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Wednesday, 27 December 2017 13:20

Word of the Week (December 2017)

Word of the Week

 

benevolent  /bɪˈnɛvələnt/ 

 

 

 

adjective
1. 
intending or showing goodwill; kindly; friendly
2. 
doing good or giving aid to others, rather than making profit; charitable


 

Example Sentences

1. Holding the door open for Marie was very benevolent of you.

2. She was a benevolent woman, volunteering all of her free time to charitable organizations.

3. How benevolent of you to help families in need of Christmas!

 

 

 

Wednesday, 27 December 2017 13:06

African Proverb of the Week (December 2017)

He who has a sister has a brother-in-law.

 

— Chonyi (Kenya) Proverb

 

 

  

Background, Meaning and Everyday Use of the Proverb:

The Chonyi people live in the southern coast of Kenya, south of Mombasa, nestled within the Giriama reaching up to Kilifi area. They speak the Bantu language called Chichonyi. They are part of the greater Mijikenda Ethnic Group, a Kenyan coastal Bantu ethnic group that consists of nine closely related sub-ethnic groups. They are one of the smaller groups of the Mijikenda. They are said to have originated from Shungwaya in the southern Somali hinterland at the turn of the 17th century. They came along the River Nile. It is believed that they escaped constant attacks from the Oromo and other Cushitic ethnic groups and settled in fortified villages along the coastal ridges of the southern Kenya coast. They intermarried with the Arabs from Yemen (Persian Gulf) and gave birth to the Swahili culture and language. As a result, the Swahili language bears a close lexical similarity with all dialects of the Mijikenda people. The Chonyi live in settlements known as kaya.

Clans play a central role in kaya affairs. Each clan has its own area within the kaya and its own specialized function. The sub-clans play an important role in their social life, particularly with regard to the organization of major social events such as weddings and funerals. They farm the land corporately which is held by the head of the homestead. The Chonyi are polygamous and the whole family lives and works communally that promotes cohesion under one head of a family. Marriages are not just alliances between spouses, but also between two exogamous clans. The bridewealth required to be given can be paid gradually over an extensive period of more than 20 years. Bridewealth helps constrain the incidence of divorce because a man who receives cattle through his sister’s marriage would have to return the bridewealth after a divorce.

Kaya Chonyi is one of the largest traditional shrines of the Mijikenda community where they go to pray to God Mulungu. Most of the Chonyi practice Africa traditional animism, others are Christians and a few Muslims. The majority of Chonyi territory is covered with huge sisal plantations which provide a source of income for the people. They demonstrate great skill at climbing the coconut trees in order to get fresh coconut milk. They also grow cassava, corn and fir trees that are later sold to the plantation owners.

To ensure continuity of their culture, the Chonyi use proverbs and wise sayings, riddles, folktales, songs and dance to pass, norms and cultural knowledge to the community members. As a result of their traditional marriage practice, they live together, have many relatives due to polygamy and have a communal lifestyle. This made the elders create a proverb to teach the community that they should be one family related by marriage relationships. As long as the women get married, all families will always have brothers-in-law. The blood bonds will remain forever and cannot be severed. Payment of bridewealth in the Chonyi community and other African communities creates a lifelong bond through many generations. Its payment in small amounts ensures that a good relationship between in-laws is maintained for as long as can be possible, even through generations. These families learn to respect, acknowledge, and appreciate each other in whatever circumstances because they are one family.

 

Contemporary Use 

A Christian marriage is a sacramental marriage where the husband and wife have a true commitment to each other till death, and to Jesus Christ and His Church.  When two people marry, two families intersect and are brought into alignment as stated in Ephesians 5:31: “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” At marriage a couple begins a process of merging together two separate home cultures, value systems and sets of traditions. 

This African proverb He who has a sister has a brother-in-law teaches that extending our family to include grandparents and cousins, grandchildren, nieces, in-laws, neighbors and friends is really just a matter of extending our love. As the Lord has consistently counseled, the more love we extend, our lives become more meaningful and full of things that matter most.


Within the traditional Christian family, relationships with extended families and in-laws can be among the main sources of conflict in homes. However, the attitude of each Christian partner toward his or her in-laws should be genuine love and reflect one’s love for his or her spouse. It is a duty that we should fulfil.

