New Research Confirms Smartphones Are Messing With Our Sleep

New Research Confirms Smart Phones are Messing With Our Sleep

Over the past few years, smartphones have become an integral part of life for people in most developed and developing countries. People are spending more and more time using their smart phones as its technological versatility is increasing every day. You can now read books, take photos, watch TV shows and videos, play games, maintain contact with people, and more – all through a simple 5-inch device that sits comfortably in your pocket. And amid all this people are forgetting the potentially negative impact it might be having on their lives.

Recently, researchers at the University of California have found that exposure to a smart phone screen is negatively related to the quality of sleep one experiences. In this peer-reviewed study that appeared in the Public Library of Science (PLoS) One journal on November 9, 2016, people were asked to download an Android app that record and transmit screen-on time in the background. All the voluntary participants of this study were chosen from University of California’s concurrent Health eHeart study and thus had sensors on them that gathered sleep data. This data was then used in correlation with the screen-on time metrics to determine the pattern over a 30-day period.

It was found that on average, people had their phone’s screen on for about 1 hour and 29 minutes each day. Younger people, females and Hispanic and Black ethnicities significantly digressed from this number and had more screen on-time. The peak usage of smart phones was in the evenings, between 6 and 9 p.m.

With this data in hand, it was determined that the more people use their smartphone screens, the lesser they slept, it was more difficult for them to sleep, and the quality of their sleep was severely degraded. These effects were particularly pronounced in people who used their smartphones close to bedtime.

Now the question arises that how do smartphone screens alter the way we sleep? Well, the answer to this lies in a small molecule that the body secretes to induce sleep – melatonin.

Melatonin is a hormone secreted by the pineal gland in our brain and is tasked with maintaining our sleep-wake cycle. It is sort of like our body’s very own clock. During the day, the pineal gland is hard at work, synthesizing melatonin. And as night falls, it begins secreting it into our bloodstream which induces that drowsy feeling that helps us go to sleep. The secretion continues during our sleep and stops when it is time for us to wake up. Therefore adequate melatonin production and secretion is necessary for a good night’s sleep.

An important factor with melatonin’s efficacy is the color of light the body is exposed to throughout the day. Naturally, the body’s melatonin mechanism is evolved with respect to light and dark. Your body uses blue wavelength light from the sun to trigger melatonin production and then takes its lower levels at night to cue melatonin’s release in the blood stream. One can easily infer from this that any sort of artificial light can throw this system out of whack. That is true but all artificial lights don’t disturb the melatonin system on the same scale. The blue light that is emitted by LED lights, smartphone and laptop screens is far more disruptive in this regard because it tricks the body into thinking that it is not currently night as yet. Thus the release of melatonin is delayed or interrupted and our body’s natural clock is unsettled.

How detrimental is this? Studies have shown that melatonin deficiency and the ensuing decline in sleep quality can lead to such problems as obesity, depression, diabetes, heart diseases, and even cancer. And this should come as no surprise because sleep, along with a good diet and exercise, are considered as pillars for maintaining one’s health. Sleep is the time when your body winds down and does repair work on all the wear and tear that takes place during the day. It is sort of a planned maintenance and any interference to it is severally harmful in the long run. You wouldn’t want to drive an ill-maintained car then why should you condone such a thing with your body?

Conclusively, while it is close to impossible to completely give up smartphone use in today’s day and age, one can still work to curtail its harmful effects on sleep. Smartphone usage should be reduced after nightfall, blue light filters should be employed on the screen, and bedtime usage should be effectively avoided. And for added protection one can also wear filtering goggles that work to eliminate ambient blue light. With these steps you can aid your body in getting the proper rest it deserves and ensure your optimal health in the process.

Science Says These 7 Pastimes Will Make Your Brain Work Smarter and Faster

Our body is always changing and evolving. At every stage of life, people fight against age as they try to sustain a youthful composure. A healthy diet and exercise play a big part in this, but how we take care of our brains is also vitally crucial. Keeping our brain young is going to keep our memories in tack for longer. It’s going to help us thrive later on in age and it’s going to help us extend our lives overall.

