. Document Your Attendance at the Swankiest Parties</h2> <p>To give the impression on social media that you're rubbing elbows with the upper crust, get yourself on the guest list to the hottest parties in town, and then document them with check-ins, tags, and photos. This may seem like an insurmountable feat, but it can be accomplished a few different ways:</p> <ul> <li>Make friends with rich people. When they're attending fancy parties, they might invite you along to be their guest.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Make friends with the people behind the scenes at said rich person events. These are the folks producing the event, and they have ultimate control of the guest list.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Purchase tickets to charity balls and galas. You'll have to front some money for access, but many events are relatively affordable. Plus, there's money to be made in networking, and you should always be looking for ways to advance your own cause; this is one of them.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Crash it. Think you can sneak past security? Godspeed.</li> </ul> <h2>2. Check in at the Poshest Spots in Town</h2> <p>Those swanky parties can be few and far between, but you can check in more often at trendy public places well known to cater to rich people. Perhaps that's a well-to-do hotel, top restaurant, spa, or a fancy pool? Even better is if you check in between the hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. while most of the world is working. You'll look like you're living a life of leisure just like a rich person, and that's damn near mission accomplished.</p> <h2>3. Hashtag Rich Kids (#RKOI) of Instagram</h2> <p>There's actually thing called <a href="http://richkidsofinstagram.tumblr.com/">Rich Kids of Instragram</a> (#RKOI) wherein luxury-loving social media users post photos of themselves riding around town in the sweetest whips, kicking back on tricked-out airplanes, swimming in a sea of designer handbags, lounging on private beaches, and otherwise making the rest of us curse the day we weren't born a Trump or a Schwarzenegger. The great thing about this meme, however, is that you don't actually have to be rich to perpetuate the illusion that you are. To join this club, all you have to do is take photos like the ones I've just described and hashtag RKOI. You run a very high risk of looking like a D-bag by doing this &mdash; don't say I didn't warn you &mdash; but I have a feeling you don't care too much about that since your goal is pretending to be rich for no particular reason anyway.</p> <h2>4. Tweet Celebs and Other Notables</h2> <p>Sometimes you can seem rich by association, and Twitter is a good way to connect with celebrities and other notable people who are up to their ears in cash. They won't always tweet you back, but you won't know unless you reach out first.</p> <p>For example, one time I included @EmbryEthan (AKA Ethan Embry, the cute dude from &quot;Empire Records&quot; and &quot;Can't Hard Wait&quot; who is kind of a five-alarm hottie these days) in a tweet and he responded. Totally one of my social-media highlights. My personal anecdote aside, the more you align yourself with the elite on social media, the better chance you'll be perceived as someone important to those who follow you. Being important generally means you've got money to burn, so as a residual result people will start to think that you're probably fairly well off too.</p> <h2>5. Instagram Yourself in the Hottest Threads</h2> <p>A major component to creating the impression that you're rich is your physical appearance, much of which relies on the type of clothing you're wearing. There are brands out there that are typically associated with having money &mdash; Ralph Lauren, Lacoste, Prada, Gucci, etc. &mdash; but on social media it's more about what's hot right this minute and how you look in it. If you can't afford to actually dress the part, Instagram can help. Try on those fresh-to-def kicks, duds, and accessories in store and snap a shot before putting the stuff back on the rack. By capturing these digital blips in time when you look like a baller, you'll start to establish yourself as somewhat of a style guru who's seemingly rolling in the dough.</p> <h2>6. Publish Photos of Haute Cuisine</h2> <p>Rich people tend not to post pics of the three-piece and a biscuit from Popeye's that they're about to scarf down on a hangover Sunday. But deliver a plate of caviar and a bottle of bubbly to the table of Chez Whatever, and they're all over it with hashtags galore. You can emulate this style of selective social media posting too, even if you're not on a fish egg and champagne budget. Just make sure the food looks incredibly appetizing (<a href="http://instagram.com/mikeyrox">easy to do if you're into cooking and entertaining like me</a>), the dish is something a bit out of the ordinary, and you stage the shot to make it look like you're about to stuff your face someplace awesome &mdash; which can totally be your own dining table if you have a great design sensibility.</p> <h2>7. Leave Yelp Reviews for Fancy Restaurants</h2> <p>By publishing reviews at of-the-moment restaurants on Yelp, your followers will start to think that you're a man (or woman) about town who appreciates the finer things in life, like premium cuisine that's often attached to premium prices. You can pull this off while still minding your budget, so long as you stick to affordable apps and lower-priced drinks and meals. Visiting at non-peak times also is a good idea because there might be happy hour discounts or other specials.</p> <p>Just make sure you're being honest in your review &mdash; which means actually having visited the establishment. It's not a nice to leave reviews for places you've never been &mdash; especially if it's an unwarranted negative review &mdash; as that can adversely influence others' decisions and the restaurant's business. Don't be that guy, dude.</p> <h2>8. Edit, Edit, Edit</h2> <p>Social media is all about editing. Most of us only put the good parts of our lives out there while omitting the not-so-attractive aspects. The concept applies to looking rich all the same. Remove the remnants of your old social media life that make you look like a commoner and start replacing it with calculated posts, tweets, and pictures that plant the perception of being rich. Over time, your followers will start to see you in a different light &mdash; even if it is carefully crafted.</p> <h2>9. Get Rich &mdash; and the Rest Will Come Naturally</h2> <p>While I stand by my tips in this post, this is, of course, mostly tongue-in-cheek. I don't recommend being anybody but your own true self, but if it's important to you to look rich on social media, who am I to judge? Instead of looking rich though, your time is much better spent trying to actually get rich, which can absolutely happen if you spend more time working and less time trying to be something you're not.</p> <p>When you've eventually attained your idea of rich (it's different for everybody &mdash; and sometimes, it doesn't have to do with money), the rest will fall into place &mdash; including how your social media followers see you. Hopefully that's as a generous and genuine person &mdash; ironically, two coveted characteristics that will never cost you a dime.</p> <p><em>Now for the hate mail; don't disappoint me. Sound off on what you think about this post, or add your own tips on how to look rich on social media in the comments below.</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-look-rich-on-social-media" class="sharethis-link" title="How to Look Rich on Social Media" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-look-rich-on-social-media">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-facebook-updates-that-are-making-you-look-stupid">7 Facebook Updates That Are Making You Look Stupid</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/feeling-stuck-100-ways-to-change-your-life">Feeling Stuck? 100 Ways to Change Your Life</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-things-people-with-good-communication-skills-never-do">12 Things People With Good Communication Skills Never Do</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-habits-you-must-start-right-now-and-be-a-better-person">20 Habits You Must Start Right Now and Be a Better Person</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-habits-that-are-quietly-making-you-fat-and-have-nothing-to-do-with-eating">7 Habits That Are Quietly Making You Fat (and Have Nothing to Do With Eating)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Personal Development appearances class looking rich social media status Wed, 19 Nov 2014 12:00:06 +0000 Mikey Rox 1256997 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: 15 Facts for Instant Happiness http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-15-facts-for-instant-happiness <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-15-facts-for-instant-happiness" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/happy-woman-reading-tablet-158553810-small.jpg" alt="woman reading tablet" title="woman reading tablet" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some great articles on facts that will make you happier right now, things you shouldn't keep in your wallet over the holidays, and tips for secure shopping this season.