 

 

Source: Afriprov

 

 

 

Tuesday, 19 December 2017 15:06

DIY paper Holiday Wreath

wreath 11

Today’s DIY is a SUPER simple one. A DIY holiday wreath made entirely from paper! You’ll want to make sure your porch is a covered one when putting this baby on display. I can’t take 100% of the credit for this project. I saw a similar one at a local Christmas party and thought it was such a genius idea that I tried to recreate as best I could!

wreath 1

Supplies:

  • Circle cut from foam core (“it doesn’t need to be perfect.”  ~post-baby Lexy)
  • Strips of green card stock cut into 2″ wide strips
  • Red bow (found at Michaels)
  • hot glue gun (not pictured)

wreath 2

Take your strips of green paper and accordion fold them like you did when you were a child who was bored during church. Really? Just me?

wreath-gif

Hot glue one end flat on the foam core. Gently twist and fold the paper until you can hot glue the other end. Make sure both ends are flat against the foam core! Repeat these steps until all the foam core is covered with your faux-greenery.

wreath 9

Blam.

wreath 10

Hot glue the bow to the top of the wreath. My bow actually came with twist-ties attached to the back. I was able to save a hot glue stick. Every time a hot glue stick is saved, an angel gets his wings.

wreath 12

wreath 11

 

 

Source: Theproperblog

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tuesday, 19 December 2017 14:05

Asaro – Yam Pottage Recipe

Asaro – Yam Pottage needs no major introduction. It is a very popular Nigerian mashed Yam and Tomato stew infused dish. You can either prepare your Asaro – Yam pottage very mushy or you can have it part mushy, I prefer part as I’m not a fan of mushy or puréed foods.

 

Don’t be perturbed by the exhaustive list of ingredients, most of them are optional. Yam pottage can still be enjoyed without adding proteins, this is just how I choose to prepare mine. I love, love, love the deep , rich and natural flavours of smoked turkey and dried stockfish in yam pottage, hence the inclusion. If you don’t already do this, you really should. Also, you don’t have to use palm oil, vegetable oil is just as good, if not tastier.

So, let’s get started.

Ingredients:

1/2 Tuber Medium Size White/Puna Yam, washed and chopped into small chunks

2 Cooking Spoons Palm Oil/Vegetable Oil

1/2 Cup of washed and chopped Ugu or Spinach leaves. You can also use Coriander/Cilantro if you’re using vegetable oil.(Optional)

2 Red Bell Pepper( Tatashe)

3 medium Tomatoes

11/2 Big Onion

2 Scotch Bonnet( Atarodo)

Smoked Turkey (Optional)

Ponmo (Optional)

1 Medium Size Smoked Fish

1 Medium size Stockfish (Panla) (Optional)

2 Heaped Tablespoon Ground Crayfish

2 Tablespoons Locust Beans (Iru)

1 Maggi Crayfish or your preferred Bouillon cubes

1/2 Teaspoon your Preferred Seasoning (I’m using Aromat)

Salt to Taste

Preparation:

Wash and boil the meats you’ll be using if you’re using any. Remember to boil, the tougher meats first, then add the softer meats along with the stockfish (Panla). If you’ll be using smoked fish, add this around 2-3 minuts before final doneness to soften it up. Do season them really well as you’ll be using some of the stock later.Asaro yam pottage
 Shred the meats and fish into bite sizes and set aside.image

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Get a fairly big pot, place on a hob on medium heat, add the palm oil. When it’s hot, add 1/2 sliced onions, sauté till fragrant…

Asaro yam pottage

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When it’s fragrant, add the locust beans, sauté for 2 minutes….