First, you have to develop a love for reading. Reading has evolved over the past decade. No longer is it necessary to hold a physical book in your hands. You can now read books on e-readers, phones and tablets. This makes carrying a book so much easier! Another reason to read is the cost. Kindle books cost a third the price of a printed book. Many libraries, too, have programs that lend you books directly on your e-reader. If you still like the feel of a physical book, no worries. I don’t think libraries are going anywhere soon. Read anything and everything. If the back cover strikes your fancy, look for the book on your e-reader or purchase it. The more knowledge you gain, the stronger your brain is going to be as you grow older.

Another way to energize your brain is to exercise. What type of exercise do you most enjoy? Everyone is different and we each have our limitations. For those that want to build muscle, strength-training might be best. This involves aerobics and lifting weights. Those that want more low-key exercise may try walking a track, rowing on a rowing machine or exercising on an elliptical. Furthermore, those that enjoy the outdoors may consider taking up a sport. Golf, swimming, canoeing  and kickboxing are excellent choices. Don’t push your body past its limits, however; learn to listen to your body and give yourself breaks when necessary.

On the same note, meditation and yoga are terrific ways to increase brain power. Both of these methods are also ways to release stress. To meditate, all you generally need is a quiet room. Focus on how you inhale and exhale each breath, trying to breath through your diaphragm. It’s important you have good posture. Sit up straight and make sure your spine is not slouching. Yoga, on the other hand, is a more relaxed way to exercise. This type of exercise focuses on your balance and stability. It involves exercises that bend every part of your body. Try the easy poses first, such as the downward dog, and work up to the more challenging poses. You’ll find that you are less stressed out and that your overall health improves.

Learning a musical instrument may also boost brain power. My niece plays around 12 musical instruments. It’s been scientifically proven that learning even one instrument can improve a person’s cognitive memory. Musicians memorize notes and music. They are more inclined to remember names, dates and facts. Scientists also believe that learning music makes people more likely to be better at solving mathematical equations. The fact is that music can influence other areas of our life. If we’re creative with our music, it’s going to overflow into our other hobbies and when we are happy—our brain releases the happy hormone, serotonin, that boosts brain power even more.

Moreover, learning a new language can help keep your brain youthful. Did you learn Spanish, French or German as a kid? If so, you may pick it up really fast as an adult. Were you bilingual as a kid? Chances are that you remember that language even if you haven’t used it in years. Language is a powerful concept. It’s one of the aspects of how we identify with our world. Learning another language is going to help you advance in your problem solving techniques and help to sharpen your memory. Just don’t forget to use it. If you learn the language—to the point that you’re fluent and then forget all of it—that language is going to slip away.

Furthermore, engage in cumulative learning. This is where you keep learning a concept of which you are passionate. My father, ever since he was in grade school, has loved math. To this day he still works equations. He is nearing 70 years old but his brain is young because he has worked math equations like this for the majority of his life. When you keep learning, your brain gets bigger. It starts to work smarter and faster. Learning helps to sharpen memories and helps you to recall memories from long ago. Never let go of learning because it could save you when you need it the most!

Finally, exercise your mind with brain games. Doctors and scientists say that crosswords are the best to prevent Alzheimer’s Disease. Personally I love to work crosswords and Sudoku. Both these games challenge my mind to fill in the blank with the right answer. On my phone I have brain game apps that test my memory with word choice, memory recall and many other techniques. Over time all these methods are going to increase your brain power. Try to do an activity each day. You’ll find that your cognitive skills increase and that you forget less overall. Your brain can work faster and smarter if you give it the tools to succeed. 

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This article Science Says These 7 Past Times Will Make Your Brain Work Smarter and Faster was originally published here at October 28, 2016.

3 Reasons to Boycott Nestlé Products This Halloween

3 Reasons Why You Should Boycott Nestle Products This Halloween

What started out as a local issue quickly became a national boycott and international outrage after Nestlé purchased a township well in Centre Wellington. The township themselves wanted to purchase the well for themselves with the simple message of “protect our water”. The township, along with much of the Ontario province, is experiencing a drought. Purchasing the well would have secured plenty of water for the township and would have secured their rights to their own water. Instead Nestlé outbid them and purchased the well and it’s given people plenty of reasons to boycott Nestlé products this Halloween.