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Facts-Make-You-Smile-32288928">15 Facts That Will Instantly Make You Happier</a> &mdash; Did you know that cows have best friends, and they get stressed when separated? [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://www.kiplinger.com/slideshow/credit/T065-S001-things-not-to-keep-in-your-wallet-2014-holidays/index.html">8 Things Not to Keep in Your Wallet This Holiday Season</a> &mdash; Don't carry paper checks with you. With the routing and account numbers on your check, it's easy for anyone to electronically transfer funds from your account. [Kiplinger]</p> <p><a href="http://blog.myfico.com/2014/11/with-threat-of-data-breaches-5-tips-to-shop-secure-this-holiday-season/">With Threat of Data Breaches, 5 Tips to Shop Secure This Holiday Season</a> &mdash; Don't use public Wi-Fi when you're shopping online &mdash; make sure the network is password-protected. [myFICO]</p> <p><a href="http://www.creditsesame.com/blog/avoid-holiday-spending-hangover/">How to Avoid the Holiday Spending Hangover</a> &mdash; Use price comparison apps like Smoopa, Pricegrabber, and others to find the best deals around. [Credit Sesame]</p> <p><a href="http://blog.readyforzero.com/5-strategies-to-help-you-get-back-up-when-life-knocks-you-down/">5 Strategies to Help You Get Back Up When Life Knocks You Down</a> &mdash; Don't think of the journey to your goals as linear &mdash; it's not. The detours are part of the journey too. [Ready For Zero]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.savingadvice.com/articles/2014/11/13/1030271_kerantis-contact-lens-eye-infection.html">Your Dirty Contact Lens Habits May Be Causing Your Eye Infections</a> &mdash; Don't neglect your contact lens storage case! Clean it with contact lens solution, dry it with a clean tissue, then store it upside down with the caps off after each use. [Saving Advice]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/immune-boosting-recipes-kids-will-love">Immune Boosting Recipes Kids Will Love</a> &mdash; Add tons of beta carotene and vitamin A to your favorite mac 'n' cheese recipe by stirring in a small jar of carrot of squash baby food puree. [Parenting Squad]</p> <p><a href="http://kylieofiu.com/2014/11/6-ways-to-easily-reduce-debt/">6 Ways to Easily Reduce Debt</a> &mdash; If you have any money left over on the day before pay day, use it towards your debt. [Kylie Ofiu]</p> <p><a href="http://www.consumerismcommentary.com/socrates-plato-financial-gurus/">Why Socrates and Plato Are the Only Financial Gurus You Need</a> &mdash; Many of Socrates' and Plato's teachings can be applied to how we should deal with money today if we want to lead a happy and productive life. [Consumerism Commentary]</p> <p><a href="http://moneyning.com/budget-travel/keep-kids-entertained-while-on-the-road-5-budget-friendly-ideas/">Keep Kids Entertained While on the Road: 5 Budget-Friendly Ideas</a> &mdash; Have your kids work on a travel diary in the car. They can draw the scenes they see or write a story about the journey. [MoneyNing]</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-15-facts-for-instant-happiness" class="sharethis-link" title="Best Money Tips: 15 Facts for Instant Happiness" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amy-lu">Amy Lu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-15-facts-for-instant-happiness">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-things-scientists-say-will-boost-your-happiness-today">11 Things Scientists Say Will Boost Your Happiness Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-7-exercises-are-scientifically-proven-to-increase-happiness">These 7 Exercises Are Scientifically Proven to Increase Happiness</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-feel-better-fast">25 Ways to Feel Better Fast</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/100-small-things-that-can-bring-you-joy">100 Small Things That Can Bring You Joy</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-can-do-to-be-happier-today">10 Things You Can Do to Be Happier Today</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Personal Development best money tips happiness Tue, 18 Nov 2014 20:00:05 +0000 Amy Lu 1257137 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Small Risks That Can Improve Your Life in Big Ways http://www.wisebread.com/5-small-risks-that-can-improve-your-life-in-big-ways <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-small-risks-that-can-improve-your-life-in-big-ways" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/two-adults-talking-train-56901932-small.jpg" alt="two adults talking train" title="two adults talking train" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Living on the edge feels good. Even the smallest of risks is <a href="http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/9780470479216.corpsy0843/abstract">scientifically proven to increase your enjoyment</a> of whatever activity you're engaged in. Intrigued? Read on for our roundup of some small, specific small risks we suggest everybody consider taking.</p> <p>What have you really got to lose?</p> <h2>1. Buy a Lottery Ticket</h2> <p>Your <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2012/08/15/health/psychology-playing-lottery-powerball/">chances of winning the Powerball jackpot</a> are about one in 175 million. But some social psychologists say you should do it anyway. That's because the benefit most of us get from playing the lotto has a lot more to do with the fantasy of winning money than the actual attainment of wealth.</p> <p>&quot;The lottery lets you <a href="http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/affluence-intelligence/201203/lottery-itis">believe in magic</a>: that you will be the one who spent a little and got a lot; that you will defy the extraordinary odds against winning,&quot; reads an excerpt from a Psychology Today article titled &quot;Lottery-itis!&quot; It's that &quot;Oh, the things I could buy, the places I'd go!&quot; fantasy that grants us relief &mdash; albeit fleeting &mdash; from the stresses, conflicts, and perceived financial roadblocks in our real lives. In fact, neuroscientists have found that the <a href="http://scienceblogs.com/purepedantry/2008/01/08/does-the-lottery-help-or-harm/">prospect of winning the lottery activates</a> the same brain circuits that would be triggered if we discovered that we actually possessed the winning ticket. &quot;Our pleasure of living is not only based on our current situation, but what could be, what we can imagine our situation could become,&quot; behavioral decision making researcher George Loewenstein says.</p> <h2>2. Conquer a Fear</h2> <p>Turns out that <a href="http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2012/05/22/1205242109.full.pdf">facing our fears really works</a>. Research shows when we expose ourselves to the thing that unnerves us &mdash; be it a gigantic, hairy spider or a red-nosed clown &mdash; we actually help to reduce our fear of that very thing. The results can be truly liberating. So if you're afraid of spiders, go to a zoo that will let you hold one. If it's heights that make you squeamish, go cliff jumping in a safe, designated area. Life is too short to let irrational fears keep you from living vibrantly. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/do-you-have-any-of-these-4-most-irrational-fears?ref=seealso">Do You Have Any of These 4 Most Irrational Fears?</a>)</p> <h2>3. Talk to a Stranger</h2> <p>Strike up a friendly conversation with a stranger in line at the coffee shop or on public transit during your morning commute. Sure, they might avert their eyes, pretend they can't hear you, or worse &mdash; tell you to get lost. But other than that, you haven't got much to lose.</p> <p>Now let's talk about the benefits. Behavioral scientists say <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/26/opinion/sunday/hello-stranger.html?smid=fb-nytimes&amp;WT.z_sma=OP_HSx_20140427&amp;bicmp=AD&amp;bicmlukp=WT.mc_id&amp;bicmst=1388552400000&amp;bicmet=1420088400000&amp;_r=3">initiating positive interactions</a> with people whose gazes we might otherwise avoid evokes higher happiness levels in both parties. So long as the stranger you choose is willing to chit chat, it's a guaranteed way to jumpstart both of your days.</p> <h2>4. Voice an Unpopular Opinion</h2> <p>Filling your mind with worries about what other people think of you can drain your energy. So don't. Be your own judge of approval. And don't shy away from voicing your opinion or speaking your truth. Sure, your words might be met with silence, eye-rolls, or even resentment. But as mind-body medicine physician Lissa Rankin describes, the alternative can be much worse.</p> <p>&quot;When you squelch what is true for you, the body releases harmful stress hormones that raise your blood pressure, elevate your heart rate, and weaken your immune system,&quot; Rankin said. &quot;When you speak what's true, the body relaxes, your muscles stop tensing, your blood pressure lowers, your pulse slows, <a href="http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/owning-pink/201112/tedxfidiwomen-speaking-your-truth-is-good-your-health">your happy hormones get jump started</a>.&quot;</p> <h2>5. Quit Your Job</h2> <p>Quitting your job may not seem like a small risk, but let us put it in perspective. Most Americans are unhappy in the workplace. What's more, research shows that <a href="http://healthland.time.com/2011/08/10/study-your-hostile-workplace-may-be-killing-you/">people who work in hostile environments are more likely to die sooner</a> than those who work in atmospheres that are more favorable. So if you've ever said, &quot;My job is killing me!&quot; &mdash; read on. Holding on to a job that drives us mad is known to provoke aches, stress, and signs of depression. And while putting in your two-weeks notice could put your financial stability on the the line, we hope you'd agree that it's a slightly better alternative to an early death. Besides, the rewards of <a href="http://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/outside-voices-careers/2011/03/03/how-loving-your-job-helps-you-succeed">landing a new, energizing gig that makes you feel valued and worthwhile</a> are well worth the gamble, especially when considering what another few years at your current job could do to your physical and mental health.</p> <p><em>Have you ever taken a small risk and gotten a big reward? Tell us about it in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-small-risks-that-can-improve-your-life-in-big-ways" class="sharethis-link" title="5 Small Risks That Can Improve Your Life in Big Ways" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/brittany-lyte">Brittany Lyte</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-small-risks-that-can-improve-your-life-in-big-ways">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/feeling-stuck-100-ways-to-change-your-life">Feeling Stuck? 100 Ways to Change Your Life</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-things-people-with-good-communication-skills-never-do">12 Things People With Good Communication Skills Never Do</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-habits-you-must-start-right-now-and-be-a-better-person">20 Habits You Must Start Right Now and Be a Better Person</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-habits-that-are-quietly-making-you-fat-and-have-nothing-to-do-with-eating">7 Habits That Are Quietly Making You Fat (and Have Nothing to Do With Eating)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-surprisingly-easy-way-to-change-your-habits-and-your-life">The Surprisingly Easy Way to Change Your Habits and Your Life</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Personal Development gamble reward risk upside Tue, 18 Nov 2014 12:00:08 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1255061 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 Ways to Lose the Clutter and Keep the Memories http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-lose-the-clutter-and-keep-the-memories <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-ways-to-lose-the-clutter-and-keep-the-memories" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple-digital-tablet-picture-509234135-small.jpg" alt="couple digital photo" title="couple digital photo" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I have a hard time parting with things that hold significant sentimental value. Yeah, they're just sitting around my house, collecting dust, but these things are part of my life, memories of good times, and I don't want to get rid of them. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/toss-it-or-not-5-organizational-tips-from-a-chronic-clutter-bug">Toss It or Not? 5 Organizational Tricks From a Chronic Clutter Bug</a>)</p> <p>Luckily, in the age of technology and how-to articles, there are brilliant compromises to be made that ensure that you're preserving some of the touchstones of your existence without tripping on them all over the place.</p> <p>Take a look at these nine clutter-free ways to preserve your memories, and see if you can't preserve who you are while getting rid of all that stuff.</p> <h2>1. Snap Photos With Stuff You're Tossing</h2> <p>For tangible items that you're sending into the afterlife, a great way to remember the good times you had with it is to take a photo with that item in it. Perhaps it's a favorite piece of clothing that you once cherished, board games that made many memorable nights, or musical instruments that helped cultivate your love of culture. Set up a nice photo up &mdash; perhaps a snapshot with friends with the discarded item as the centerpiece &mdash; so you can look back on it with fondness whenever you want.</p> <h2>2. Scan Pictures, Letters, and Cards Into Your Computer</h2> <p>Reduce that pile (or massive box, as they case may be) of beloved photos, letters, and cards that you've accumulated throughout your life by scanning them into your computer. You might find it hard to part with the original hardcopy documents, but try to remember that it's only paper that you're tossing out. By scanning these items, you're preserving the thought that went into them when they were originally given to you &mdash; and that's what counts. Plus, this way they can never be destroyed, whereas the original versions will eventually deteriorate over time and are at the mercy of fire, water, and other elements that can destroy them completely.</p> <h2>3. Transition to Digital Picture Frames to Eliminate Paper Photos</h2> <p>If you're anything like me, each of your single picture frames is home to about half a dozen photos. I keep the old photos in the frames when I update a picture by simply laying the replaced images behind the new one. While this method reduces the clutter I see, it only allows me to enjoy one of the photos opposed to all of them (even though rediscovering the old ones during the swapping process is a welcome surprise). Nowadays you can enjoy many photos without fussing with any paper by digitizing them and adding them to a digital frame. These frames rotate images automatically so you see multiple pics &mdash; and relive the memories &mdash; on a regular basis.</p> <h2>4. Transfers Old VHS Tapes and DVDs to Computer Files</h2> <p>My husband has a huge cabinet full of VHS tapes from his wrestling days that &mdash; mark my words &mdash; he will never do anything with until they're so old they've deteriorated beyond repair. I even bought him one of those VHS-to-DVD thingamajigs a few years ago that I recently sold on Amazon new, in-the-box. Hey, I tried. In any case, if you want to ensure that your old VHS tapes and DVDs stand the test of time, consider transferring them to computer files that you can save in your cloud. There are plenty of companies that specialize in this service, but you also can <a href="http://www.cnet.com/how-to/transfer-vhs-tapes-to-your-computer/">DIY it if you're fairly tech-savvy</a>.</p> <h2>5. Repurpose Useless Little Things Into One Useful Big Thing</h2> <p>Before you donate all that extra clothing, think of ways you might be able to use the fabric to make something new &mdash; like a blanket, tablecloth, or shower curtain. For instance, you can turn a bunch of old T-shirts into a rad quilt if you've got sewing skills (or, ya know, send away for it if you don't). You may not think about it a lot, but many items in your closet &mdash; especially the really old, ratty stuff &mdash; hold a special place in your heart; repurposing these thrift-shop-ready beauties lets you keep them a bit longer without becoming a hoarder. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-new-things-you-can-make-with-old-denim-jeans">20 New Things You Can Make With Old Denim</a>)</p> <h2>6. Turn a Special Moment Into a Beautiful Tattoo</h2> <p>One of my buddies gave me this idea, and I thought it was very interesting. Computers &mdash; and especially the cloud &mdash; help us preserve many of our tangible memories while cutting the clutter, but what about adding those memories to our own bodies? Thus, a tattoo is an awesome way to recognize an important event or time in your life. The result is a permanent reminder of that particular memory, and you're bound to be asked about it over and over again, allowing you to tell the story many times over.</p> <h2>7. Create Sentimental Artwork Out of Attic-Bound Items</h2> <p>I recently came across a Buzzfeed post that I thought was really cool. There were lots of great ideas in author Mike Spohr's <a href="http://www.buzzfeed.com/mikespohr/incredibly-meaningful-gifts-you-can-give-your-kids">26 Incredibly Meaningful Gifts You Can Give Your Kids,</a> but I thought the framed teddy bear was kind of genius. Expanding that concept a bit further then, you can basically take anything of sentimental value that's perhaps tucked away in a box and turn it into a treasured family heirloom that will serve as a reminder of a special time as well as a conversation piece. It goes without saying that it'll be super fun to go through the attic to see what resources you have to work with when creativity strikes you.</p> <h2>8. Start a Blog Dedicated to Your Memories and Treasures</h2> <p>Maybe I'm speaking for myself here, but I like to share many of my fond memories with, well, basically anyone who'll listen. I mean, who doesn't like to reminisce about the &quot;good ol' days,&quot; right? I bet we're of a similar mindset, which makes starting a blog dedicated to your memories and treasures a decent idea. You can write about fun times that you've had, post pictures of moments you never want to forget, and then share them with the world so you can bring joy to it.</p> <h2>9. Keep Your Treasures in the Family by Passing Them on to Loved Ones</h2> <p>You know that old saying &mdash; one man's trash is another man's treasure? Absolutely true, and it provides a great opportunity for you to unload some of your cherished items that are perhaps taking up too much space on family and friends who want or need it. With this tactic, the clutter is out of your way, but the things and the memories they conjure are still part of your life, which makes this easy option the perfect compromise.</p> <p><em>Have a few more clutter-free ways to preserve memories? Let me know in the comments below.</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-lose-the-clutter-and-keep-the-memories" class="sharethis-link" title="9 Ways to Lose the Clutter and Keep the Memories" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-lose-the-clutter-and-keep-the-memories">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-9"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-you-declutter-and-keep-your-stuff-too">This Is How You Declutter and Keep Your Stuff, Too</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/organize-a-room-for-10-with-no-extra-effort">Organize a Room for $10 with No Extra Effort</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-things-in-your-kitchen-you-should-throw-out-today">15 Things in Your Kitchen You Should Throw Out Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/clutter-free-the-zero-accumulation-household">Clutter-Free: The Zero-Accumulation Household</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-you-maximize-fridge-and-freezer-space">Here&#039;s How You Maximize Fridge and Freezer Space</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Home Organization clutter mementos memories storage Mon, 17 Nov 2014 18:00:08 +0000 Mikey Rox 1254628 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Facebook Updates That Are Making You Look Stupid http://www.wisebread.com/7-facebook-updates-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="/7-facebook-updates-that-are-making-you-look-stupid" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/young-man-smartphone-177381725-small.jpg" alt="young man smartphone" title="young man smartphone" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>While 73% of online adults use several forms of social media, <a href="http://www.pewinternet.org/2013/12/30/social-media-update-2013/">Facebook remains their first choice</a>.</p> <p>And that's what we love about Facebook. When we put up an update, somebody is going to read it. However, not of all your updates are as smart as you think. Actually, some of them might be making you look inconsiderate or, even worse, dumb. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-break-your-social-media-habit?ref=seealso">5 Ways to Break Your Social Media Habit</a>)</p> <p>Here are the top seven types of Facebook updates to avoid.</p> <h2>1. Accusing Somebody Before Checking the Facts</h2> <p>One of the best things about Facebook is the ability to interact with people around the world in real time. However, this ability should increase your awareness of what you're about to post.</p> <p>For example, when Facebook rolled out a feature that allowed its users to donate money to fight ebola, an user was quick to call out this as a <a href="http://www.adweek.com/news/technology/zuckerberg-has-perfect-comeback-troll-accusing-facebook-exploiting-ebola-161271">marketing ploy from Facebook</a>. The user even asked how much Facebook was donating to the cause. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg personally replied to this comment pointing out that his wife and he had themselves <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/14/zuckerberg-ebola_n_5982762.html">donated $25 million to fight ebola</a>.</p> <p>Before you post, make sure to check out your facts. After all, they're often just a Google search away. If you are too lazy to do it, you deserve to be called out.</p> <h2>2. Including Spelling and Grammar Errors</h2> <p>Nobody is perfect. A minor typo in a long essay or memo is understandable. However, short Facebook updates, such as &quot;Grandma, your amazing!&quot; and &quot;And that's why I told their wants fewer waters&quot; make spelling and grammar errors stand out. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-grammar-mistakes-that-are-making-you-look-stupid?ref=seealso">12 Grammar Mistakes That Are Making You Look Stupid</a>)</p> <p>Here are some steps to prevent those mistakes:</p> <ul> <li>Most desktop and mobile browsers (e.g. <a href="https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/how-do-i-use-firefox-spell-checker">Firefox</a>) offer a spell checker, so use that feature to proofread your posts.