If you’re using vegetable oil, skip the locust beans, unless you like the taste of locust beans in vegetable oil…Asaro yam pottage

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


After 2 minutes, add the blended pepper, bouillon cube and salt to taste. Cover and fry for 15 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent burning…image

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


While the stew is frying, transfer the yam into a pot, add enough water to cover it, add just a bit of salt and parboil for 6-8 minutes. Don’t overcook or cook till soft, just till it’s a tad bit tender…Yam pottage (Asaro)
Check on the stew, when it’s fried, you’ll know when the pepper reduces considerably and you can’t taste the sourness of the tomatoes anymore.Add 1-2 cups of stock, combine and leave to cook for a further 2-3 minutes…

Asaro yam pottage

 

Asaro yam pottageNow, add the parboiled yam, along with the shredded meats..Asaro yam pottage

Combine thoroughly, turn the heat down to low, cover and leave to cook for 15 minutes or until the yam softens.Asaro yam pottageWhen the yam  softens, mash half of the yam and cook for 5 minutes…Asaro yam pottage

If you’re not using vegetables, your Asaro – Yam Pottage is ready after 5 minutes. If you’re using vegetable, then continue with the recipe…

After 5 minutes, add the Ugu or whichever vegetable leaves you’re using…Asaro yam pottageSwitch off the heat at this time and let the vegetables simmer in the pottage with the residual heat for 2-3 minutes.

Asaro yam pottage

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And your Asaro – Yam Pottage is ready.

 

Asaro yam pottage (2)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Serve Immediately…..

Asaro yam pottage

yam pottage asaro

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This article was originally published on sisijemimah

 

 

 

 

The iPad is generally one of the most durable and bug-free tablets on the market, but like any computer, it can have problems.  And of all of them, getting stuck at the activation or "Hello" screen is the scariest, especially if you recently performed an upgrade to the newest version of the iOS operating system or reset the iPad to "factory default" settings.  The good news is that we should be able to get your iPad up and running.  Unfortunately, the bad news is that we may need to restore the iPad from the most recent backup.

01
 

Troubleshooting an iPad Frozen During the Set Up, Update or Activation Process

First: Try a Hard Reboot

Many people don't realize that pushing the Sleep/Wake button at the top of the iPad doesn't actually power down the device, which is an important first step in troubleshooting.  If you are at the "Hello" screen or the "Slide to Upgrade" screen, you may have problems doing a normal reboot.  A hard reboot is when you tell the iPad to shut down immediately without any confirmation.

  • First, press down the Sleep/Wake button and continue holding the button down.  
  • If a query to "Slide to Power Off" pops up on the screen, release the Sleep/Wake button and follow the buttons.  This is a normal reboot.
  • If you do not see the "Slide to Power Off" after a few seconds, simply continue holding the button down.  After about a half minute, the iPad will power down automatically.  This is a "hard" reboot.  The only difference between a soft reboot and a hard reboot is that you weren't asked to confirm powering down the device.  The hard reboot is a failsafe put in place in instances where the iPad may not be able to ask you to confirm, such as freezing during the activation period or during an update.
  • After the iPad powers down, wait about ten seconds and then hold down the Wake.Suspend button and the iPad will power back on.  You can lift your finger when the Apple logo appears on the screen.  

Hopefully, simply rebooting the device will cure the problem.  If you still have problems, you can try repeating these steps, but instead of immediately powering the iPad back on, you can plug it into a wall or a computer for an hour to let it charge.  This will eliminate any problems caused by the iPad being low on power.

Next: Try Resetting the Device Through iTunes

 
02
 

Resetting the Device Through iTunes

restore itunes 56e9b5983df78cb4b97b9522

While I wouldn't call rebooting the iPad a long shot, a problem with the iPad not getting past the "Hello" or set up screen often requires resetting the device to its "factory default" setting.  Unfortunately, this is where the biggest problem can occur.   You can only restore your iPad through iTunes if you have Find My iPad turned off, and you can't turn off Find My iPad if you cannot get into your iPad.  Not sure if you have it turned on?  You will be notified in iTunes when attempting to restore the iPad.  

If you have Find My iPad turned on:  You can attempt to restore the device remotely through icloud.com.  Follow these directions to reset the iPad through iCloud.  

If you have Find My iPad turned off:  Follow these directions to restore the device via iTunes.

