Archive | December 2013

10 Simple Things You Can Do Today That Will Make You Happier Science Proves

10 Simple Things You Can Do Today That Will Make You Happier Science Proves

***Reposters Note*** Thank You to riseearth.com and bufferapp.com for the information in this post. Happiness is something most of us would choose more of in our lives. Here are some ways to make that choice more of a reality in your life experience. Enjoy.***

Happiness is so interesting, because we all have different ideas about what it is and how to get it.

I would love to be happier, as I’m sure most people would, so I thought it would be interesting to find some ways to become a happier person that are actually backed up by science. Here are ten of the best ones I found.

1. Exercise more – 7 minutes might be enough

You might have seen some talk recently about the scientific 7 minute workout mentioned in The New York Times. So if you thought exercise was something you didn’t have time for, maybe you can fit it in after all.

happiness Exercise has such a profound effect on our happiness and well-being that it’s actually been proven to be an effective strategy for overcoming depression. In a study cited in Shawn Achor’s book, The Happiness Advantage, three groups of patients treated their depression with either medication, exercise, or a combination of the two. The results of this study really surprised me. Although all three groups experienced similar improvements in their happiness levels to begin with, the follow up assessments proved to be radically different:

The groups were then tested six months later to assess their relapse rate. Of those who had taken the medication alone, 38 percent had slipped back into depression. Those in the combination group were doing only slightly better, with a 31 percent relapse rate. The biggest shock, though, came from the exercise group: Their relapse rate was only 9 percent!

You don’t have to be depressed to gain benefit from exercise, though. It can help you to relax, increase your brain power and even improve your body image, even if you don’t lose any weight.

A study in the Journal of Health Psychology found that people who exercised felt better about their bodies, even when they saw no physical changes:

Body weight, shape and body image were assessed in 16 males and 18 females before and after both 6 × 40 mins exercise and 6 × 40 mins reading. Over both conditions, body weight and shape did not change. Various aspects of body image, however, improved after exercise compared to before.

We’ve explored exercise in depth before, and looked at what it does to our brains, such as releasing proteins and endorphins that make us feel happier, as you can see in the image below.

brain

2. Sleep more – you’ll be less sensitive to negative emotions

We know that sleep helps our bodies to recover from the day and repair themselves, and that it helps us focus and be more productive. It turns out, it’s also important for our happiness.

In NutureShock, Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman explain how sleep affects our positivity:

Negative stimuli get processed by the amygdala; positive or neutral memories gets processed by the hippocampus. Sleep deprivation hits the hippocampus harder than the amygdala. The result is that sleep-deprived people fail to recall pleasant memories, yet recall gloomy memories just fine.

In one experiment by Walker, sleep-deprived college students tried to memorize a list of words. They could remember 81% of the words with a negative connotation, like “cancer.” But they could remember only 31% of the words with a positive or neutral connotation, like “sunshine” or “basket.”

The BPS Research Digest explores another study that proves sleep affects our sensitivity to negative emotions. Using a facial recognition task over the course of a day, the researchers studied how sensitive participants were to positive and negative emotions. Those who worked through the afternoon without taking a nap became more sensitive late in the day to negative emotions like fear and anger.

Using a face recognition task, here we demonstrate an amplified reactivity to anger and fear emotions across the day, without sleep. However, an intervening nap blocked and even reversed this negative emotional reactivity to anger and fear while conversely enhancing ratings of positive (happy) expressions.

Of course, how well (and how long) you sleep will probably affect how you feel when you wake up, which can make a difference to your whole day. Especially this graph showing how your brain activity decreases is a great insight about how important enough sleep is for productivity and happiness:

sleep

Another study tested how employees’ moods when they started work in the morning affected their work day.

Researchers found that employees’ moods when they clocked in tended to affect how they felt the rest of the day. Early mood was linked to their perceptions of customers and to how they reacted to customers’ moods.

And most importantly to managers, employee mood had a clear impact on performance, including both how much work employees did and how well they did it.

Sleep is another topic we’ve looked into before, exploring how much sleep we really need to be productive.

3. Move closer to work – a short commute is worth more than a big house

Our commute to the office can have a surprisingly powerful impact on our happiness. The fact that we tend to do this twice a day, five days a week, makes it unsurprising that its effect would build up over time and make us less and less happy.

According to The Art of Manliness, having a long commute is something we often fail to realize will affect us so dramatically:

… while many voluntary conditions don’t affect our happiness in the long term because we acclimate to them, people never get accustomed to their daily slog to work because sometimes the traffic is awful and sometimes it’s not. Or as Harvard psychologist Daniel Gilbert put it, “Driving in traffic is a different kind of hell every day.”

We tend to try to compensate for this by having a bigger house or a better job, but these compensations just don’t work:

Two Swiss economists who studied the effect of commuting on happiness found that such factors could not make up for the misery created by a long commute.