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>The bulk of grammar errors result from homonyms, which are words that share the same pronunciation, regardless of their spelling. Some examples are your/you're, to/two/too/ and they/their/they're. Review this list of <a href="http://grammar.about.com/od/words/a/HomonymChart.htm">200 homonyms</a> and keep an eye out for them.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Remember that you can edit the text of updates after they go live.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Thank people that point out your grammar and spelling errors. A simple &quot;thank you&quot; is the only right answer; anything else only highlights your mistake even more.</li> </ul> <h2>3. WRITING EVERYTHING IN CAPS</h2> <p><a href="http://uxmovement.com/content/all-caps-hard-for-users-to-read/">Using all caps in your Facebook updates</a> makes them harder to read. When you write in all caps, your text is <a href="http://www.bergsland.org/2012/06/typography/how-your-readers-see-your-letters-legibility/">40% less legible</a> than text using the right mix of uppercase and lowercase. You should reserve the use of all caps for very few instances, such as abbreviations and acronyms. Otherwise, you will come off as the crazy person in the park that shouts out random comments to strangers. That's a terrible look!</p> <p>Try this test. Read out loud each of the sentences below:</p> <ul> <li>&quot;What are you doing?&quot;</li> <li>&quot;WHAT ARE YOU DOING?&quot;</li> </ul> <p>While the first sentence sounds friendly, the second one sounds scary and intimidating. How would you rather be perceived?</p> <h2>4. Getting Your Priorities Wrong</h2> <p>Imagine this scenario. You just poured battery fluid all over your hand and are experiencing a terrible allergic reaction. You are desperately searching for antihistamine cream, but can't find any.</p> <p>What would you do?</p> <p style="margin-left: 40px;">a) Call a friend or relative for help</p> <p style="margin-left: 40px;">b) Head to your neighbor's place to check if they have any antihistamine cream</p> <p style="margin-left: 40px;">c) Drive or walk to the nearest pharmacy</p> <p style="margin-left: 40px;">d) Dial 911</p> <p style="margin-left: 40px;">e) Post about it on Facebook</p> <p><a href="http://emgn.com/entertainment/16-people-who-got-owned-on-facebook/3/">Don't be the person that goes for option e</a>.</p> <h2>5. Being Passive Aggressive</h2> <p>I agree with American Idol's host, Ryan Seacrest, in that the passive aggressive Facebook updates make you look like a brat.</p> <p>Here is an <a href="http://www.ryanseacrest.com/2011/07/05/the-5-most-annoying-types-of-facebook-status-updates/">example from Ryan</a>:</p> <p>&quot;I'll never be able to forgive you for what you did. I hope you realize that what goes around, comes around&hellip; you'll see soon enough.&quot;</p> <p>While people understand that you may have an ongoing argument with somebody, they may not understand why you're involving all of your 500 Facebook friends in it. Stop chastising that somebody with random and vague Facebook posts (also known as &quot;vaguebooking&quot;). Instead address your issue with that somebody in private and, more importantly, move on.</p> <p>Your Facebook friends will thank you for keeping their feeds free of drama.</p> <h2>6. Sharing Too Much Information</h2> <p>If you feed looks like this&hellip;</p> <ul> <li>&quot;Today, I'm heading with Bobby to the new Thai restaurant, Spices.&quot;</li> <li>&quot;Only one hour until Bobby and I head to Spices!&quot;</li> <li>&quot;Allright! Lunch time! Spices, here we come!&quot;</li> <li>&quot;Just got to Spices, OMG, everything is so good.&quot;</li> <li>&quot;Selfie with the waiter.&quot;</li> <li>&quot;Bobby got the panang curry!&quot;</li> <li>&quot;Nom, nom, nom, this is SO GOOD!&quot;</li> </ul> <p>&hellip;then you're annoying the crap out of your Facebook friends. A recent survey puts &quot;people sharing too much information about themselves&quot; at the top of the <a href="http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2014/02/03/6-new-facts-about-facebook/">list of what Facebook users strongly dislike</a>.</p> <p>There are plenty of studies that recommend that the posting frequency sweet spot is <a href="https://blog.bufferapp.com/social-media-frequency-guide">between 5 and 10 posts per week</a>. Keep your feed smart by posting around once per day &mdash; and maybe twice.</p> <h2>7. Sharing About Others Without Their Permission</h2> <p>&quot;Posting things about your or pictures of you without asking permission&quot; ties at number one on that same survey about Facebook user dislikes. It makes sense for two reasons:</p> <ul> <li>First, <a href="https://www.facebook.com/notes/social-jobs-partnership/recruiting-survey-social-media-helps-connect-job-seekers-with-employers/404484379619706">half of American employers are using Facebook in their hiring process</a>. You don't want to be the reason why a potential employer didn't hire your best friend.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Second, some people just like their privacy. If you want to share updates and pictures of others, make sure that those others are ok with it in the first place. This is a major issue for parents: <a href="http://www.today.com/parents/dont-post-my-kids-photo-facebook-parents-plead-2D12092742">68% of parents don't allow others to post photos of their child on Facebook</a>.</li> </ul> <p>Don't assume that people (and their children!) want to be on your Facebook wall. Check for their permission and respect their desire for privacy if they decline your request. Be smart and stay out of trouble.</p> <p><em>What is your pet peeve of Facebook updates? Please share in comments &mdash; or on our Facebook page!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-facebook-updates-that-are-making-you-look-stupid" class="sharethis-link" title="7 Facebook Updates That Are Making You Look Stupid" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/damian-davila">Damian Davila</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-facebook-updates-that-are-making-you-look-stupid">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-10"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-things-people-with-good-communication-skills-never-do">12 Things People With Good Communication Skills Never Do</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/masters-of-small-talk-never-do-these-10-things-do-you">Masters of Small Talk Never Do These 10 Things — Do You?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-ruin-the-party-11-things-guests-with-good-social-skills-never-do">Don&#039;t Ruin the Party: 11 Things Guests With Good Social Skills Never Do</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-things-people-with-good-phone-skills-never-do">9 Things People With Good Phone Skills Never Do</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-look-rich-on-social-media">How to Look Rich on Social Media</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Personal Development etiquette Facebook posting privacy social media Mon, 17 Nov 2014 12:00:10 +0000 Damian Davila 1254699 at http://www.wisebread.com 11 Things Scientists Say Will Boost Your Happiness Today http://www.wisebread.com/11-things-scientists-say-will-boost-your-happiness-today <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/11-things-scientists-say-will-boost-your-happiness-today" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/happy-woman-fall-leaves-468170931-small.jpg" alt="happy woman fall leaves" title="happy woman fall leaves" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Don't worry, be happy.</p> <p>Bobby McFerrin was onto something when he wrote those words. There are so many <a href="http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/magazine/happiness-stress-heart-disease/">benefits to happiness</a>, and <a href="http://www.webmd.com/balance/guide/how-worrying-affects-your-body">worrying causes so many problems</a>, that his lyrics make a lot of sense.</p> <p>If only we could say, &quot;I want to be happy,&quot; and have that wish granted. Unfortunately, life doesn't work like that. Most of us need to have goals that are more solid and less abstract than a simple &quot;Be happy.&quot; (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-7-exercises-are-scientifically-proven-to-increase-happiness?ref=seealso">These 7 Exercises Are Scientifically Proven to Increase Happiness</a>)</p> <p>Good thing for us that science has taken to studying happiness. Now, we know more of the specific things that make us happy. We can practice cultivating them in our lives, and then we will find ourselves at our goal of happiness.</p> <h2>1. Exercise</h2> <p>Exercise is not only good for improving our cardiovascular health and overall strength, but it also releases endorphins that make us happier. You can reap these benefits even if you only exercise for 20 minutes a day. If regular exercise is hard for you, work to find something that you love. Try crazy things, like Zumba and CrossFit, because one of them just might work for you.</p> <h2>2. A Good Nap</h2> <p>The longer you're awake, <a href="http://digest.bps.org.uk/2011/03/afternoon-nap-tunes-out-negative.html">the more sensitive you are to negative emotions</a>. If you take a nap, though, you mitigate these problems. Similarly, people who nap are happier, at the end of the day, than those who don't. Try starting with a short nap. Even just a few minutes can help you change your outlook.</p> <h2>3. Trying to Be Happy</h2> <p>While thinking about being happy won't automatically make you happier, intending happiness, or <a href="http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/17439760.2012.747000?journalCode=rpos20#.VFpa_zCJOua">trying to be happy, can help</a>, especially if you're in an overall happy, upbeat context. Try being intentional about spending time with happy people. While you're with them, focus on trying to be happier, yourself.</p> <h2>4. Practicing Gratitude&hellip; However it Works for You</h2> <p>People who are given techniques for <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/science-shows-that-saying-thanks-can-improve-your-health-and-happiness">being grateful feel happier</a> than those who are not. You can write letters to people who meant a lot to you, thanking them for what they've done. Or you can make gratitude lists, talk with your spouse or someone important to you about what you're grateful for at the end of each day, or send thank you notes. Each of these will give you a happiness boost.</p> <h2>5. Spending More Time With People You Love</h2> <p>Having strong, warm <a href="http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2009/06/what-makes-us-happy/307439/2/?single_page=true">connections to other people makes you happier</a>. In many areas, like money, we get used to a boost in income and then we no longer are happier because of it. Relationships aren't this way, though. In fact, <a href="http://www.pbs.org/thisemotionallife/topic/connecting/connection-happiness">our happiness may continue to stay high as long as we have these close connections with other people</a>. If you are feeling disconnected, try reconnecting with some old friends, or figure out where you can make some new ones.