Related: Hershey, Nestle and Mars Use Child Slaves to Make Your Chocolate

  1. Protect our Water

People are understandably frustrated that they aren’t in control of their own water. Right now Canada is going through a water crisis thanks to climate change and over-extraction. Both of which are problems that Nestlé is contributing to. Their new Elora well is also located near a reserve that belongs to the First Nation. As well as stealing water from Canadians Nestlé is also putting the water supply of the First Nation at risk.

 2. Protect the Environment

Bottled water is a serious contributor to climate change; especially Nestlé bottled water. Nestlé uses single-use plastic for their bottles. While some plastic bottles can be recycled and they’re not as bad for the environment this isn’t the case with Nestlé bottled water. Nestlé are also causing a lot of damage through their over-extraction of water. While much of Ontario was suffering a drought Nestlé were pumping over million litres of groundwater a day from just one aquifer near Guelph, which they only pay less than $15 a day for. Imagine how much better the water situation would be if people were in control of their own water supply; withdrawing only how much they want and not putting it in plastic bottles.

3. Send a Message

When you want to send a message to a company there’s only one place you can really hit them; their wallets. A boycott is one of the only ways to make a multi-billion dollar company such as Nestlé hear you. A boycott causes a drop in profits, especially if as many Canadians and people around the world join in.

It’s not just Canada that Nestlé is pumping water out of. Even though their permit expired in 1988 they’ve been allowed to continue pumping water out of California; another place facing severe drought issues at the minute. They also have a 4-mile long pipeline that takes gallons of public water out of the Strawberry Creek watershed. The water is then sold back as Arrowhead bottled water. So they are actually making profits selling water that belongs to the public anyway. It’s like having someone make you pay for drinking your tap water.

Nestlé and their bottled water have done harm to the environment in a number of ways. These are some good reasons to boycott Nestlé products this Halloween and protect our water. If you’re Canadian and want to pledge your commitment to the Nestlé boycott you can get involved here.

11 DIY Ways to Improve Your Mental Health

11 DIY Ways to Improve Your Mental Health

Modern life often appears to be fraught with undue stresses and angst due to the relentless pace of life in the world we now live in.  With hidden tensions lurking around each and every corner, be it work related, socially or even just everyday situations such as driving which can cause anxiety levels to be raised, it requires us to be mentally strong to fully enjoy life and find that elusive balance between productivity and happiness.

Below is a list of simple techniques which can aid emotional self-improvement and psychological resilience:

  1. Set personal goals in life

By setting small, manageable targets you can achieve a sense of progress through their completion.  There’s few things better in life than placing a tick next to something on a list.

  1. Accept failure

With every task is the potential for failure and nobody ever wins all of them time so it’s important to be able to maintain a positive outlook when defeat and loss are experienced.  One simple method of this is to be objective and look to learn from the situation to prevent similar situations arising in the future.

  1. Fresh air

Venture through the great outdoors and take a walk, preferably away from the crowds and the traffic, to allow yourself time to think and reflect on other daily matters and stresses that can quietly build up. Studies have shown that hiking can change our brains for the better! So what are you waiting for? Strap on those boots and get walkin’.

  1. Meditate

Whether it’s a form of yoga or Xi Gong that you choose to partake, controlling your thoughts and breathing are proven ways to decreasing anxiety levels and helping with depression by clearing your mind and altering your pattern of thought.

  1. Exercise

Healthy body, healthy mind.  It doesn’t have to be gym sessions or require a personal trainer but by being more active, including as little as walking several times each week, will result in lower levels of stress and can even improve your self-esteem.

  1. Benevolence

Being more generous in your relationships towards friends, partners and work colleagues is a route to greater happiness and self worth as well as stronger relationships with those around you.

  1. Regulate your worries

Everyone suffers worries and physical tensions but it is important that you don’t sink into a constant state of worst-case scenarios and what-if situations.  One easy solution is to use a scheduled “worry period” of 30 minutes where you allow yourself to be focused on these worries and then look to shut them away at the end of this time.

  1. Count to ten

Seriously, it helps.

We all get beset by trivial annoyances but it is the way in which we deal with them that can make a huge difference to our quality of life.  By not reacting immediately every time someone queue jumps or you find yourself without a parking space will relieve anxiety that builds into emotional distress.