4. Spend time with friends and family – don’t regret it on your deathbed

Staying in touch with friends and family is one of the top five regrets of the dying. If you want more evidence that it’s beneficial for you, I’ve found some research that proves it can make you happier right now.

Social time is highly valuable when it comes to improving our happiness, even for introverts. Several studies have found that time spent with friends and family makes a big difference to how happy we feel, generally.

I love the way Harvard happiness expert Daniel Gilbert explains it:

We are happy when we have family, we are happy when we have friends and almost all the other things we think make us happy are actually just ways of getting more family and friends.

George Vaillant is the director of a 72-year study of the lives of 268 men.

In an interview in the March 2008 newsletter to the Grant Study subjects, Vaillant was asked, “What have you learned from the Grant Study men?” Vaillant’s response: “That the only thing that really matters in life are your relationships to other people.”

He shared insights of the study with Joshua Wolf Shenk at The Atlantic on how the men’s social connections made a difference to their overall happiness:

The men’s relationships at age 47, he found, predicted late-life adjustment better than any other variable, except defenses. Good sibling relationships seem especially powerful: 93 percent of the men who were thriving at age 65 had been close to a brother or sister when younger.

In fact, a study published in the Journal of Socio-Economics states than your relationships are worth more than $100,000:

Using the British Household Panel Survey, I find that an increase in the level of social involvements is worth up to an extra £85,000 a year in terms of life satisfaction. Actual changes in income, on the other hand, buy very little happiness.

I think that last line is especially fascinating: Actual changes in income, on the other hand, buy very little happiness. So we could increase our annual income by hundreds of thousands of dollars and still not be as happy as if we increased the strength of our social relationships.

The Terman study, which is covered in The Longevity Project, found that relationships and how we help others were important factors in living long, happy lives:

We figured that if a Terman participant sincerely felt that he or she had friends and relatives to count on when having a hard time then that person would be healthier. Those who felt very loved and cared for, we predicted, would live the longest.

Surprise: our prediction was wrong… Beyond social network size, the clearest benefit of social relationships came from helping others. Those who helped their friends and neighbors, advising and caring for others, tended to live to old age.

5. Go outside – happiness is maximized at 13.9°C

In The Happiness Advantage, Shawn Achor recommends spending time in the fresh air to improve your happiness:

Making time to go outside on a nice day also delivers a huge advantage; one study found that spending 20 minutes outside in good weather not only boosted positive mood, but broadened thinking and improved working memory…

This is pretty good news for those of us who are worried about fitting new habits into our already-busy schedules. Twenty minutes is a short enough time to spend outside that you could fit it into your commute or even your lunch break.

A UK study from the University of Sussex also found that being outdoors made people happier:

Being outdoors, near the sea, on a warm, sunny weekend afternoon is the perfect spot for most. In fact, participants were found to be substantially happier outdoors in all natural environments than they were in urban environments.

The American Meteorological Society published research in 2011 that found current temperature has a bigger effect on our happiness than variables like wind speed and humidity, or even the average temperature over the course of a day. It also found that happiness is maximized at 13.9°C, so keep an eye on the weather forecast before heading outside for your 20 minutes of fresh air.

6. Help others – 100 hours a year is the magical number

One of the most counterintuitive pieces of advice I found is that to make yourself feel happier, you should help others. In fact, 100 hours per year (or two hours per week) is the optimal time we should dedicate to helping others in order to enrich our lives.

If we go back to Shawn Achor’s book again, he says this about helping others:

…when researchers interviewed more than 150 people about their recent purchases, they found that money spent on activities—such as concerts and group dinners out—brought far more pleasure than material purchases like shoes, televisions, or expensive watches. Spending money on other people, called “prosocial spending,” also boosts happiness.

The Journal of Happiness Studies published a study that explored this very topic:

Participants recalled a previous purchase made for either themselves or someone else and then reported their happiness. Afterward, participants chose whether to spend a monetary windfall on themselves or someone else. Participants assigned to recall a purchase made for someone else reported feeling significantly happier immediately after this recollection; most importantly, the happier participants felt, the more likely they were to choose to spend a windfall on someone else in the near future.

So spending money on other people makes us happier than buying stuff for ourselves. What about spending our time on other people? A study of volunteering in Germany explored how volunteers were affected when their opportunities to help others were taken away:

Shortly after the fall of the Berlin Wall but before the German reunion, the first wave of data of the GSOEP was collected in East Germany. Volunteering was still widespread. Due to the shock of the reunion, a large portion of the infrastructure of volunteering (e.g. sports clubs associated with firms) collapsed and people randomly lost their opportunities for volunteering. Based on a comparison of the change in subjective well-being of these people and of people from the control group who had no change in their volunteer status, the hypothesis is supported that volunteering is rewarding in terms of higher life satisfaction.