  • First, make sure your computer is turned on and iTunes is open.  If you don't have the latest version of iTunes, you should download it first.  
  • Plug your iPad into your computer using the Lightning connector that came with the iPad.
  • Normally, iTunes will recognize your iPad.  If you've never plugged it in, you might be asked to confirm that you want to "trust" this computer.  Once you've trusted the computer, you can click on the iPad button on the top-left side of the screen next to the Music, Video and Computer buttons.  This will take you to a screen with a "Restore iPad" options. However, because the iPad is frozen at the activation screen, the computer doesn't always recognize it, so...
  • Press down on both the Sleep/Wake button at the top of the iPad and the Home button just below the iPad's display if the computer doesn't recognize your iPad.  After holding down both of these buttons for a few seconds, iTunes should prompt you to restore your device. 

After you have restored the iPad, you can set it up normally just as you did when you first received the iPad.  If you have a backup stored on iCloud, you will be asked if you want to restore from an iCloud backup during the process. 

Last: Try Putting the iPad Into Recovery Mode

If you are still having problems with your iPad, you may need to try putting the iPad into recovery mode.  This is a mode that skips certain protections and doesn't offer you the opportunity to backup the iPad first, but it can help you get back to the "factory default" mode. 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: lifewire.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tuesday, 19 December 2017 13:23

HIV and AIDS

Many people (not just kids, but adults, too) don't understand how HIV and AIDS are related, even though they hear these two words used together all the time.

HIV stands for humanimmunodeficiency (say: im-yuh-noh-di-fish-un-see) virus. AIDS stands for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. HIV is actually the virus that causes the disease AIDS.

HIV Hurts the Immune System

People who are HIV positive have been tested and found to have signs of the human immunodeficiency virus in their blood. HIV destroys part of the immune (say: ih-myoon) system. Specifically, it affects a type of white blood cell called the T lymphocyte (say: lim-foh-site), or T cell. T cells are one type of "fighter" cell in the blood that help the body fight off all kinds of germs and diseases.

After HIV enters the body, it piggybacks onto a T cell and works its way inside of that cell. Once inside, the virus completely takes over the T cell and uses it as a virus-making factory to make a lot of copies of itself. The newly made viruses then leave the T cell and go on to infect and destroy other healthy T cells as they continue to multiply inside the body. T cells invaded by the virus can no longer fight infections properly.

Someone who is infected with the virus is called HIV positive. But it may take years for the virus to damage enough T cells for that person to get sick and develop AIDS. Although the HIV-positive person may feel fine, the virus is silently reproducing itself and destroying T cells.

However, thanks to new medications, someone infected with HIV can stay relatively healthy and symptom-free for many years. These medications are very expensive and not available to everyone in the world.

When the person's immune system has weakened and more of the blood's T cells have been destroyed by the virus, the person can no longer fight off infections. This is when he or she gets very sick. A doctor diagnoses someone with AIDS when the person has a very low number of T cells or shows signs of a serious infection.

How Many People Have HIV/AIDS?

Since the discovery of the virus in 1983, millions of people throughout the world have been infected with HIV. Most are adults, but some kids and teens have HIV, too. In the world today, AIDS remains an epidemic (say: eh-puh-deh-mik), which means that it affects a large number of people and continues to spread rapidly.

Right now, about 37 million people in the world are living with HIV infection or AIDS. About 3 million of those infected are children. In the United States alone, more than 1 million people are living with HIV.

How Is HIV Spread?

HIV infection isn't like a cold or the flu. A kid cannot get HIV by riding a school bus with or visiting the home of someone who has HIV, or by holding that person's hand. HIV is passed only through direct contact with another person's body fluids, such as blood.

The majority of people in North America get infected with HIV by:

  • sexual contact
  • sharing needles or syringes (used to inject drugs or other things) with another person

Other ways of getting HIV:

  • An infected pregnant woman passes it to her unborn child (this can be prevented by treating the mother and child around the time the baby is delivered).
  • A person has a blood transfusion (say: trans-fyoo-zhun). But in North America today, all donated blood is tested for HIV, so the risk of getting HIV that way is less than 1 in a million.
  • What Are the Symptoms of HIV/AIDS?

    It's important to know that you can't tell that someone has HIV just by what he or she looks like. Most people don't feel any different after they are infected with HIV. In fact, infected people often do not experience symptoms for years. Some develop flu-like symptoms a few days to a few weeks after being infected, but these symptoms usually go away after several days.

