It's 3 a.m. and you're wide awake—your mind is running wild with worries, workplace stress, and panic about the day that lies ahead. How can you possibly slip back into sleep and snag a few more hours of rest when you're so anxious?
My morning just doesn't start without a cup of coffee and an incredibly hot shower. There's nothing better than sloughing off sleep with a dose of warm, cleansing water. Except, as scientists are pointing out, our habit of showering daily isn't exactly the healthiest choice. Though it feels great, if you have a shower-a-day habit like I do, you're showering all wrong.
Each morning, we spend a significant portion of our time staring into the mirror. From choosing clothes and accessories to perfecting our hair, we try to make ourselves attractive. Yet catching others' attention doesn't have to rely on preening and primping. There's some truth to the maxim of beauty in confidence—all you need to make yourself more attractive is spray on your favorite scent.
I have an embarrassing habit: I type with six fingers. Just as your grandma pecks at the keyboard with her two index fingers, I rely solely on my index, middle, and thumb fingers only. But it's not as slow as you think, and I'm not the only one out there that does it.
The start of a new year is generally thought of as a chance to start over, a time to improve or "fix" things in your life. Yet most people who set stringent New Year's resolutions find themselves failing within weeks—or even days—of setting their lofty goals.
When you're expecting an important call or text, it's pretty annoying to hear or feel your phone go off just to find out it was your reminders app telling you that you need to buy more contact lenses. Not quite as annoying as phantom phone vibrations, but it's up there.
We all carry a bit of anxiety around with us. Is our boss still annoyed because we could barely stay awake in yesterday's pre-dawn meeting? Will our friend hate us forever because we forgot to call them back two weeks ago? Whatever worries pop up in your mind, whether they're monumental or insignificant, it can be hard to quiet those nagging voices, but you can shut down your nonstop mind with a bit of relaxation, distraction, and action.
Admit it: you've been caught muttering to yourself under your breath in very public places. Maybe you've gotten stares while wandering the grocery store talking to yourself out loud. If you're like me, you might even talk yourself through various tasks, giving the atmosphere a little background noise.
We've all been there: facing a lengthy, complex word that ignores the phonics we were taught in elementary school, unsure of not only its pronunciation, but also its meaning. These words, from autochthonous to esquamulose, are both terrifying and impressive. After all, if someone knows how to use them—and even say them—they must be quite smart. Yet before you begin stuffing every email and presentation with verbose prose, you might want to reconsider what others perceive to be intelligent.
With the countless daytime talk shows starring and featuring doctors, nurses, and other medical specialists, discovering new ways to live a healthy life is just a remote click away. Although their shows might draw you in with incredible facts and mind-blowing secrets to weight loss success, it's important to take each televised recommendation with a bit of suspicion—most of these familiar faces aren't exactly telling the truth.
Are you a follower or a leader? No matter how you respond, we all know that leader is a more desirable position to hold. Great leaders typically share a few qualities—confidence, intelligence, and strength, to name a few—but one of the most intriguing is their appearance. With the right facial structure, and some well-rehearsed expressions, you can trick others into thinking you're leader material.
Phantom phone vibrations. You might feel them in the pocket of your jeans, or when your handbag is on your shoulder—even when you're holding your phone in your hand. When you do, you immediately wake it up to see who texted or what app just had an update—but there are no alerts.
Sitting in a cubicle and never seeing sunlight during the workday is unpleasant to even think about—and sitting in a flourescent-light cube can have terrible effects on both our work performance and overall attitude. Yet there are ways to counteract the effects of cubicle sitting, even if you can't sit in a sunny office or work from home.
There are many hacks for increasing productivity, but so many depend on tricking your own mind or behavior. When it comes to motivation in the workplace, though, sometimes the space within which you work dictates how you behave and the work you produce. So if you want to increase your ability to get more done in a single workday while doing a better job, consider changing your surroundings in the following ways.
Like most people, you probably use hand gestures when you talk, whether you wave your hands excitedly when discussing the latest episode of Game of Thrones or smack the back of your hand as you rattle off points during an argument. As your speech teacher probably told you, gesturing while talking is a great reinforcement tool—when used appropriately, of course.
Did you know that your face shows others how much alcohol you drink? Whether you've never had a sip of booze with those around you or you're known as the party animal of the group, the genes that shape your appearance also show others just how much you enjoy liquor. Pinpointing the big drinker in any setting is easy to determine: you just need to make eye contact.
While you may look ridiculous doing the potty dance and crossing your legs back and forth, holding it in can be worth the discomfort when you've got an important decision to make.
If you've read any health news in the past year or so, you've probably been bombarded with headlines announcing that frequent sitters face certain death, even when you're just relaxing and watching TV at home.
Developing an imperceptible lie is difficult, especially when you're lying right to someone's face. Thanks to smartphones, getting people to trust you is now easier than ever. You can craft a lie in seconds and hit send, all without ever seeing their untrusting faces.