In his book Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-being, University of Pennsylvania professor Martin Seligman explains that helping others can improve our own lives:

…we scientists have found that doing a kindness produces the single most reliable momentary increase in well-being of any exercise we have tested.

7. Practice smiling – it can alleviate pain

Smiling itself can make us feel better, but it’s more effective when we back it up with positive thoughts, according to this study:

A new study led by a Michigan State University business scholar suggests customer-service workers who fake smile throughout the day worsen their mood and withdraw from work, affecting productivity. But workers who smile as a result of cultivating positive thoughts – such as a tropical vacation or a child’s recital – improve their mood and withdraw less.

Of course it’s important to practice “real smiles” where you use your eye sockets. It’s very easy to spot the difference:

pic1

According to PsyBlog, smiling can improve our attention and help us perform better on cognitive tasks:

Smiling makes us feel good which also increases our attentional flexibility and our ability to think holistically. When this idea was tested by Johnson et al. (2010), the results showed that participants who smiled performed better on attentional tasks which required seeing the whole forest rather than just the trees.

A smile is also a good way to alleviate some of the pain we feel in troubling circumstances:

Smiling is one way to reduce the distress caused by an upsetting situation. Psychologists call this the facial feedback hypothesis. Even forcing a smile when we don’t feel like it is enough to lift our mood slightly (this is one example of embodied cognition).

One of our previous posts goes into even more detail about the science of smiling.

8. Plan a trip – but don’t take one

As opposed to actually taking a holiday, it seems that planning a vacation or just a break from work can improve our happiness. A study published in the journal, Applied Research in Quality of Life showed that the highest spike in happiness came during the planning stage of a vacation as employees enjoyed the sense of anticipation:

In the study, the effect of vacation anticipation boosted happiness for eight weeks.

After the vacation, happiness quickly dropped back to baseline levels for most people.

Shawn Achor has some info for us on this point, as well:

One study found that people who just thought about watching their favorite movie actually raised their endorphin levels by 27 percent.

If you can’t take the time for a vacation right now, or even a night out with friends, put something on the calendar—even if it’s a month or a year down the road. Then whenever you need a boost of happiness, remind yourself about it.

9. Meditate – rewire your brain for happiness

Meditation is often touted as an important habit for improving focus, clarity and attention span, as well as helping to keep you calm. It turns out it’s also useful for improving your happiness:

In one study, a research team from Massachusetts General Hospital looked at the brain scans of 16 people before and after they participated in an eight-week course in mindfulness meditation. The study, published in the January issue of Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging, concluded that after completing the course, parts of the participants’ brains associated with compassion and self-awareness grew, and parts associated with stress shrank.

Meditation literally clears your mind and calms you down, it’s been often proven to be the single most effective way to live a happier live. I believe that this graphic explains it the best:

calming-mind-brain-waves

According to Shawn Achor, meditation can actually make you happier long-term:

Studies show that in the minutes right after meditating, we experience feelings of calm and contentment, as well as heightened awareness and empathy. And, research even shows that regular meditation can permanently rewire the brain to raise levels of happiness.

The fact that we can actually alter our brain structure through mediation is most surprising to me and somewhat reassuring that however we feel and think today isn’t permanent.

10. Practice gratitude – increase both happiness and life satisfaction

This is a seemingly simple strategy, but I’ve personally found it to make a huge difference to my outlook. There are lots of ways to practice gratitude, from keeping a journal of things you’re grateful for, sharing three good things that happen each day with a friend or your partner, and going out of your way to show gratitude when others help you.

In an experiment where some participants took note of things they were grateful for each day, their moods were improved just from this simple practice:

The gratitude-outlook groups exhibited heightened well-being across several, though not all, of the outcome measures across the 3 studies, relative to the comparison groups. The effect on positive affect appeared to be the most robust finding. Results suggest that a conscious focus on blessings may have emotional and interpersonal benefits.

The Journal of Happiness studies published a study that used letters of gratitude to test how being grateful can affect our levels of happiness:

Participants included 219 men and women who wrote three letters of gratitude over a 3 week period.

Results indicated that writing letters of gratitude increased participants’ happiness and life satisfaction, while decreasing depressive symptoms.

Quick last fact: Getting older will make yourself happier

As a final point, it’s interesting to note that as we get older, particularly past middle age, we tend to grow happier naturally. There’s still some debate over why this happens, but scientists have got a few ideas:

Researchers, including the authors, have found that older people shown pictures of faces or situations tend to focus on and remember the happier ones more and the negative ones less.

Other studies have discovered that as people age, they seek out situations that will lift their moods — for instance, pruning social circles of friends or acquaintances who might bring them down. Still other work finds that older adults learn to let go of loss and disappointment over unachieved goals, and hew their goals toward greater wellbeing.

So if you thought being old would make you miserable, rest assured that it’s likely you’ll develop a more positive outlook than you probably have now.