    If untreated, an HIV-positive person will eventually begin to feel sick. The person might begin to have swollen lymph nodes, weight loss, fevers that come and go, infections in the mouth, diarrhea, or he or she might feel tired for no reason all of the time. Eventually, the virus can infect all of the body's organs, including the brain, making it hard for the person to think and remember things.

    When a person's T cell count gets very low, the immune system is so weak that many different diseases and infections by other germs can develop. These can be life threatening. For example, people with AIDS often develop pneumonia (say: nu-mo-nyah), which causes bad coughing and breathing problems. Other infections can affect the eyes, the organs of the digestive system, the kidneys, the lungs, and the brain. Some people develop rare kinds of cancers of the skin or immune system.

    Most of the children who have HIV got it because their mothers were infected and passed the virus to them before they were born. Babies born with HIV infection may not show any symptoms at first, but if they are not treated, the progression of AIDS is often faster in babies than in adults. Doctors need to watch them closely. Kids who have HIV or AIDS may learn more slowly than healthy kids and tend to start walking and talking later.

    How Are HIV/AIDS Diagnosed?

    Someone can be infected with HIV without even knowing it. So doctors recommend testing for anyone who might have been exposed to the virus, even if the chance seems very small. Doctors test a person's blood or saliva to find out if he or she is infected with HIV.

    People who are HIV positive need to have additional blood tests every so often. The doctor will want to see how many T cells the person has. The lower the T cell count, the weaker the immune system and the greater the risk that the person will get very sick.

  • How Are HIV/AIDS Treated?

    Right now there is no cure for HIV or AIDS, but new medicines can help people live long and healthy lives like people with other chronic diseases (such as diabetes).

    Scientists are also researching vaccines that one day might help to prevent HIV infection, but it's a very tough assignment and no one knows when these vaccines might become available.

    Can HIV/AIDS Be Prevented?

    People can help stop the spread of HIV by not touching another person's body fluids, using latex condoms during sex, and not sharing needles or syringes.

    Health care workers (such as doctors, nurses, and dentists) help prevent the spread of HIV by not touching their patient's body fluids. They take special steps that include wearing gloves, protective clothing, and even goggles for their eyes.

    Hospitals have strict procedures for handling samples of blood and other body fluids to prevent others from coming in contact with HIV.

    Living With HIV/AIDS

    New drugs make it possible for people who are HIV positive to live for years without getting AIDS. They can work or go to school, make friends, hang out, and do all of the things other people can do. They will have to take certain medicines every day and see their doctors pretty often, and they may get sick more than other people do because their immune systems are more fragile.

    Even though they may look OK, people who are HIV positive may sometimes feel scared, angry, unhappy, or depressed. They may feel afraid that the people at work or school, or their friends or family could find out and start treating them differently. If you know someone who is HIV positive, treat him or her just like any other friend.

    Hope for an HIV-Free Future

    Maybe one day, with time and research, a cure for HIV infection will be found and AIDS will no longer exist. Until then, the smartest thing to do is to know the facts and avoid putting yourself at risk.

    If you have more questions about HIV or AIDS, talk to an adult you trust — a parent, doctor, school nurse, or guidance counselor. Don't depend only on your friends for information about HIV and AIDS because they may not know all the right answers.

Source: Kids Health

Tuesday, 19 December 2017 12:56

9 Habits of Highly Productive Leaders

There are many definitions of leadership, many quotes from highly revered people that sum up the essence of leadership. Perhaps the most well know is Gandhi’s

“Be the change you want to see in the world.”

 

 

1. Have a clear Vision

Having a crystal clear vision of what you want to achieve which is communicated clearly to all involved will ensure the commitment and motivation are present to achieve the goal.

2. Have a Workflow System

A workflow system will allow you to work effectively and creatively by freeing up time to do the work the matters. Understanding the most effective flow of work will ensure that work is not duplicated or distractions don’t interfere with the work that matters.

 

3. Take Responsibility

Take responsibility for all of your actions and behaviours. Eliminate any victim behavior, Remember that you are the master of your fate.

4. Work Your Body

All of the worlds high achievers work out regularly, Obama, Bush, Branson, all know the benefits of regular exercise for stamina, for performance and for productivity. It is one of the best habits you can adopt to become more productive. The extra energy that you gain from working out along with the de-stressing effect will enhance your productivity and performance more than any other habit.