What's your top pet peeve? Open-mouthed chewing? Nail biting and knuckle cracking? The sound of silverware scraping? Or perhaps it's a bigger behavior, like leaving the toilet seat up?
Humans in general are great at keeping things about themselves private, from feelings to personality traits. While smartphones and social networks are making these secrets more open, narcissists have and always will love being out in the open with everyone's attention on them.
Shopping: you either love it or hate it. With a tight budget, shopping can become a huge headache for even the biggest shopaholic. We've all been there, and we've all given in to our impulses and bought something we probably shouldn't have. Yet strolling through the mall doesn't have to require a strong will to keep your credit card from entering a downward spiral. You just need to keep your hands to yourself.
Decisions are rarely easy to make, and there are countless ways to mull your options over. You can sleep on it, pluck flower petals, make a list of pros and cons, or even follow the advice of a psychic. Yet to make the best decision possible, you might want to consider holding off until a certain time of the day—or even until you feel specific emotions. The state you find yourself in has significant impact on each decision you make.
Can you tell when your friends are serving up a bunch of BS, or are you constantly oblivious, unsure if they're spinning a valid story? With so many ways to lie and fake information floating around, it can be impossible to tell what's the truth from what's complete BS. Here's how to sort through what you hear and find the real truth.
If you're like most people, you've stretched before a workout or playing sports. Doing so should help you get your muscles ready to work. While stretching is good for your muscles, you're wasting your time if it's the first thing you do. I talked to Dr. Brian Parr, professor at the Dept. of Exercise and Sports Science at the University of South Carolina Aiken, who explained this misconception and what you can do about it:
It's no secret that exercise is good for you, but you may be surprised to know that a good workout can actually boost your memory, too. They key to giving your body and your brain muscles a good workout is by adding more weight and pushing hard for an extra 20 minutes.
From our work life to our home life, we have an awful lot of projects, tasks, and activities that require more productivity than play. After working for an entire day in the office, no one wants to face even more that needs to be done at home.
The right music can spur you to pick up the pace during an intense workout, pep you up before you hit the treadmill or walking path, and even encourage you to lift for just a few extra reps. Although we all have our favorite workout playlists, scientists have discovered what it is, exactly, that makes you workout harder when certain songs begin.
From laptops to tablets, technology is taking over classrooms. Elementary schools offer kids tablets, and college students are bringing laptops into lecture halls, leaving their notebooks behind. Today, many students prefer putting their fingers to a keyboard rather than pen to paper, but are these helpful devices truly beneficial?
No one wants to appear stupid. Whether you rely on lengthy, complicated vocabulary to show your smarts, or enjoy highlighting your speedy mental math skills, everyone prefers emphasizing intelligence over hiding it.
If you're someone who frequently awakes in the middle of the night trembling in terror, you might want to consider swapping sides. According to research done at Yüzüncü Yil University, those who sleep on their left side experience more nightmares than those who sleep on their right.
Have you ever fallen victim to a clever Jedi mind trick? Don't worry. It happens. There are evolutionary reasons as to why our brains sometimes give into the oldest tricks in the book. Fortunately, the more you understand the tricks of a salesman, the easier it is to avoid their gripping psychological influence. Clue #1: Too Much Specificity
When it's time to get down to work, a clean, organized workstation is key to accomplishing tasks and being more productive. Or, so we thought.
Job interview success can be a difficult thing to measure. Is confidence a job-winning trait? Or were the interviewer's questions not answered as fully as they had hoped? Maybe you weren't sure how your big, happy smile went over with such a formal setting.
Willpower is a pretty significant word. It's the difference between sticking with a clean eating diet and diving face-first into a plate of brownies. It's what drags you out of bed on Monday mornings and into work rather than letting you stay snuggled under the covers asleep. And, most importantly, it's the kick in the butt we all require to both accomplish goals and make changes.
We've all heard the cliches: always look at the glass as half full; a smile can change your entire day; and there's always a silver lining.
Are you someone who always struggles to wake up in the morning, no matter how much you've slept? For most, the thought of getting out of bed any earlier sounds horrific. Yet dragging yourself out of bed and towards the coffee maker a few hours earlier each day can have benefits you've never realized. Here are six reasons that make a compelling case for ending our bad habit of sleeping a little too long.
Admit it: when nothing's at stake other than your boss's disapproval, you don't exactly feel the urge to get working. Finding the motivation to take on a task, whether at work or home, can be a constant struggle. Though working through your laziness might seem like the best course of action, a meaner method can make more of an impact on your productivity.
If you have a hard time remembering what you've just read on your iPad or Kindle, try changing the font next time. The typeface you use to read books, newspapers, and online articles is either hurting or helping your memory, and you'll be surprised which ones are killing your brain cells.
San Francisco writer Jimmy Chen over at HTMLGIANT cleverly composited the beloved filmmaker/artist/furniture designer/transcendental meditation expert David Lynch next to the likes of Cy Twombly, Vincent Van Gogh, John Singer Sargent, Roy Lichtenstein, Claude Monet and Katsushika Hokusai.