</p> <h2>6. Doing Your Chores</h2> <p>Odd as it may sound, <a href="http://frugalbits.com/fitness-health/how-housework-can-make-you-happy/">doing housework</a> makes everyone &mdash; including men &mdash; happier. Researchers aren't yet sure why this is. It may be because cleaning makes us feel like we have accomplished something, or because we are happier living in a clean, tidy environment. Whatever the reason, it's worthwhile to get out that mop and clean, clean, clean!</p> <h2>7. Going Outside</h2> <p><a href="http://www.thejournal.ie/sea-sun-happiness-study-973774-Jul2013/">People are happier when they are outside</a>. While a sunny day near the ocean seems to make people the happiest of all, almost everyone is happier when they are outside, and especially when they are out of an urban environment. If getting outside for any length of time is hard for you, consider taking a day off. Find a place where you can be outside for the better part of that day, preferably away from the sounds and bustle of the city.</p> <h2>8. Focusing on Other People</h2> <p>Participants in a study who chose to spend a financial windfall on someone other than themselves felt happier, not only when they made that choice but, again, <a href="http://csi.gsb.stanford.edu/spending-happiness">when they remembered it later</a>. In addition, people who were happier were more likely to give money to others. Even if you don't have very much to give, it's the act of giving that makes you happier, not the amount.</p> <h2>9. Smiling&hellip; and Thinking Positively</h2> <p><a href="http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2011-02/msu-sfa022211.php">Smile a real smile</a> &mdash; one that comes from positive thoughts &mdash; and you will feel happier. The positive thoughts are important, because just pasting a smile on your face can be exhausting and can actually make your mood worse. Fortunately, you don't have to have positive thoughts about whatever it is you're looking at. So think about your last vacation, smile at that difficult person, and you will be happier.</p> <h2>10. Watching Sad Movies</h2> <p>It's strange, but it's also true: <a href="http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2012-03/osu-stt032712.php">People who watch sad movies are often happier</a> after they do so. Apparently, watching a sad movie makes us think more about our own lives and relationships, and helps us see exactly how much we have. Since relationships are so important to our happiness, it makes sense that thinking about how good they are would make us feel better. So, go ahead, watch something sad this weekend.</p> <h2>11. Meditating</h2> <p>The thought of meditating is intimidating for a lot of people, but the truth remains: <a href="http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/meditation-modern-life/201309/meditation-will-make-you-smarter-and-happier">meditation makes us happier</a>. There's no way around it. Fortunately, there are a lot of ways to meditate. You can try repeating a good, old fashioned mantra, or you can <a href="http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/just_one_thing_be_mind_full_of_good">learn to practice mindfulness</a>. To do this, simply start focusing on your positive experiences, whether current or past, to help your brain lay down long-term, positive pathways. Then, when you are tired or stressed, you can return to that positive place because you've taught your brain how to get there.</p> <p><em>Are you happy? What do you do when you want to become happier? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-things-scientists-say-will-boost-your-happiness-today" class="sharethis-link" title="11 Things Scientists Say Will Boost Your Happiness Today" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-things-scientists-say-will-boost-your-happiness-today">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-11"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/100-small-things-that-can-bring-you-joy">100 Small Things That Can Bring You Joy</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/want-to-be-happier-work-these-7-magic-words-into-your-vocabulary">Want to Be Happier? Work These 7 Magic Words into Your Vocabulary</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-7-exercises-are-scientifically-proven-to-increase-happiness">These 7 Exercises Are Scientifically Proven to Increase Happiness</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-feel-better-fast">25 Ways to Feel Better Fast</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/that-what-if-you-knew-you-were-going-to-die-question">That &quot;What if you knew you were going to die&quot; question</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Personal Development happiness happy joy science Fri, 14 Nov 2014 12:00:05 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1254513 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Critical Steps to Protect Your Data in the Cloud http://www.wisebread.com/10-critical-steps-to-protect-your-data-in-the-cloud <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-critical-steps-to-protect-your-data-in-the-cloud" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man-working-laptop-186066717-small.jpg" alt="man working laptop" title="man working laptop" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>While movies have portrayed hackers as both good (<a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0307949486/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=0307949486&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=H5TI6KQEDOMORY32"><em>The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo</em></a>) and evil (<a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000VNMMR0/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000VNMMR0&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=IDSOEIWF6ERDSE5A"><em>Live Free or Die Hard</em></a>), the one thing that is clear is that they can do a good deal of damage.</p> <p>Several female celebrities, such as Kate Upton, Jennifer Lawrence, and Hayden Panettiere, became victims of malicious hackers, who nabbed several <a href="http://news.yahoo.com/apparent-hollywood-hack-attack-nabs-stars-nude-pix-013137802.html">intimate pictures from the celebrities' cloud storage accounts</a>.</p> <p>And if you think that this just happens to celebrities, think again. <a href="http://www.businessinsider.com/snapchat-hacked-the-snappening-2014-10">Even common folks like you and me are being exploited by malicious hackers</a>. It is time to step up the security of your data on the cloud with these 10 useful tips.</p> <h2>1. Create a Stronger Password</h2> <p>A strong password is your very first line of defense against anybody trying to hack your account. Unfortunately, your password is usually the weakest link. In fact, <a href="http://www.cloudentr.com/latest-resources/industry-news/2014/3/19/weak-passwords-among-top-causes-of-data-breaches-tips-for-password-security">76% of cyber attacks on corporate networks</a> are due to weak passwords.</p> <p>Strengthen your password using these <a href="http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-vista/tips-for-creating-a-strong-password">security tips from Microsoft</a>:</p> <ol> <li>Make the length of your password at least eight characters. If you want to make it absolutely uncrackable use <a href="http://www.infoworld.com/article/2655121/security/password-size-does-matter.html">15 characters or more</a>.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Skip using your real name, last name, or company name.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Don't build entire words with only letters.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Use a combination of numbers, uppercase and lowercase letters, and symbols (@, #, $, and %), if applicable.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Update passwords regularly and make them significantly different from previous ones.</li> </ol> <p>Using these guidelines, you can create a strong password like this one: ILuv2PlayB@dm1nt()n. By picking characters from the full set of allowed printable characters, you force hackers to guess from <a href="http://www.bu.edu/infosec/howtos/how-to-choose-a-password/">645 trillion possible combinations</a>.</p> <h2>2. Store Your Passwords Securely</h2> <p>That's not a typo. Yes, you need several passwords. Hackers exploit the fact that about <a href="http://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/2013/04/23/users-same-password-most-websites/">55% of Internet users use the same password</a> for several services. The last thing that you want is that after your Dropbox account gets hacked, your online banking account becomes the next target.</p> <p>It goes without saying, keep your password to yourself. Don't store it on visible places, such as taped to the back of your keyboard or smartphone.</p> <p>In a perfect world, you would just memorize them. However, a more realistic approach is to keep an offline notebook in a secure place or use a password management application, such as <a href="http://keepass.info/">KeePass Password Safe</a>, <a href="http://lastpass.com">LastPass</a>, <a href="http://agilebits.com/onepassword">1Password</a>, or <a href="http://passwordsafe.sourceforge.net/index.shtml">Password Safe</a>.</p> <h2>3. Activate Two-Factor Authentication</h2> <p>On top of your password, you can often add an extra layer of security by activating two-factor authorization (also known as 2FA). Without 2FA, hackers only need your username and password to access your data.</p> <p>Several cloud-based services, such as <a href="http://www.cnet.com/how-to/how-to-enable-dropbox-two-step-verification/">Dropbox</a> and <a href="http://www.cnet.com/news/multifactor-authentication-extended-to-all-office-365-users/">Office 365</a>, offer 2FA by sending you a code via text or phone call that you need to access your account. It's an extra step, but once you've set it up on all of your devices, you are good to go.</p> <h2>4. Keep Your Birth Date Private</h2> <p>But don't just stop there.</p> <ul> <li>The name of your first pet</li> <li>Mom's maiden name</li> <li>Last four digits of your social security number</li> <li>Name of the street that you grew up in</li> </ul> <p>What do these have in common? They're all potential answers to security questions to retrieve your password or access to your account. When selecting your security questions, make sure that their answers are not a simple Google search away.</p> <p>Hide your birth date and any other private information from your bio section from any social media sites, online forums, or websites. The more private your personal information is, the less likely that a hacker can find it through search engines.