9. Social media

Social media can be a great source of negativity through many factors ranging from worrying about your image to comparing yourself against others and it’s easy to slip into downward spirals due to the constant accessibility we have to this platform.

Make sure you don’t use all of your spare time being sucked into the online world and allow yourself some personal freedom from all forms of communication from time to time

10. Salt Lamps

Himalayan Salt Lamps are “tried tested and true”. Proving time and time again that they possess the ability to regulate sleep cycles and improve mental cognizance and clarity.

11. Get Involved in Your Community

Studies are emerging more and more all of the time about community programs and there adverse affects on mental health. For instance, in March of 2016, a Study was published in the Journal of Scientific Medicine illustrating that Community Drumming Circles relieve symptoms of anxiety and depression and in some cases better than prescribed medication. 

Please note that the above article is designed as a way to improve yourself and aid personal growth rather than be seen as a remedy for any of a wide range of psychological problems or mental illness and that it is vital for anyone who suffers with an underlying mental health issue or disorder to seek advice and help from a trained medical worker to which there is no true alternative.

Tug Diesel Spill Proves to be a Nightmare for Heiltsuk Nation of British Columbia

The people of the Heiltsuk Nation have placed their hopes in the cleanup crews that are working to protect the clam beaches and salmon streams following a tug coming aground while pushing a massive fuel barge. The incident happened near Bella Bella in the heart of the Great Bear Rainforest of British Columbia.

The barge in question, which can carry up to 52,000 barrels of oil, happened to be empty when it collided with the Edge Reef off the northern tip of Athlone Island on Thursday. Even though the barge was empty the tug was not. It was carrying a load that was estimated to be 60,000 gallons of diesel.

It’s not known just how much oil has spilled but the US company behind the tug and the barge said that they have dispatched the necessary resources to manage the worst case scenario.

Jim Guidry, the incident commander for Kirby Offshore Marine of Kirby Corp. issued a statement in which he said that the company issued a full response shortly after the accident happened. He stated that the Western Canada Marine Response Corporation (WCMRC) had been activated and that they had deployed vessels and crew from the base they have in Prince Rupert.

The WCMRC is an oil-spill response organization that the oil industry itself pays to maintain. They have bases in Vancouver, Prince Rupert, and Duncan, which is on Vancouver Island.

One of the main priorities the response team will have will be to remove all the diesel that is still on the tug and safely salvage what is left of the vessel. Heiltsuk Chief Marilyn Slett left an emergency meeting at the band office describing the situation as their worst nightmare.

She said that the tug boat sank at around 10 minutes to 10:00 o’clock in the morning. She also confirmed it was still attached to the barge, and admitted she was unsure what could be done about that as the two seemed to be permanently connected. Ms Slett also said that the Heiltsuk volunteers who rushed to the scene after daybreak said that they came across a large fuel slick.

The tug boat is 28-metres long and it is attached to the 90-metre fuel barge at the stern using a hinged connection. This setup is known as an articulated tug barge in the industry. ATBs are becoming more common on the West Coast to move bulks of oil and diesel. The tug boat in question; the Nathan E. Stewart, made routine runs between Vancouver and Alaska using the Inside Passage.

Bella Bella was visited just two weeks ago by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. They went there to dedicated the Great Bear Rainforest of British Columbia as part of the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy; an initiative setup to preserve the most globally significant forest areas.

Ms. Slett said that during the Royal tour everyone had talked about how they were all a community that worked tirelessly to preserve the integrity of the land, air, and sea around them. She said that everyone was very happy to get to show their dedication a few weeks ago but now everyone is devastated.

Ms. Slett said that the area the ATB ran aground in was an important harvesting area. She said that they used the area to harvest up to 25 species including clams and herring spawn. It was also an important migration area for salmon.

Just last year the Heiltsuk were able to harvest 50,000 pounds of manila clams. Given that the harvest was supposed to begin in three weeks it will no doubt have a devastating effect on the local economy.