5 Relax Your Body

Along with exercise the body needs rest, relaxation and plenty of sleep to perform at its best. Meditation and Yoga can also help to relax and de-stress the body.

6. Value your Time

Delegate, outsource and share your work.

“Only do what only you can do.”

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Your time is too precious to waste so only use it to do the work that no one else can do for you.

 

7. Become a good Listener

If you lead other people it is essential to listen well but you will also find that if you listen well it can make you more productive by eliminating duplication of work or misunderstandings that can lead to unessential work being completed.

 

8. Be the best you can be

Always do your best and you will have no regrets. Success doesn’t come to those who sit and wait, it is necessary to work towards your vision. Engage with your vision, keep taking action.

“Nothing will work unless you do.”

Maya Angelou

9. Make time for Thinking

In order to excel at what you do, You must make time for thinking. Creative thinking and strategic thinking. This is one of the biggest mistakes people in business make. They are too busy with day to day tasks that they forget to plan, to innovate, to dream. And without these factors there will never be growth or involvement, simply stagnation.

So step up and take the lead and start to make your life make a difference.

 

 

 

This article was originally published on Lifehack

 

 

 

1. Get More Tryptophan

Firstly, you need to know about tryptophan. It’s an amino acid that’s vital in the production of serotonin, so if you increase your dietary intake then you put yourself on the fast track to happier days.

Some of the best foods to eat include lean meats, eggs and dairy foods, but don’t fret if you’re on a vegan diet! Nuts and seeds are also packed with tryptophan, so make them a staple snack.

2. Book A Massage

You might already have a sense that a massage can influence your mood, but you probably don’t know that this isn’t just the result of working out muscular tension.

Research on how massage changes body chemistry suggests that serotonin levels often peak after a session, most likely because of a 30% reduction in cortisol. When too much of this hormone is circulating around your system, your brain is actually blocked from making the right amount of serotonin.

3. Boost Your B Vitamins

Every vitamin in the B family helps you feel good and plays a role in keeping your body fit but there are two particularly useful ones when it comes to serotonin production—vitamins B12 and B6. There’s even evidence that B vitamin supplementation can help to treat depression in the elderly population. 

Most people benefit from a dose of about 50-100mg per day but check with your doctor (and don’t be afraid to ask for a blood test in case you have an underlying vitamin deficiency).

4. Soak Up The Sunshine

Whenever you’re outside in the sunlight, you kick-start your brain’s serotonin production. This is true even if there’s some cloud cover, so there’s no excuse to stay inside all day in winter!

Do your best to spend at least 20-30 minutes outside every morning or afternoon—this is a great opportunity to go somewhere beautiful, or just reflect while listening to your favorite songs.

5. Add More Magnesium To Your Diet

You may not give much thought to magnesium, but some reports estimate that as many as 75% of the American population could be deficient in this mineral. It’s not only capable of influencing serotonin balance, but also helps to control blood pressure and regulate nerve function.

In supplement form, it has been shown to help some patients recover from even major depressive episodes. To add more to your diet, look to foods like dark leafy greens, fish, bananas and beans.

6. Find Ways To Be More Positive

Increasing the brain’s serotonin levels isn’t just about external things like diet and environment—psychological studies show you can also influence neurotransmitter production by working to change your attitude to life. Figure out what makes you feel good about yourself and the world around you, and do more of that! 

Good examples include socializing with people you love, allocating an hour a day to an inspiring hobby, deliberately visualizing a happy event, and keeping a gratitude journal.

7. Reduce Sugar Intake

Interestingly, one of the major symptoms of low serotonin is a craving for sugary foods—this is because insulin is needed to manufacture some of the components of serotonin. Unfortunately, this increased sugar consumption backfires, as it typically leads to a mood crash (counteracting the benefits of the helpful neurotransmitters you’ve just produced). Protect yourself from illnesses like diabetes and heart disease, and focus your efforts on healthier ways of increasing serotonin.

8. Meditate

Yes, we know, meditation comes up in every list that relates to well-being! However, there are good, evidence-based reasons for this—meditating really can help just about every area of your life. Serotonin levels increase in response to any form of meditation that raises 5-HIAA, an acid that the brain needs when making serotonin.