</p> <h2>5. Learn the Process to Report Hackers</h2> <p>Almost every service has a way to submit a report when you think somebody else is using your account. Here is an example from <a href="https://account.live.com/ResetPassword.aspx">Microsoft</a>.</p> <p>By investing the time in becoming familiar with the process of recovering access to your account, you are better prepared for the day that you have to rely on this process. This will help you keep some sanity during that stressful time and know what information is necessary.</p> <h2>6. Be Wary of Public Wi-Fi</h2> <p>Over <a href="http://www.gfi.com/blog/survey-95-6-of-commuters-in-the-us-put-company-data-at-risk-over-free-public-wi-fi/#!">95% of American commuters use free public Wi-Fi</a> to complete work on the go.</p> <p>The problem is that about 60% of them admit they will utilize any free Wi-Fi source they can find. Data transfers happening over public Wi-Fi networks aren't encrypted, so hackers can exploit these public networks to tap into tablets and smartphones.</p> <p>By setting up &quot;hot spot honeypots,&quot; digital thieves tempt people with the offer of free Internet, and gain access to all kinds of private data. And they're not doing anything too high tech: hackers just need a <a href="http://hakshop.myshopify.com/products/wifi-pineapple?variant=81044992">$100 device</a> and can be <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/Business/story?id=3454066">up to 100 feet away</a> from their victims.</p> <p>Use these strategies when attempting to connect to a public Wi-Fi:</p> <ul> <li>Verify the official name of the network with the place offering it. Don't assume that every business or public space offers free Wi-Fi.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Only activate the Wi-Fi feature of your device, when you are about to access a Wi-Fi network that you have verified.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>If planning to review work files, use your company Virtual Private Network (VPN) network, if one is available. VPN encrypts all your data during your session and and hides the identity of the servers to which you are connected. Depending on the nature of your industry, you may never want to risk viewing company files without a VPN connection.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Keep your device's operating system up to date. For example, Apple is constantly releasing security updates to address system vulnerabilities for iPhones and iPads.</li> </ul> <h2>7. Prevent Automatic Upload of Media</h2> <p>If you keep the default settings from cloud storage services, such as iCloud or Dropbox, then all of your photos and videos may be automatically uploaded to the cloud.</p> <p>If you're planning to take some photos and videos that are meant for your eyes only, make sure to update the settings of your cloud storage accounts. Nobody can hack for intimate photos or videos if there are none available online in the first place.</p> <ul> <li>iPhone Users: To prevent photos from automatically uploading from your iPhone or iPod to your iCloud account, you can go to Settings &gt; iCloud &gt; Photo Stream, and turn off My Photo Stream.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Android Users: You need to check any auto-backup settings you can find on individual apps. Some examples of apps uploading media automatically to the cloud are Facebook, Twitter, and Dropbox. Check the settings menu of your apps and disable any photo-syncing that you're not comfortable with.</li> </ul> <h2>8. Backup Your Media Offline</h2> <p>While it is important to prevent undesired media from ending up in the cloud, it is equally important to backup the data that is important to you. An offline backup of your media is not only important for when your phone is lost, stolen, or severely damaged, but also for when somebody hacks into your cloud account and deletes all of your data!</p> <p>Most smartphones provide a way to back up your device's media that is not cloud-based and that can be stored in your personal computer. For example, Apple devices can leverage <a href="http://support.apple.com/kb/ht1766">iTunes to create backups</a>, and Samsung devices can backup through the <a href="http://www.samsung.com/us/kies/">Kies software</a>.</p> <h2>9. Beware Fake Messages</h2> <p>If you use cloud based storage services, be on the lookout for phishing emails.</p> <p>These emails may look like real messages from the developers of the service, but they are not. Hackers are trying to trick you into providing your personal information.</p> <p>Here are some red flags to watch out for:</p> <ul> <li>The spelling of the sender's email is funny looking. For example, instead of <a href="mailto:xxx@dropbox.com">xxx@dropbox.com</a>, it reads <a href="mailto:xxx@dropboxx.com">xxx@dropboxx.com</a> or <a href="mailto:xxx@drop-box.co">xxx@drop-box.co</a>.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>The hyperlinked URLs have misleading domain names. For example, if you hover over a link, you notice that instead of going to the apple.com domain, it goes to apple-com.info.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>The message contains plenty of misspellings or typos.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>You are asked to submit your password or personal information, such as mailing address, phone number, or social security number, via email.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>The message includes a form in Word or PDF format for you to fill out.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>You're asked for money to cover for expenses.</li> </ul> <p>If you see any of these red flags, don't click on any of the links, and delete the email immediately.</p> <h2>10. Delete What You Don't Want Anybody to See</h2> <p>In an era of potentially unlimited storage through the cloud, we are tempted to keep everything.</p> <ul> <li>THOSE pictures from your bachelorette party,</li> <li>Intimate videos or sexts with your current or past partners,</li> <li>Progress pictures when you started your diet,</li> <li>Financial or tax documents over 5-years old, or</li> <li>Scanned copies of IDs from several years ago.</li> </ul> <p>If you don't want anybody else getting their hands on your data, delete it. This is the only way that you can be sure.</p> <p><em>What steps have you taken to protect your data in the cloud? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-critical-steps-to-protect-your-data-in-the-cloud" class="sharethis-link" title="10 Critical Steps to Protect Your Data in the Cloud" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/damian-davila">Damian Davila</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-critical-steps-to-protect-your-data-in-the-cloud">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-12"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-free-apps-to-boost-your-online-productivity">8 Free Apps to Boost Your Online Productivity</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/that-what-if-you-knew-you-were-going-to-die-question">That &quot;What if you knew you were going to die&quot; question</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-your-own-soda-tidy-a-room-in-three-minutes-cure-a-hangover-and-become-a-movie-extra-phew">How To Make Your Own Soda, Tidy A Room In Three Minutes, Cure A Hangover And Become A Movie Extra. Phew!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-essential-tools-for-getting-work-done-anywhere">7 Essential Tools for Getting Work Done -- Anywhere!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/shhhhh-how-to-block-out-noise">Shhhhh: How to Block Out Noise</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> General Tips Productivity cloud backup computer security computers hackers Thu, 13 Nov 2014 12:00:08 +0000 Damian Davila 1253966 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Surprising Ways to Use Bungee Cords http://www.wisebread.com/10-surprising-ways-to-use-bungee-cords <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-surprising-ways-to-use-bungee-cords" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/bungee%20cord.jpg" alt="bungee cord" title="bungee cord" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Everyone has a bungee cord or two hanging around the house or garage. They're handy little things for securing items, come in a wide variety of lengths, and they're inexpensive.</p> <p>They're also really, really versatile. Here are 10 useful and creative ways to use your bungee cords.</p> <h2>1. A Second Curtain Panel Holder</h2> <p>Look around the hardware stores and you'll see that the price of a double curtain rod is double the price of a single. That's annoying, as most of the time that second panel is made of something much more sheer, and is not the focus of the window treatment. So, instead of buying a double, simply stretch a bungee cord between the fittings and put your sheer panels on that. The front panels will hide the bungee cord ends, and they take just seconds to fit. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-unexpected-uses-for-tension-rods?ref=seealso">20 Unexpected Uses for Tension Rods</a>)</p> <h2>2. A Ball/Cuddly Toy Holder</h2> <p>You know those ball holders they have in places like Target and Walmart, that use long elastic cords to keep the balls in place? Well, they can be made using bungee cords. Just find a space in your garage and stretch handful of bungee cords vertically from a shelf, or the wall, to some hooks screwed into the garage floor. Now, you can keep all your balls, toys and other loose items behind them. Everything is easy to access, but is kept firmly in place until needed. You can also stretch them horizontally between the studs to hold balls, tools and other loose items.</p> <h2>3. Holding Down the Garbage Can Lid</h2> <p>Even if the lid of the garbage can lock on its own, it's rarely strong enough to stop a stiff breeze from blowing it open. On windy days, that means your garbage can spill all over the street, the lawn, and the neighbors' property. It can also be raided by critters like raccoons. Some tight bungee cords can keep the lid held firmly in place.</p> <h2>4. New Handles for Old Totes</h2> <p>Are your bag handles looking a little worse for wear? Don't throw the whole thing away. Replace the old handles with colorful bungee cords. They're flexible, stretchy, and come in a variety of colors and patterns. You can even swap them out with your mood.</p> <h2>5. Keep Bags and Groceries Steady in the Car</h2> <p>Wrap a bungee cord around the headrest, and hook your bag handles over the ends. No more runaway bags. You can also use bungee cords in the trunk to keep bags and boxes from shifting around in traffic.