Ms. Slett said that the reason the Coast Guard and the crew of the tug boat failed to contain the fuel spill was because they didn’t have the equipment to do it. She said that what happened after the spill was no world-class oil response. This was in reference to the British Columbia government promising to always be prepared and to always deliver the best spill regime possible. Instead no one was prepared and the results were devastating.

The Canadian Coast Guard issued a statement of their own. They said that they received a report of the accident at 1:13am. The CCG ships Barlett and John P. Tully responded to the report and were able to rescue all seven crew members from the tug, none of whom had injuries.

Jessie Housty of the Qqs Projects Society of Bella Bella said that it would take 22 hours for the equipment to get from Prince Rupert to the scene. By then the clam beds may have been fouled.

She said how devastating it is to know that there’s nothing you can do. She also spoke of how infuriating it is to know that they have spent years trying so hard to inform people about shipping safety issues and warn of the danger of the vessel traffic in the area. Environmental activist Ingmar Lee has spent a long time campaigning against ATB traffic along the inner coast. He said that he was afraid that the spill that occurred was something he was afraid would happen and that he had been warning people it was inevitable. Mr. Lee spoke after coming back from the accident site. He was there when the tug went down and reported that he saw a huge slick on the water and that there was a severe stench of fuel when the tug sank.

Source: Globe and Mail

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5 Shifts You Can Expect to Happen Surrounding October’s Super Moon in Aries

This evenings Super Moon in Aries will be 14% closer and 30% brighter than the majority of full moons we are accustomed to. What does this mean?

It’s time to express yourself!

Full moons bring the energy of self-expression while new moons bring introspection. So now is not the time to hold back on what you are truly feeling and what you really want out to get out of life.

We both know that you have been dragging your feet for some time regarding these major life changes and now is a great time to put them into action! as Aries carries with it the energy of action, change and movement.

It is commonly understood that during these cycles from new to full, we have the ability to set our intentions and watch them manifest into reality. Quite simply it’s time to get thing done!

Here are 5 Things You Can Expect to Happen Surrounding October’s Super Moon in Aries.

1. It’s not worth it just let it go!

This super moon allows you to finally let go of the things that you didn’t have the courage to walk away from up until this point. Aries bring the confidence needed to finally make that 180 degree turn and put one foot in front of the other setting your life path in a whole new direction. One that aligns with your higher purpose and resonates more harmoniously with your heart chakra.

So when the little things in life that never really bothered you much before, start surmounting right before your eyes… know that change is coming. It has to. There is only so much negativity we can take, until finally the last straw breaks, the universe begins to align and we snap… into action.

2. Bid adieu to feeling lost, your life path and true purpose is on the horizon.

We’ve all heard that getting lost is the best way to find yourself. Truly though, it sounds a little backwards, that is until… we can understand why.

When you’re lost, you don’t have a direction and when you have no direction, you have no desire.

When you have no desire, you have no want or need of anything and when you have no want or need of anything, this is when your soul will speak.

While you may feel out of control, you are the most clear at this time and in the perfect disposition to accept a higher knowing of what your heart truly, selflessly and completely wants you to see and understand.

This, then sets you on a new path, a radical change that may have been desperately needed and one that puts you into alignment with your mind, body, heart and soul. The new moon has allowed you the time to introspect and this new super moon is putting it all into action! So get ready because your life is about to shift radically! Embrace these new energies, harness the energies of the moon and take advantage while they are here.

3. It’s time to break free!!

Have you ever noticed that certain periods of your life are completely packed full of outings and adventures, fun-filled with friends and family to the point where you feel you can barely keep up?

While other periods are marked with isolation, introspection and near (if not full-blown) depression? The length of these cycles can vary, but each and every one of us go through these momentum shifts in the course of our lives. These periods can be marked with catastrophic endings or heart breaking losses, all the while we already had an inner knowing, that the end of the chapter was coming and that it was time to turn the page and look forward to the next, long ago…

These shifts are alike to a heart beat that pulses, and as we navigate our lives to the beat of this drum we find ourselves cocoon and introspective at moments, and more open with the world on the “out pulse”.

These cycles (alike to moon cycles) are needed as we endeavor and formulate our perspective of the world. The introspective periods offer emotional, psychological and spiritual growth while the outward pulses offer experience, travel and new perspectives to take hold of. When you come out of the incubator period, it serves as a “mini re-birth”. That is to say, the time it has taken you to recharge, review and reevaluate in order to set out on a new goal, a new direction and a new life.