Photo credit: Spencer Finnley

Source: bufferapp.com

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The Amazing Health Benefits Of Raw Lemon Juice

The Amazing Health Benefits Of Raw Lemon Juice

The origins of the lemon are unclear, but it is commonly thought that they originated in India, China and Burma and then entered Europe via Italy in the 1st Century AD.

But the one thing that we can all agree on, is the natural health benefits of this little yellow superstar.

Health Benefits of Raw Lemon JuiceRaw lemon juice is well known for it’s antioxidants and anti-cancer properties and has been used for centuries in order to cure many ailments. Being rich in Vitamin C, it is also essential for maintaining a fully functional immune system, aiding digestion, fighting cancer, helping wounds to heal faster and can even help to prevent heart failure.
In the 18th Century, The Royal Navy used lemons to fight scurvy (Vitamin C deficiency) and the roman Emperor Nero was reputed to have consumed copious amounts in order to prevent being poisoned by one of his many enemies.

But lemons are not only used for their medicinal qualities and health benefits. Lemon juice is also used in the home in order to disinfect surfaces, remove stains, clean cookers and remove old wax. It can also be used as an insecticide to deter mosquitoes, flies and other insects.

It’s hard to imagine any natural product that contains so many beneficial usages than the humble little lemon. You could say that it’s the Swiss Army Knife of the fruit world!

Let’s take a look at a few more of the incredible benefits of fresh lemon juice.

pH Alkaline State – It is vital to maintain a slightly positive alkaline state in order to fight off Cancer and other illnesses. Although acidic to taste, lemons are one of the most alkaline of foods and help to push our bodies to the required pH alkaline state of around 7.4. See this page for a large list ofalkaline forming foods. Please also see the following page for another very good list of alkaline foods. http://rense.com/1.mpicons/acidalka.htm

Blood Purifier – Lemons are a blood purifier and help the body to remove toxins.

Blood Sugar Balance – The acidity of raw lemon juice lowers the impact of any meal on your blood sugar.

Detoxification – Raw lemon juice cleanses the kidneys and the digestive system. It helps the body in the removal of toxins and provides you with a great overall detox.

Weight Loss – The pectin in lemon peel is a great source of fiber that is thought to help overweight people lose weight.

Osteoporosis – Lemon juice is rich in Vitamin C and helps the body to absorb calcium and fight osteoporosis. Two tablespoons of raw lemon juice diluted in a glass of warm water is good for pregnant women, as it helps build the bones in the unborn child.

Insomnia – in case of insomnia, raw lemon juice helps to improve sleep.

Brain and Nerve Food – The potassium found in raw lemon juice helps the brain and nerve cells, improves concentration, memory and calms the mind.

Immune System – Raw lemon juice strengthens the immune system which in turn helps fight many illnesses including cancer.

Infection – When sickness has developed raw lemon juice is an excellent fighter of infection, as it is rich in citric acid.

Cough and Cold – Lemon added to a little hot water with some honey is one of the most effective remedies known for a cough and cold.

Asthma – Having half-teaspoonful of fresh lemon juice, washing it down with luke-warm water before each meal provides quick relief to Asthma. Repeating it as the last dose of the day and starting the day with it also gives very positive results.

Corns – Apply lemon juice a few times a day and see the miraculous results. Bind the corn and leave it overnight and get rid of the trouble soon.

Nausea, Vomiting and Travel Sickness – Take a glass of lemon juice diluted with some water to help with travel sickness and nausea.

Rheumatic and Bone-Related Diseases – A few glasses of diluted lemon juice is the surest remedy for rheumatic fever, painful joints, lumbago and sciatica.

Acne, Spots and Pimples – Applying raw lemon juice to the face is a popular remedy for acne and pimples.

Hair – The external use of raw lemon juice makes hair shinier and stronger.

Low Vitality – People suffering from low vitality should have lemon and honey mixed water for an immediate cure.

Radiation – As lemon juice is excellent at cleansing the blood and removing toxins, it is a great way of removing radiation from the body. If you have had Chemotherapy, regular lemon juice drinks can help to rid the body of any remaining radiation.

LEMON DRINK RECIPE

Day 1 – the juice of 1 lemon
Day 2 – the juice of 1.5 lemons
Day 3 – the juice of 2 lemons
Day 4 – the juice of 2.5 lemons

Keep increasing by ½ every day until you reach 5 lemons (this will really help push the body to a pH Alkaline state which is very important in overcoming an illness)

Image courtesy of yellow.cat on Flickr

Then start to go down by the juice of ½ lemon until you reach zero.

5 lemons would be a reasonable goal for smaller people, children, etc. You can go as high as 10 or even 30 lemons for adults.

You can add Stevia and of course water; adjust to your own taste. No maple syrup or any other sweetener if you have cancer. Cancer patients should not take more than 2 teaspoons of honey per day, so easy on that as well.