</p> <h2>6. Secure Your Ironing Board Cover</h2> <p>When you're doing some precision ironing, you do not need the hassle of an ironing board cover that refuses to stay firmly in place. You can solve that problem with bungee cords. Make a few holes in the undersides of the cover and stretch the bungee cords between them; one or two cords across the width of the board, and one down the length. That cover will not move again.</p> <h2>7. Emergency Suspenders</h2> <p>If you are out of belts or suspenders and your jeans are falling down, two bungee cords make an excellent back-up plan. They fit perfectly through the belt loops, and are surprisingly comfortable. With a sweater or t-shirt over the top, no one will even know your little secret. They're also great when you're doing DIY or grubby jobs around the house, and don't want to get a good belt or pair of suspenders dirty.</p> <h2>8. Windproof Your Tablecloth Outdoors</h2> <p>Anyone who has ever had a picnic in the park, or gone camping with tablecloths, will know the pain of a windy day. The tablecloth whips up and flies everywhere, and you usually have to weigh it down on each corner with something heavy. Of course, the second anyone moves that big bottle of ketchup or bowl of nuts, the whole plan is over. Use two bungee cords stretched across the ends of the table, and your tablecloth will stay put on the windiest day.</p> <h2>9. Repair a Broken Chair or Sofa</h2> <p>When the strapping on the back of a chair breaks, or the cushion support starts to give way, bungee cords can come to the rescue. If you string cords where the strapping used to be, and keep them as tight as possible, they will easily support a person's weight as they lean back, or sit down. For extra strength, weave the cords horizontally and vertically, over and under, for a solid lattice framework. With the cushions over the top, they won't even be seen. Or, you can make a feature of them on garden furniture.</p> <h2>10. Exercise</h2> <p>Resistance bands are becoming a common part of workout routines. You can use bungee cords as a cheap and effective alternative. If you are having trouble holding the ends, fashion a small handle from a width of thick wooden dowel, or a broom handle. They can also be used to add extra resistance to weight training routines.</p> <p><em>Do you have an ingenious use for bungee cords? What is it?</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-surprising-ways-to-use-bungee-cords" class="sharethis-link" title="10 Surprising Ways to Use Bungee Cords" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-surprising-ways-to-use-bungee-cords">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-13"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/52-uses-for-rubber-bands">52 Uses for Rubber Bands</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-your-own-self-tanning-lotion-and-5-other-fabulous-diy-tips-from-the-web">Make Your Own Self-tanning Lotion and 5 Other Fabulous DIY Tips from the Web</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-complete-idiots-guide-to-speed-reading-a-book-review">The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Speed Reading: A Book Review</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/original-ways-to-use-original-dawn">Original Ways to Use Original Dawn</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-1-cent-cell-phone-protector-and-other-hacks">The 1-Cent Cell Phone Protector, and Other Hacks.</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> General Tips bungee cords hacks new uses surprising uses Wed, 12 Nov 2014 12:00:09 +0000 Paul Michael 1253726 at http://www.wisebread.com 12 Ways to Feel More Attractive Without Actually Changing How You Look http://www.wisebread.com/12-ways-to-feel-more-attractive-without-actually-changing-how-you-look <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/12-ways-to-feel-more-attractive-without-actually-changing-how-you-look" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/beautiful-woman-mirror-457968633-small.jpg" alt="beautiful woman mirror" title="beautiful woman mirror" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When you are busy &mdash; whether it is with your kids, caring for an aging parent, investing in friendships, or diving into a job you love &mdash; it can be especially hard to feel attractive. When you don't have the energy or time to focus on how you look, or when you end up neglecting the things that make you feel the most attractive, it's even easier to feel ugly and dump on your appearance. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/want-to-be-more-attractive-work-these-5-magic-words-and-phrases-into-your-vocabulary?ref=seealso">Want to Be More Attractive? Work These 5 Words (and Phrases) Into Your Vocabulary</a>)</p> <p>But there are some easy ways to feel better about how you look, even when you can't do a whole lot to change your features or your figure.</p> <h2>1. Don't Compare Yourself</h2> <p>Or, at least, don't compare yourself with people whose bodies are unrealistic goals for most of humanity. If your standard of attractiveness is too high, you'll always be discouraged. Since most of us will compare ourselves whether we want to or not, try to compare yourself to other normal people in your culture, and who are about your age. This will make you feel so much more attractive than when you compare yourself to unachievable ideals.</p> <h2>2. Wear Sexy Clothes No One Can See</h2> <p>In most contexts, you won't want to wear especially sexy clothes on the outside. However, wearing that silky something just because you want to do it can make you feel so much more attractive, not to mention confident. If sexiness isn't your thing, you can wear clothes that are special for you. Hide your ninja socks in your tall boots or sneak a snakeskin belt under an oversized shirt, and you will feel more attractive than ever.</p> <h2>3. Focus on Other People</h2> <p>If you think about yourself all the time, you'll become more and more self-conscious. Instead, think about other people. Make attempts to talk, to draw them out of <em>their</em> shells, and even to connect people to each other. When you're doing this, your feelings of insecurity will grow smaller and smaller, which means that you'll feel better about who you are and how you look.</p> <h2>4. Know What You Love About Yourself</h2> <p>Even if you don't love the way you look and feel chronically underappreciated, there are things about yourself that you like. Make a list of these, and refer to it until you can remember these things by heart. When you know what you like about yourself, you will feel more confident about yourself in all areas, including how you look.</p> <h2>5. Think Positive Thoughts</h2> <p>Try consciously thinking, &quot;my eyes are a gorgeous shade of blue,&quot; as opposed to just focusing on your flaws. This will help you balance the places where you aren't attractive with the places where you are, which will raise how you feel about your looks overall.</p> <h2>6. Smile More</h2> <p><a href="http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/smile-it-could-make-you-happier/">Smiling makes you feel happier</a>. And, when you feel happier, you are likely to feel good about yourself and your life, including how you look. While smiling may also influence how other people see you, this is just for you. Smile to feel better about everything in your life, including your appearance.</p> <h2>7. Stand Up Straight</h2> <p>Square your shoulders and remind yourself that you can take on the world if you have to. When you are able to look the world in the eye, you will feel better about all aspects of who you are. This means you'll feel more attractive, and also more powerful, more influential, and more confident.</p> <h2>8. Remember What Your Body Can Do</h2> <p>When you feel unattractive, it's easy to focus on all of the things that are wrong with your body. When you think about what your body can do, the gifts it gives you, you will feel more attractive simply because you will feel better about your body, and it's hard to think well of something and be down on it at the same time.</p> <h2>9. Make Something You Are Proud Of</h2> <p>This may seem counterintuitive, but think about it. When you create something that makes you glad, it's easier to feel attractive. Even if you still aren't thrilled with your appearance, you will be reminded of your inner beauty and the things that you can create from the lovely place. Focusing on inner beauty may seem cheesy, but the truth is that who you are on the inside counts for so much more, and making things will help you remember this.</p> <h2>10. Find Clothes You Love</h2> <p>It's hard to feel unattractive when you are wearing clothes that you love. Even if you love a dress because it is so soft or a shirt because of the way it feels against your skin, you will feel better about your body and, therefore, should feel more attractive, too. If you don't know how to find clothes you love, go shopping with someone who loves to shop. They should be able to help you find exactly what you need to feel better.</p> <h2>11. Lower Your Stress Level</h2> <p>Stress can make us anxious and we are more likely to feel unattractive when we are anxious. Thus, it makes sense that lowering your stress level would make you feel better about your appearance. If you're not sure how to do this, try taking some down time. Do something you love, even if you only have 15 minutes. Read, watch TV, paint, or cook, then check in with how attractive you feel when you're done.</p> <h2>12. Say &quot;Thank You&quot;</h2> <p>When you give thanks, you focus on what is good about your life. If you're feeling unattractive, focus on things you're thankful for about your body. You may love the texture of your hair, or the way your calves fit so well in boots. Even if most of the things you're thankful for are little, the act of giving thanks for them will help you feel more attractive. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/science-shows-that-saying-thanks-can-improve-your-health-and-happiness">The One Word You Need to Start Using Today to Have a Better Life</a>)</p> <p><em>How do you help yourself feel more attractive when you're down on yourself? What do you love to do that makes you feel like you look good?