  4. Get Ready!! If you’re feeling scared, excited and anxious all at the same time….

Your incubator stage and healing is ending its cycle and you’ve gained a new direction, so what’s next? When it’s scary and exciting.. you just have to do it. Allow these powerful energies to sweep you off your feet…the momentum has been building for quite some time and the time has finally arrived. October has been an exhausting month so get ready for an energy recharge!!!

You may have had no idea what to expect up until this point but you couldn’t help but feel that something big was about to happen and that the light at the end of the tunnel was drawing near…  know that the light is here!

This super moon is here to catapult you onto your destined path and align you with your hearts truest desires manifesting before your eyes. The energies have aligned and the highest probable outcome of reality is manifesting and quickly. You have made your choice and now it’s time to walk it! Continue to stay open,  this is an exciting time!

5. Synchronicities

There is nothing more satisfying than a subtle nudge from the universe that you are on the right path. Synchronicities serve as these soft assurances, that your thoughts and actions are in alignment with your higher good.

Most commonly found when major changes are taking place are the series of 5′s that you will find showing up no matter where you seem to look.

5′s are the clearest sign that you need to prepare yourself, because you are about to undergo a radical shift that will shake you to your core. Change should never be viewed as positive or negative, it’s simply needed.

“Sometimes when we think our lives are falling apart what we don’t see, is that they might just be falling into place. While change is not always welcomed, it is always warranted and often when we think that our lives have fallen into utter disarray, it’s because everything is realigning to match our true intentions and desires…”

by LJ Vanier,

This article was originally published here at October 16, 2016 and sourced from 5 Signs Your Life is About to Shift Radically by LJ Vanier. 

32 Powerful Bruce Lee Quotes You Won’t Forget

32. “I’m not in this world to live up to your expectations and you’re not in this world to live up to mine.”

31. “A good teacher protects his pupils from his own influence.”

30. “Be self aware, rather than a repetitious robot”

29. “If you love life, don’t waste time, for time is what life is made up of.”

28. “Life is never stagnation. It is constant movement, un-rhythmic movement, as we as constant change. Things live by moving and gain strength as they go.”

27. “As you think, so shall you become.”

26. “Life itself is your teacher, and you are in a state of constant learning.”

25. “Life’s battles don’t always go to the stronger or faster man. But sooner or later the man who wins, is the man who thinks he can.”

24. “The spirit of the individual is determined by his dominating thought habits.”

23. “Self-knowledge involves relationship. To know oneself is to study one self in action with another person. Relationship is a process of self evaluation and self revelation. Relationship is the mirror in which you discover yourself – to be is to be related.”

22. “Defeat is not defeat unless accepted as a reality-in your own mind.”

21. “I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.”

20.“Choose the positive. You have choice, you are master of your attitude, choose the positive, the constructive. Optimism is a faith that leads to success.”

19.“Fear comes from uncertainty; we can eliminate the fear within us when we know ourselves better. As the great Sun Tzu said: “When you know yourself and your opponent, you will win every time. When you know yourself but not your opponent, you will win one and lose one. However, when you do not know yourself or your opponent, you will be imperiled every time.”

18. “When one has reached maturity in the art, one will have a formless form. It is like ice dissolving in water. When one has no form, one can be all forms; when one has no style, he can fit in with any style.”

17.“What you habitually think largely determines what you will ultimately become.”

16. “I am learning to understand rather than immediately judge or to be judged. I cannot blindly follow the crowd and accept their approach. I will not allow myself to indulge in the usual manipulating game of role creation. Fortunately for me, my self-knowledge has transcended that and I have come to understand that life is best to be lived and not to be conceptualized. I am happy because I am growing daily and I am honestly not knowing where the limit lies. To be certain, every day there can be a revelation or a new discovery. I treasure the memory of the past misfortunes. It has added more to my bank of fortitude.”

15.“The more we value things, the less we value ourselves”

14. “I am not teaching you anything. I just help you to explore yourself.”

“Reality is apparent when one ceases to compare. — There is “what is” only when there is no comparison at all, and to live with what is, is to be peaceful.”