You do not have to drink the lemon juice all at once. You can make it and keep some in the refrigerator and drink it throughout the day. It is excellent to combat nausea. Add a little warm or room temperature water to the juice as one should never drink cold drinks.

After consuming the lemon juice, take some pure water, rinse the mouth and swallow so that you do not have lemon juice on your teeth, which in high amounts could be hard on the enamel over a period of time.

Once you reach the 5 or 10 to 15 or 30 lemons in one day start to go back down slowly decreasing one lemon daily, or one-half lemon daily.

You can also use the lemon rind when baking as it contains Limonene which is also very beneficial. Make sure that you are using organic lemons as the peel of non-organic lemon will possibly contain harmful pesticides.

Do you use lemons in your daily fight against illnesses, or do you use lemon juice for something not mentioned above? Tell us in the comments.

At the Budwig Center, they use lemons as a part of the very successful natural cancer fighting Budwig Diet. For further information on the health benefits of lemon juice and information on the Budwig Diet, please click on the button below to download a free copy of our 116 page guide.

***REPOSTER’S NOTE A Big Thank You to The Budwig Center for the information in this post.***

A Gift for Your Spirit – Knowing who You are, makes the Impossible, Possible

This time of year is time of reconnection, reflexion and rejoicing.This story helps to remind me that we are here to experience life to it’s fullest. I hope that it adds to your life experience as it has mine.

All About Wellness Solutions

 A huge THANK YOU to Neale Donald Walsh for all of his wonderful books he has shared over the past few years. They have changed me and my experience of life immensely.
 
I hope this little snippet of his work brings light to your day,

The Little Soul & The Sun

– A Children’s Parable by Neale Donald Walsch of Conversations with God

 
 
Once upon no time, there was a little Soul who said to God, “I know who I am.”
And God said, “That’s wonderful! Who are you?”
And the Little Soul shouted, “I’m the Light!”
God smiled a big smile. “That’s right!” God exclaimed. “You are the Light.”
The Little Soul was so happy, for it had figured out what all the souls in the Kingdom were there to figure out.
“Wow,” said the Little Soul, “this is really cool!”

But soon, knowing who it…

View original post 1,988 more words

101 Household Tips for Every Room in your Home

 101 Household Tips for Every Room in your Home
***REPOSTERS NOTE Thank you to Glamumous for compiling this excellent post. Thank You to everyone who shared their tips. Some of these tips are so ingenious and common sense. I have definitely picked up a few ideas that I will use. I hope the same holds true for you.***

101 Household Tips for Every Room in your Home

I love to discover tips which make housework easier! From time-saving tricks to finding new and ingenious uses for old things, the Internet provides a wealth of information and advice.

In this post I’ve collected 101 visual tips from all over the web to help you save time and money in every room of your home.