</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-ways-to-feel-more-attractive-without-actually-changing-how-you-look" class="sharethis-link" title="12 Ways to Feel More Attractive Without Actually Changing How You Look" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-ways-to-feel-more-attractive-without-actually-changing-how-you-look">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-14"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/want-to-be-more-attractive-work-these-5-magic-words-and-phrases-into-your-vocabulary">Want to Be More Attractive? Work These 5 Magic Words (and Phrases) Into Your Vocabulary</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-habits-that-are-quietly-making-you-fat-and-have-nothing-to-do-with-eating">7 Habits That Are Quietly Making You Fat (and Have Nothing to Do With Eating)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-7-exercises-are-scientifically-proven-to-increase-happiness">These 7 Exercises Are Scientifically Proven to Increase Happiness</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/if-youre-doing-these-4-exercises-your-workouts-are-worth-nothing">If You&#039;re Doing These 4 Exercises, Your Workouts Are Worth Nothing</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-habits-you-must-break-to-become-more-self-confident">The 5 Habits You Must Break to Become More Self-Confident</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Health and Beauty Personal Development ambition attraction attractiveness beauty confidence Mon, 10 Nov 2014 12:00:04 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1252366 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 Ways to Build Intuition and Make Smarter Decisions http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-build-intuition-and-make-smarter-decisions <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-ways-to-build-intuition-and-make-smarter-decisions" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman-thinking-nature-452419807-small.jpg" alt="woman thinking nature" title="woman thinking nature" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Intuition is essential: Those gut feelings turn out to be very helpful, <a href="http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080305144210.htm">even to the point of saving lives</a></p> <p>Intuition helps us understand why people do what they do, and it can smooth the path of relationships by helping us know what those close to us need or why they are acting in a particular way.</p> <p>Some even say that using <a href="http://www.investopedia.com/articles/trading/09/intuition-trading.asp">intuition enhances our ability to invest money</a> well and to change investments when we need to</p> <p>Others say that choices made using intuition &mdash; even big choices, like which car to buy or even whom to marry &mdash; <a href="http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/radical-remission/201405/the-science-behind-intuition">end up better</a> than choices made based on research, pondering and logic</p> <p>All of this is well and good if you feel connected to your intuition and like it is something you can listen to, understand, and use in daily life. But what about the rest of us? How are people who don't feel that connection to their intuition supposed to figure out how to use it and reap these benefits, too? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-improve-your-decision-making-skills?ref=seealso">10 Ways to Improve Your Decision-Making Skills</a>)</p> <p>As it turns out, you can learn to get in touch with your intuition. Here are some tips to get started.</p> <h2>1. Make Time and Space</h2> <p>The very first thing you can do to get in touch with your intuition is to make a place for it to speak into your life. Often, we don't listen to our intuition because we simply don't hear it speaking. In our busy, noisy lives, the quiet voice of intuition often gets lost.</p> <p>It makes sense, then, that if you want to recover your ability to hear that voice, you need to make space within yourself and your life into which it can speak. Be quiet, and find a quiet place. Let your mind roam, creating space within yourself for that still, small voice to speak</p> <h2>2. Spend Time in Nature</h2> <p>It might sound cliche, but being outside is great for your intuition. Most people find that spending time in nature helps them remain <a href="http://www.takingcharge.csh.umn.edu/explore-healing-practices/intuition-healthcare/can-i-develop-my-intuition">calm and centered</a>, even after they return to their normal life. It makes sense, then, that it would be easier to hear your intuition when you are outside than at other times.</p> <p>If you want to be more intentional with your time, take a question with you into nature. Ponder your question, then let it go. Do whatever you're going to do outside, asking yourself now and then how you feel about your question and whether you are leaning toward a particular answer. You might even ask whether nature itself has something to teach you about the answers you seek.</p> <h2>3. Get Some Sleep</h2> <p>Intuition often offers answers or insights <a href="http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/mental-downtime/">just as you are falling to sleep, or just when you're waking up</a>. Thus, getting regular rest can help put you in closer touch to your intuition, because you're giving it more and predictable times to work.</p> <p>It will help to keep a journal next to your bed. That way, you can jot down your insights when you have them, so you don't lose them overnight or as you move into a busy day.</p> <h2>4. Begin Where You're An Expert</h2> <p>People often make better intuitive decisions when they are making them <a href="http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121220144155.htm">in an area where they have some level of expertise</a>. Because intuition is often an unconscious processing of ideas and facts, the more background knowledge you have, the better your intuitive choices will be.</p> <p>Start paying attention to your intuitions when you're doing something you know a lot about, have a lot of experience with, or have done many times before. Look for any sudden urges to do things differently, or for intuitive confirmation that you are on the right track even when you aren't at all sure. When you know what your intuition sounds like in these areas, you will have a better idea of what it sounds like in other places, too.</p> <h2>5. Pay Attention to Your Body</h2> <p><a href="http://www.bottomlinepublications.com/content/article/natural-remedies/get-in-touch-with-your-intuition-it-knows-the-truth">Signs that your intuition is positive</a> about something can include having goose bumps, feeling relaxed, or feeling physically or emotionally drawn toward a person, choice, place, etc. Negative signs include increased tension in your back, feeling like you have a lump in your throat, or getting chills.</p> <h2>6. Focus on Your Gut</h2> <p>When you focus on your gut, you're actually paying attention to how your stomach and intestines feel when you are making a decision, pondering choices, or just walking down the street. <a href="http://www.nextavenue.org/article/2012-01/6-techniques-tapping-your-intuition">If you feel tense</a>, ill, or get sudden cramps or heartburn, your intuition may be trying to warn you away from something.</p> <p>The gut is important because it may actually tie into your brain. It contains a network of neurons called <a href="http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/gut-second-brain/">the enteric nervous system</a>, which seems designed, at least in part, to help us better know our feelings, stress levels, and more.</p> <h2>7. Notice Dreams and Coincidences</h2> <p><a href="http://spiritualityhealth.com/articles/what-your-intuition-wants-you-know%E2%80%94and-tips-access-it">Intuition often speaks through our dreams or through coincidences</a> &mdash; also called synchronous events, or synchronicity. It can help to keep a journal or a notebook with you at all times, so you can record these things as they happen or, in the case of dreams, as soon as you wake up.</p> <p>Interpreting these sorts of things can feel nebulous and, sometimes, may seem impossible. Start with things that feel obvious to you. Maybe you were considering starting a new business and someone sent you an email encouraging you to follow your dream, without even knowing what you were pondering. Over time, you will feel more and more confident in interpreting dreams and events as signals from your intuition.</p> <h2>8. Visualize Your Options</h2> <p>When you know how your particular brand of intuition works, try visualizing each option or choice that might lie in front of you, paying attention while you do so to the cues that you know to be intuitively based. This can clue you in to how your intuition feels about the choices you could make.</p> <p>Before you do this, make sure you have an extensive list of options, doing your best to have all of the choices in front of you. Then spend some time visualizing each one as reality &mdash; take in sights, smells, tastes, etc. The more detailed your visualization, the better chance you have of getting some intuitive cues.</p> <h2>9. Release Negative Feelings</h2> <p>Negative feelings can cloud our intuition, and positive ones can enhance it. If you are feeling down, discouraged, depressed, or anything else negative, take the time to work through those feelings before you try to listen to your intuition.</p> <p>This also means you shouldn't try to repress or suppress your negative feelings. Instead of either dwelling on them or pushing them down, try accepting them for what they are, without making any judgements about them. Then open your hands to release them, if only so that you can use your intuition to make good choices about how to move on from where you are.</p> <h2>Bonus</h2> <p>If you're serious about developing your intuition, <a href="http://www.takingcharge.csh.umn.edu/activities/exercises-developing-your-intuition">these exercises</a> from the University of Minnesota are great for people who have begun to do the things listed in this article but want to pursue their intuition even more.</p> <p>Some of them will require a significant investment of time or energy, so be sure you're ready before you dive in.</p> <p><em>Where do you use your intuition? How does it speak to you?</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-build-intuition-and-make-smarter-decisions" class="sharethis-link" title="9 Ways to Build Intuition and Make Smarter Decisions" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-build-intuition-and-make-smarter-decisions">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-15"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/people-who-love-expanding-their-minds-do-these-13-things-do-you">People Who Love Expanding Their Minds Do These 13 Things — Do You?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/feeling-stuck-100-ways-to-change-your-life">Feeling Stuck? 100 Ways to Change Your Life</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-things-people-with-good-communication-skills-never-do">12 Things People With Good Communication Skills Never Do</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-habits-you-must-start-right-now-and-be-a-better-person">20 Habits You Must Start Right Now and Be a Better Person</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-habits-that-are-quietly-making-you-fat-and-have-nothing-to-do-with-eating">7 Habits That Are Quietly Making You Fat (and Have Nothing to Do With Eating)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Personal Development brains decision decisions intuition making Fri, 07 Nov 2014 12:00:07 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1251559 at http://www.wisebread.com