13. “It’s not what you give, it’s the way you give it.

12. “The meaning of life is that it is to be lived, and it is not to be traded and conceptualized and squeezed into a patter of systems.”

11. “A wise man can learn more from a foolish question than a fool can learn from a wise answer.”

10. “Adapt what is useful, reject what is useless, and add what is specifically your own.”

9.“To hell with circumstances; I create opportunities.”

8.“Don’t fear failure. — Not failure, but low aim, is the crime. In great attempts it is glorious even to fail.”

7.“…if you always put limits on what you can do, physical or anything else, it’ll spread over into the rest of your life. It’ll spread into your work, into your morality, into your entire being. There are no limits. There are plateaus, but you must not stay there, you must go beyond them. If it kills you, it kills you. A man must constantly exceed his level.

6. “Life is wide, limitless. There is no border, no frontier.”

5. “Do not be tense, just be ready, not thinking but not dreaming, not being set but being flexible. It is being “wholly” and quietly alive, aware and alert, ready for whatever may come.”

4. Now I see that I will never find the light Unless, like the candle, I am my own fuel, consuming myself.”

3. “If there is a God, he is within. You don’t ask God to give you things, you depend on God for your inner theme.”

2. “The key to immortality is first living a life worth remembering.”

1.“Be like water making its way through cracks. Do not be assertive, but adjust to the object, and you shall find a way around or through it. If nothing within you stays rigid, outward things will disclose themselves. Empty your mind, be formless. Shapeless, like water. If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle and it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now, water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.”


Dream Your Life Into Reality: A Guided Meditation with Alan Watts

If you awaken from this illusion, and you understand that black implies white, self implies other, life implies death — or shall I say, death implies life — you can conceive yourself. Not conceive, but feel yourself, not as a stranger in the world, not as someone here on sufferance, on probation, not as something that has arrived here by fluke, but you can begin to feel your own existence as absolutely fundamental.

So in this idea, then, everybody is fundamentally the ultimate reality. Not God in a politically kingly sense, but God in the sense of being the self, the deep-down basic whatever there is. And you’re all that, only you’re pretending you’re not….

How the Words You Speak Literally Restructure Your Brain

How Words Literally Restructure Your Brain

The kind of words we choose to use can literary change our brain. A single word has enormous power to influence the expression of genes that regulate emotional and physical stress.

Researchers have discovered that when we use positive words like peace, love, and loving-kindness, we modify our brain functions by generally increasing cognitive reasoning and strengthening areas around our frontal lobes. Therefore, utilizing positive words more frequently than negative words can actually activate the motivation centers of the brain, prompting them into action.

Positive words are known to engage the brain center responsible for understanding the big picture, respect, active listening, empathy, and problem-solving, while negative words activate the fear center.  We prevent the production of certain stress management neurochemicals in our brain when we use negative words. This increases the activity in out fear center and causes fear producing hormones to flood our entire system.

These neurotransmitters and hormones interrupt the logic and reasoning processes in the brain and obstruct normal functionality.

A Positive Psychology research also elaborated on the benefits of using positive words. A group of adults within the age of 35- 54 were asked to write three very important things that went well for them that day, including a brief explanation of why. This was done for a period of three months and was referred to as “the gratitude and appreciation journaling.” Over the three months duration that the study lasted, they reported an increase in their level of happiness.

Also, the depression levels continued to decrease for a long time after the experiment was concluded. This study confirmed the long-held believe that by reflecting and focusing on positive language, feelings, thoughts and emotions, we can drastically improve our overall wellbeing.

What words do you focus most of your energy on? If realize your life is not exactly happy as you want it, you should try documenting your life for a month in order to observe how often you use positive words. If you noticed you have been using positive words less often, is will be beneficial for you to try the “gratitude and appreciation journaling” exercised discussed above. It will do you a lot of good than you think.

By constantly holding optimistic and positive words in your mind, you continuously stimulate the frontal lobe activity. This includes specific language centers that directly connect to the motor cortex responsible for getting you into action. And research has shown that the more you concentrate on positive the more you begin to affect other important areas of the brain.