The simplest way to slice a bunch of cherry tomatoes is to sandwich them between two plastic lids and run a long knife through all of them at once!Via Food52.com
Keep brown sugar soft by storing with a couple of marshmallowsVia Storage and Glee
Far cheaper than having coloured keys specially cut!Via The Chive
Install a regular coat rack low down the wall to store shoes safely of the floorVia Destination Unknown
Repurpose a cereal canister as a trash can for the carVia BHG.com
Deodorize sponges in the microwave. Soak in water spiked with white vinegar or lemon juice and put on fill power for one minute. Use tongs to remove as it will be hot!Via Shine
Use a magnetic strip to store bobby pins on inside of a cupboard.Via Superwoman
…Or store them in an empty Tic-Tac dispenser!Via One Frugal Chick
Clean cat litter trays quickly by lining with a garbage bag.Via DIY Tip of the Day
Use a Post-It note when drilling to catch the dustVia Lifehacker
Organize jewellery on a corkboard for easy viewing when deciding how to accessorize an outfitVia  Dee Gater
Repurpose an old picture frame as a serving trayVia Camp Granma
Boil orange peel and cloves to get rid of unpleasant smells in the kitchen.Via Heart of a Country Home
“File” clothes vertically in drawers so you can see your clothes at a glance.Via Chasing Cheerios
Fill an old box with skewers to make an all-purpose knife blockVia The Daily What
Hang onions in cut-up tights or old stockings to make them last for months!Via BuzzFeed
Create a thrifty watering can by puncturing holes in the top of a used milk bottle.Via A Journey to a Dream
Use a paper plate to prevent splatters when using an electric whisk.Via Cooking Club
Store cupcake and muffin cases in a mason jarVia Table for Two
Remove pet hair from furniture and carpets with a squeegee.Via Bobbenblog Lite
Cover paint trays with aluminium foil to make cleaning up afterwards a breeze.Via OurHumbleAbowed
Place a layer of waxed paper on top of kitchen cupboards to prevent grease and dust from settling. Switch out every few months to keep them clean.Via In This Crazy Life
Flip a toaster on its side to make grill cheeseVia YesEmails
Easily draw out a splinter for easy removal by applying a paste of baking soda and water.Via Wikihow
Create a thrifty organiser for wrapping paper using cup hooks and painted dowel rods. This technique is also ideal for storing rolls of foil, kitchen roll and greaseproof paper on the inside of pantry doors.Via Woman’s Day
Water  straight from the tap becomes cloudy when frozen. To make ice cubes crystal clear, allow a kettle of boiled water to cool slightly and use this to fill your ice cube trays.Via Instructables
Use a large muffin tin to cook stuffed peppers in the oven – it will help keep them upright.Via Better Recipes
Hang a bundle of chalk in the closet to keep everything fresh and dry. The chalk absorbs excess moisture –  a thrifty alternative to an electric dehumidifier!Via Martha Stewart
To prevent potatoes budding, add an apple in the bag.Via My Fridge Food
Add half a teaspoon of baking soda to the water when hard-boiling eggs to make the shells incredibly easy to peel off.Via Delighted Momma
Tie a sprig of eucalyptus to your shower head. The steam will help infuse your bathroom with an invigorating fragrance.Via Apartment Therapy
Use bread tags to label power cords.Via Apartment Therapy
Use non-stick cooking spray in votive holders to prevent wax from sticking to the sides.Via Real Simple
WD40 can be used to remove crayon marks from any surface!Via Real Simple
Use a tension rod and shower hooks to store saucepans inside a cupboard.Via DIY Home Sweet Home
Make a simple laundry bag using an old pillowcase and an embroidery hoop.Via Martha Stewart
Use a lint roller to clean the bottom of your handbagVia Real Simple
To get rid of the musty smell on old towels, wash using 1 cup of white vinegar on a hot cycle, then repeat with 1/2 cup of bicarbonate of sodaVia Pinterest Upload
Use a fork to press garlic when there isn’t a garlic crusher available.Via Real Simple
When hanging a picture frame, put a dab of toothpaste on the frame where you need the nails to be. Then simply press against the wall to leave marks (which can later be wiped) as guides for hammering in.Via Somewhat Simple
Put a dry towel in with a wet load to reduce the drying time (this really works, I’ve been doing it for years!)Via eHow
To tell if eggs are fresh, immerse them in a bowl of water. Fresh eggs will lie on the bottom, while stale eggs will float to the surface.Via Discount Queens
Use hairspray on the end of your sewing thread to help it slide through the eye of your needle.Via Real Simple
Sprinkle salt in the spaces between patio slabs and at the bottom of walls to get rid of pesky weeds(but be careful NOT to get salt near plants you want to keep as salt will kill them!)Via One Good Thing
Re-purpose an old CD spindle to make a pretty small cake/biscuit holder.Via All4Women
Clean patio stones with a solution of 1/2 white vinegar and 1/2 water in  a spray bottle. Leave for 10 minutes and rinse off (soiled areas may require a little scrubbing). Also helps get rid of weeds too!Via Thrift Culture Now
To clean a wooden chopping board, sprinkle on a handful of Kosher salt and rub with half a lemon. Rinse with clean water and dry to ensure it is clean and germ-free.Via Off the Wheaten Path
Use scrap paper to help hang an arrangement of picture frames easily. Cut templates for each frame,marking nail locations on the paper, then tack to the wall until you find the ideal arrangement. Then simply nail through the marks on the paper!Via Centsational Girl
