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10 Life Hacks That Will Change Your Life (Or Positively Affect It)

Drinks, Gratefulness, Meditation, Psychology
Meditate

You can start with as little as a minute or 10 breaths, then gradually move your way up. Over the years, a great number of studies have shown numerous benefits to meditation: a sense of calmness, better sleep, more self-confidence, less anxiety etc. The best thing about meditation is that all you need is you, no books or retreats or teachers to nourish the most important relationship of your life: the one with your inner self. As Nayyirah Waheed said:

I love myself is the quietest. simplest. most powerful. revolution. ever.

Drink water

Especially first thing when you wake up. After sleep, we’re all dehydrated and that glass of water may seem meaningless, but it really starts the day on the right foot for your body, mind, digestion… You can flavor it with fruits, lemon, mint or whatever strikes your fancy for some extra tastiness. Yes, I’m one of the people that think water has taste and a great one for that matter. Fight me and my superior taste buds.

Skip breakfast

No matter how much of a breakfast-dreader you might be, you knew that couldn’t be a real hack. Breakfast is important- you know it, I know it, the people at Dunkin Donuts know it… Your brain works better, your body responds faster, you’re prone to make healthier food choices, you won’t have any crashes afterward. Win win win. Extra hack: My friend who works ungodly hours for KLM, the Royal Dutch Airlines, makes a batch of pancakes to go through the week, so she has something to look forward to. 10/10 recommended.

Moving

Yes, working out releases endorphins, the happiness hormone, but even just moving around your house/office, or taking a walk outside is enough to trigger a similar response. It’s extremely beneficial to your productivity, mental clarity and mood.

Simple, effective gratefulness method

I’m as wary as the next person when it comes to studies found online, seeing as you’re in the dark about who might have sponsored the research, how scientific the methods used are and whether the actual findings are actually applicable and/or beneficial in real life. However, I’m always on the lookout for claims that certain behaviors will make us lead a happier life. I came across happiness researcher Shawn Achor, who’s worked with Google, large financial companies, conducted studies in Harvard, UPS, etc., aka trustworthy, who shared his findings on 5 non-time-consuming happiness habits.

My favorite was writing down three (different) things you’re grateful for, 21 days in a row. I shared my own three things I’m grateful for a while back. Why it works you’re ~actively~ training your brain to look for positives. You’ll be a ray of sunshine in no time (your friends might get worried at first).

Adjust accordingly
Make a conscious effort to include activities you enjoy in your everyday life. Cliché as it sounds, you do only live once. Rules do not apply if you’re a cat or believe in reincarnation.
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Compliment others
Kind words cost nothing. Kind words cost nothing. Nothing. This “hack” is low cost- little to no effort/time; high reward- you might put a smile on someone’s face, make them feel more confident, make their day…
More purposefully directed attention
Only a small percentage of our time online is spent mindfully and purposefully. See how checking the news/social media frequently makes you feel and whether it adds any real value to your life. This is an important read.
Say yes/no more often

Advice at its finest. Some quotes I’ve come across often lately:

  1. all advice is a form of nostalgia
  2. all advice is autobiographical

Indian food? Spanish literature? Jazz music? You might be missing out because you refuse to give new things a try. On the other hand, you might be finding yourself agreeing to go to that Jazz club you strongly dislike, for the 3rd weekend in a row, just because you can’t say no to your friends. Boundaries are your friend. While stepping outside your comfort zone is crucial for growth, treat your needs and desires and time and self with the respect they deserve.

Look on the bright side
Is there anything remotely positive about your fucked up situation? Any lesson you’ve learned that you’ll cherish forever? Aren’t you proud of at least one thing you did during the stressful situation? Last night The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (5/5) was on tv, and I’ll close with one of my favorite quotes that it reminded me of:
“For what it’s worth… it’s never too late, or in my case too early, to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit. Start whenever you want. You can change or stay the same. There are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you’ve never felt before. I hope you meet people who have a different point of view. I hope you live a life you’re proud of, and if you’re not, I hope you have the courage to start over again.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald

Wine review UFO edition

Drinks

Part of the coolest short story contest by WineTourismSpain

Oh, the joys of being human! It's our last transmission from here, and I sure have something share worthy! As you know, we've been staying in a space called Malaga in Spain on Earth. I've talked about the blue spaces we see from home being oceans. Simply made of salty water, but providing such happiness for humans, especially when it's warm.