In general, functions in the parietal lobes begin to change, which also changes your perception of yourself and the people you interact with. Positively viewing yourself will move you toward seeing the good in others as well. Over time, the structure of your thalamus will be altered in response to your conscious words, feeling and thoughts and it is believed that the thalamus changes affect the way reality is perceived.

In conclusion, if you want to be happy, use happy words.

This article How the Words You Speak Literally Restructure Your Brain was originally published here at October 11, 2016 with attribution accredited to

6 Surprising Benefits of Crying (or Why It’s So Important to Have a Good Cry)

6 Surprising Benefits of Crying (or Why It's So Important to Have a Good Cry)

When was the last time you had a good cry? Most folks see watery eyes as a sign of emotional weakness, however, confronting your emotions requires a great deal of strength in the form of personal vulnerability.

Amidst a continuous stream of salty tears slowly sliding down our check, making our eyes puffy and temporary blurring our vision, do you ever wonder what emotional or physical benefits this suspended state of helplessness could have on our delicate and fragile physic?

Well, grab a tissue if you have to and read on to learn some surprising benefits of crying.

1.Crying Releases Toxins

Crying is known to have both physical and mental cleansing effect. The tears that are produced by stress aid the body in getting rid of the stress hormone known as cortisol.

Just like other exocrine processes like urinating, exhaling, sweating, toxic substances are released from the body when we cry. Pain reducing protein prolactin, adrenocorticotropic hormones, and the endorphin leucine-enkephalin are the major chemicals present in emotional tears.

2. Crying Improves Vision

It has been confirmed that tears made by the lacrimal gland can clear up our vision by lubrication the eyelids and eyeballs. Vision can become a little blurry when the membranes of the eyes are dehydrated.

Tears bathe the surface of the eyes which keep it moist by washing away debris and dust. Crying can also guide against the dehydration of various mucous membrane.

3. Anti Bacteria

Crying can also be a good way to get rid of bacteria. Tears are known to contain lysozyme- a fluid also found in semen, human milk, saliva, and mucus that kills almost 90 percent of all type of bacteria within 10 minutes.

Studies have also shown that strong antimicrobial powers can also protect against intentional anthrax contamination. Lysozyme can kill some bacteria by completely destroying their cell walls the rigid outer shell that is known to provide a protective coating.

4. Mood Improvement

Tears can improve our mood better than any current antidepressant available in the market.

A study in 2008 from the University of South Florida discovers that crying can be self-soothing and elevate the mood better than any antidepressant in some cases. The shedding of tear can dramatically improve the mood of over 90 percent of all cries compared to just eight percent who reported feeling worse after crying. Individuals with an anxiety disorder were less likely to experience any positive effects after crying.

5. Relieves Stress

Even if circumstances still remain the same, a good cry can provide a feeling of relieve. Crying is general known to release stress hormone or toxins from the body which can significantly reduce tension.

It is generally believed that crying is a better alternative to punching the wall. Crying is a safe and effective way to deal with stress as it provides an emotional release of pent-up negative feeling, frustration and stresses.

6. Communication Boost

Crying can convey what words cannot express, most especially in a relationship.  This is mostly obvious when a person in the relationship is having a different reaction to a situation that isn’t too transparent until tears begin to show. It is at the very moment one person burst into tears that conversation shifts towards the emotional aspect. Crying can quell a fight and emphasize points not conveyed in words or simply underscore the significance of the feeling behind the dialogue.

In conclusion, a good cry can naturally heal us both psychologically and physiologically.

This article 6 Surprising Benefits of Crying (or Why It’s So Important to Have a Good Cry) was originally published here at October 11, 2016 with reference attributed to 

Poland Unveils Glow in the Dark Bike Paths

Following the Netherlands Debut of this exquisite Bike Path honoring Vincent Van Gogh’s Starry Night, Poland has stepped up to the challenge…

Unveiling their own bicycle path powered entirely by solar and glowing a magnificent bright blue at night.

While the Netherlands may have won the “beauty contest”, Poland on the other hand had only one vision in mind. Energy Efficient and Earth Friendly. Creating the path with Phosphor-coated Crystals and powered entirely by solar power unlike the Netherlands whom incorporated LED Lighting to complete their vision.