As a bonus, meditation combats the influence of stress hormones, which not only makes you feel happier but also reduces unnecessary inflammation in the body.

9. Exercise More Often

You’ll already be getting a bit more exercise if you follow the above advice about sun exposure, but take a critical look at the rest of your week and see if you can make time for extra workouts. Anything that gets your heart pumping can elevate your serotonin levels, and the associated endorphins make you feel fantastic as well. Think outside the box to find types of exercise that you actually find fun—for example, swap the treadmill for jogging through the park, attending a dance class or learning water aerobics. 

10. Get More Vitamin C

While vitamin C doesn’t seem to be as crucial to serotonin as B vitamins, there is some emerging research showing an increasingly strong connection with mood. For example, some studies indicate vitamin C has natural antidepressant properties, and one group of scientists even found that people who increased vitamin C felt happier within just a week. This may not only be to do with serotonin but also vitamin C’s role in producing other neurotransmitters like dopamine and epinephrine—both of which make us feel good. Oranges, bell peppers and tomatoes and leafy greens are all excellent choices if you want to get more vitamin C.

11. Practice Self-Care to Reduce Stress

Finally, you’ve probably noticed that ways of regulating cortisol have come up a few times because cortisol blocks serotonin from being made in the first place. This means that essentially, anything you can do to reduce stress levels can have a positive knock-on effect on the amount of serotonin in your brain.

Source: Lifehack

How do you feel about socks? Depending on how you view them, they can either be a necessity – in which case black, blue or grey will do – or they are a window to the way you can show off your individuality, personality and non-conformed attitudes. Sounds too dramatic and crazy? Well, a new study has found the whacky and crazy socks you choose to wear not only say a lot about you, but also say a lot about how people see you. Here’s how.

The Unassuming Chance To Show Huge Potential

Conformity is something many of us live our lives by. Our need to be part of the pack and not be ostracised runs deep and this shows in the way we speak, act and dress.

When someone doesn’t conform to the norms of society, they can be seen as strange, weird and a bit crazy such is our need to dismiss the unfamiliar. However, socks are a whole different ball game. Socks are there lurking at the bottom of our trousers, unassuming and almost secretive. They aren’t the most obvious item of clothing but they have huge potential to show off a flash of individuality to anyone who happens to notice.

What Your Crazy Socks Say About You

Despite our conforming attitudes, a study published in the Journal of Consumer Research investigated the theory that people who are nonconformists can potentially be viewed as being more high status and more competent than those who conform to social norms. 

So what does this say about your choice of wearing bright neon, rainbow-striped, or leopard-print socks? Well, it found people who have shown to deliberately choose to wear whacky socks, are seen as having increased status and competency in the eyes of others. In other words, people have the potential to see you as more brilliant, creative and successful.

“We proposed that, under certain conditions, nonconforming behaviours can be more beneficial to someone than simply trying to fit in. In other words, when it looks deliberate, a person can appear to have a higher status and sense of competency,” stated authors of the study, Silvia Bellezza, Francesca Gino and Anat Keinan from Harvard University.

Think of the corporate business man all dressed up in a smart, expensive suit only for his clients to catch a flash of his bright pink socks. It doesn’t exactly conform but the boldness of the choice shows him to be deliberately rebellious and proud.

The Perception of Crazy Socks

If you bust out the whacky patterns and crazy colours then there may be something else going on – embodied cognition. This is an interesting concept about how our clothing choices affect our cognitive processes.

Dr. Adam Galinsky, a social psychologist from the Northwestern University, conducted a study3 that showed what we wear affects the way we think, feel and act.

And this includes our socks. When we don our silly and crazy socks we are, in part, showing off our uniqueness and our confidence. It’s this that helps us get into the mindset of feeling good about ourselves, having the confidence to wear whatever we want and embrace it. It’s this perception that helps us to subtly achieve more success without lack of bravery or confidence. 

This is also reflected in a carefree attitude to societal trends and what people generally think of us. The plain black socks allows us to hide ourselves into the background of social norms whereas a nicely coloured pair of socks is, in essence, giving two fingers up to the conforming attitudes of many of those around us.

 

Source: Lifehack

 

 

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