Warmth is that feeling I talked about previously, feels like a hug from your loved ones and is provided year-round here. What I've failed to mention is, warmth helps some grape varieties turn into liquid gold. Don't stare at me in disbelief from a whole 'nother universe, but hear me out.

Besides moving their limbs to get to where they need to (walking they call it), moving their bodies for the sake of doing so (exercise they call it), using electronic devices to remember (photos they call it), they use glasses or cups or mugs or bottles or shoes (whatever floats your boat, right) to drink this magical liquid-wine they call it. It's red or white or sometimes even pink.

If you'll only remember one thing about humanity from these transmissions, remember this. How entire generations in this sunny country have dedicated their lives to these grapes that make celestial wine. How people from across the world travel thousands of miles to taste it. Magic that brings people who know, together.

They know the first sip of a fine wine, referring to earlier transmissions here, is like smelling a blooming plant, or how sunscreen on the first day at the beach for this year reminds you of bonfires and crushes and numberless collected shells, listening to a song that seems to have been inside your head, someone that knows your soul and reasons, no questions asked and no explanations needed, those rays of sunshine through the trees...

Wine is the liquid equivalent of love, fellow extraterrestrials. Sharing a sip with someone is consciously choosing to let down your guards, ego, preconceived ideas of how things should be or how others should perceive you and other limitations humans have that I've previously mentioned, by trusting and being your truest most authentic self.

Enough magic for the day? Hope these transmissions have helped even just a bit in knowing people more and I know what you're going to ask. Don't worry, I've already packed plenty.

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How to not get hangovers

Drinks

Are you going to binge watch Mad Men and are considering keeping up with the cast's drinking game? Do you want to go out and drink three bottles of wine and not worry about tomorrow's headache? Feeling tired of your hangovers causing you to 'lose' valuable morning time because you.just.cant? Feeling ready to change that? Good for you.

I've been drinking for a few years now and I can't remember the last time I had a hangover (if I ever). I'm not exactly sure how this happens- I'm just happy it does. What do I do?

I tend to go for one type of drink for the night. My favorite is red wine. However most clubs don't offer wine and some bars have shitty ones- even my favorite bar *sigh*. At said bar I always get Gin&Lemon, Gin being my second drink of choice. I like to take my liquor straight so maybe that helps.

When I was younger sometimes I would skip eating a meal just so I could get drunk easier. Since then my liquor taking skills have improved (heh) and I know that's a silly thing, usually, ends up with me unable to drink as much as I want/eating out so I can drink more/ throwing up. Berhh. Now I do the opposite, try my best to eat something before I go out.

If I'm drinking at home, I prefer munching on something while drinking. Yes, I do enjoy the uninterrupted taste of wine and wine only, but I also quite enjoy food, so quite a win/win either way. Actually, I remember a happy day at home spent just dancing, drinking rosé and eating pasta. I wouldn't have been able to enjoy all the amount of rosé that I enjoyed if it wasn't for that pasta (Thank you pasta).

I don't think I sip on water when I'm drinking alcohol, but I drink a lot of it throughout the day and I make sure I drink some more before going to bed. This is a given for me because I love love water. Cuz I'm cool just like that.

Also, it might help enjoying your drinks during extended periods of time. Obviously, having the same amount to drink in one hour isn't the same as having an entire lovely afternoon off to have the same amount. Plus, I just find more enjoyable. Yeah yeah I know a lot of people don't have time for that, however, lots of other people find/make time for that. You're gonna have to pay attention to the hangover the other day anyway, so pick wisely. More time to drink or more time to "lose" the other day being grumpy and angry and whatnot?

Moving might be a part of the cure as well. A lot of times I walk home, preferably not alone, or I go dancing somewhere. Movement kinda pushes the alcohol out of your body and makes you set for the next day.

I may have missed the most important thing, which might've not crossed my mind as a contributing factor. Hope I haven't though and that no one has a hangover ever again.