Use ice-cubes to lift out indentations made by furniture on your carpets.Via North Carolina Charm
Prevent soil from escaping through the holes in the base of flowerpots by lining with large muffin cases.Via This Old House
Place a length of masking tape along the edge of a spirit level and mark the location of nail holes for your picture frame. Then simply transfer the level to the wall to ensure you hang your pictures straight.Via The Family Handyman
Use a toothpick to prevent tape ends from sticking back to the rollVia Real Simple
To easily peel potatoes, boil with the skins on them immerse in cold water for 5 seconds. Then twist the potatoes between your hands and the skin will peel right off!Via All That’s Interesting
To decorate a chocolate beautifully, lay a piece of lace over the cake and sprinkle icing sugar over the top.Via Painted by Cakes
Use toilet paper rolls to easily organise power cordsVia Clipper Girl’s Saving Spot
To stop the annoying sound of a dripping tap, tie a piece of string around the faucet which is long enough to reach down to the sink.Via Re-Nest
To sharpen scissors, simply cut through sandpaper.Via U-Create Crafts
A very simple solution to get rid of furniture scratches!Via Obrienkr18 (Uploaded to Pinterest)
Use rubber bands to help open a jar easily: place one around the jar lid and another around the middle of the glass. The rubber provides friction to prevent your hands from slipping.Via Martha Stewart
To prevent your eyes watering while chopping onions, wipe the chopping board with white vinegar (which won’t affect the taste of the onions)Via Pinterest Upload
Use ketchup to remove the tarnish from copper pans. Slather  the pan with ketchup and leave for 30 minutes for the acid to break down the tarnish, then rinse clean and buff with a soft cloth.Via Pinterest Upload
Re-purpose an unwanted Slinky to create a pretty bird feederVia Re-Nest
Store bed sheets inside their pillowcases for easy storage and accessVia Storage and Glee
Place a few drops of essential oil on the cardboard tube of a toilet roll to make your bathroom smell wonderfulVia Ekwetzel
Drop a couple of denture cleaning tablets into the toilet bowl at night to clean off stubborn stains.Via Stockpiling Moms
Use baby powder to easily remove sand from your skinVia I Heart Nap Time
Take a bunch of bananas apart to prevent them from ripening too quicklyImage via Keepon
Store cut lettuce in mason jars and refrigerate to make it last much longerVia Salad in a Jar
Organise scarves by tying around trouser hangers to store in your wardrobe
Via Squidoo
Use cupcake cases to cover drinks glasses in the summer and prevent flies from dropping inVia Modern Day Proverbs Wife
Line salad drawers with newspaper to absorb bad odours in the fridgeVia Babble
Use binder clips to keep stacked bottles in place in the fridgeVia In This Crazy Life
Another way to clean a chopping board is to cover liberally with Kosher salt and leave overnight. Scrape off with a cloth in the morning to find the salt has absorbed all moisture to leave your board clean and dry.Via Joseph the Butler
Use egg boxes to store delicate Christmas tree decorationsVia Gifts that say Wow
Cut the top off a screw-top bottle and use to seal open bags.Via Very Pinteresting
This has to be the simplest way to open those annoying blister packs!Via Babble
Tape a laundry bag to the inside of your tumble dryer door for easy drying of sports shoesVia Good Ideas for You
Use a cut potato to easily remove a broken lightbulbVia Pinterest upload
Use a magazine holder to store rolls in the kitchenVia Recreate Design Company
Use chalk to remove grease stains from clothes. Simply rub white chalk on the affected area and wash as normal – the chalk will absorb the grease and be washed away in the cycle.Via Budget101
They look pretty too – a great tip for parties!Via Daily Pix
Slot the stick of an ice lolly through a cupcake case to prevent drips on little fingers.Via Good Ideas for You
Store laundry dispensers in the drawer of your washing machine so you won’t forget where it isVia Glamumous
Trouser hangers make great frugal cooking book holders!Via Simply Frugal
Use an empty toilet roll to store hair accessories for easy accessVia Good Ideas for You
Place a wooden spoon over a pan to stop the water from boiling overVia The Life of a Not So Ordinary Housewife
Another great use for used drinks cans!Via Buzzfeed
Just don’t press down too hard or you will squash the bread!Via TheChive
Pin document wallets inside your pantry door to store recipes and takeaway leafletsVia MawMawOfTwo
Towel hangers on the inside of a pantry door make great storage for awkward saucepan lids!Via Squidoo
A genius tip to help prevent paint spillage!Via Buzzfeed
Use a rubber band to rescue a stripped screwVia Re Create Design
Store matches in a mason jar and add a disc of sandpaper to the lid on which to strike them.Via The Burlap Bag
A ball of aluminium foil makes a great glassware scrubber!Via Budget 101
Wrap rubber bands around the ends of a coat hanger to prevent dresses from slipping off.Via Re Create Design
Yet another use for drinks can ringpulls! Use to create a hanging loop for picture frames by screwing into the back.Via Babble
For even more storage in the kitchen, cut up a shoe holder to hang inside a cupboard door.Via Mrs Polly Rogers
Lost the back to your favourite earring? Use a pencil eraser instead!Via Good Ideas for You
Use a tension rod to store spray bottles in your undersink cabinetVia Blue Velvet Chair

About this post

Most of these tips were found via Pinterest (which by the way is a great resource for discovering tips to help around the home!). Wherever possible, I’ve attributed the image and tip by means of links to the original site or web-page, but if you think I have made a mistake please let me know the original source and I will correct the link.

101 Household Tips for Every Room in your Home

I love to discover tips which make housework easier! From time-saving tricks to finding new and ingenious uses for old things, the Internet provides a wealth of information and advice.

In this post I’ve collected 101 visual tips from all over the web to help you save time and money in every room of your home.

The simplest way to slice a bunch of cherry tomatoes is to sandwich them between two plastic lids and run a long knife through all of them at once!

Via Food52.com

Keep brown sugar soft by storing with a couple of marshmallows

Via Storage and Glee

Far cheaper than having coloured keys specially cut!

Via The Chive

Install a regular coat rack low down the wall to store shoes safely of the floor

Via Destination Unknown

Repurpose a cereal canister as a trash can for the car

Via BHG.com

Deodorize sponges in the microwave. Soak in water spiked with white vinegar or lemon juice and put on fill power for one minute. Use tongs to remove as it will be hot!

Via Shine

Use a magnetic strip to store bobby pins on inside of a cupboard.

Via Superwoman

…Or store them in an empty Tic-Tac dispenser!

Via One Frugal Chick

Clean cat litter trays quickly by lining with a garbage bag.

Via DIY Tip of the Day

Use a Post-It note when drilling to catch the dust

Via Lifehacker

Organize jewellery on a corkboard for easy viewing when deciding how to accessorize an outfit

Via  Dee Gater

Repurpose an old picture frame as a serving tray

Via Camp Granma

Boil orange peel and cloves to get rid of unpleasant smells in the kitchen.

Via Heart of a Country Home

“File” clothes vertically in drawers so you can see your clothes at a glance.

Via Chasing Cheerios

Fill an old box with skewers to make an all-purpose knife block

Via The Daily What

Hang onions in cut-up tights or old stockings to make them last for months!

Via BuzzFeed

Create a thrifty watering can by puncturing holes in the top of a used milk bottle.

Via A Journey to a Dream

Use a paper plate to prevent splatters when using an electric whisk.

Via Cooking Club

Store cupcake and muffin cases in a mason jar

Via Table for Two

Remove pet hair from furniture and carpets with a squeegee.

Via Bobbenblog Lite

Cover paint trays with aluminium foil to make cleaning up afterwards a breeze.

Via OurHumbleAbowed

Place a layer of waxed paper on top of kitchen cupboards to prevent grease and dust from settling. Switch out every few months to keep them clean.

Via In This Crazy Life

Flip a toaster on its side to make grill cheese

Via YesEmails

Easily draw out a splinter for easy removal by applying a paste of baking soda and water.

Via Wikihow

Create a thrifty organiser for wrapping paper using cup hooks and painted dowel rods. This technique is also ideal for storing rolls of foil, kitchen roll and greaseproof paper on the inside of pantry doors.

Via Woman’s Day

Water  straight from the tap becomes cloudy when frozen. To make ice cubes crystal clear, allow a kettle of boiled water to cool slightly and use this to fill your ice cube trays.

Via Instructables

Use a large muffin tin to cook stuffed peppers in the oven – it will help keep them upright.

Via Better Recipes

Hang a bundle of chalk in the closet to keep everything fresh and dry. The chalk absorbs excess moisture –  a thrifty alternative to an electric dehumidifier!

Via Martha Stewart

To prevent potatoes budding, add an apple in the bag.

Via My Fridge Food

Add half a teaspoon of baking soda to the water when hard-boiling eggs to make the shells incredibly easy to peel off.

Via Delighted Momma

Tie a sprig of eucalyptus to your shower head. The steam will help infuse your bathroom with an invigorating fragrance.

Via Apartment Therapy

Use bread tags to label power cords.

Via Apartment Therapy

Use non-stick cooking spray in votive holders to prevent wax from sticking to the sides.

Via Real Simple

WD40 can be used to remove crayon marks from any surface!

Via Real Simple

Use a tension rod and shower hooks to store saucepans inside a cupboard.

Via DIY Home Sweet Home

Make a simple laundry bag using an old pillowcase and an embroidery hoop.

Via Martha Stewart

Use a lint roller to clean the bottom of your handbag

Via Real Simple

To get rid of the musty smell on old towels, wash using 1 cup of white vinegar on a hot cycle, then repeat with 1/2 cup of bicarbonate of soda

Via Pinterest Upload

Use a fork to press garlic when there isn’t a garlic crusher available.

Via Real Simple

When hanging a picture frame, put a dab of toothpaste on the frame where you need the nails to be. Then simply press against the wall to leave marks (which can later be wiped) as guides for hammering in.

Via Somewhat Simple

Put a dry towel in with a wet load to reduce the drying time (this really works, I’ve been doing it for years!)

Via eHow

To tell if eggs are fresh, immerse them in a bowl of water. Fresh eggs will lie on the bottom, while stale eggs will float to the surface.

Via Discount Queens

Use hairspray on the end of your sewing thread to help it slide through the eye of your needle.

Via Real Simple

Sprinkle salt in the spaces between patio slabs and at the bottom of walls to get rid of pesky weeds(but be careful NOT to get salt near plants you want to keep as salt will kill them!)

Via One Good Thing

Re-purpose an old CD spindle to make a pretty small cake/biscuit holder.

Via All4Women

Clean patio stones with a solution of 1/2 white vinegar and 1/2 water in  a spray bottle. Leave for 10 minutes and rinse off (soiled areas may require a little scrubbing). Also helps get rid of weeds too!

Via Thrift Culture Now

To clean a wooden chopping board, sprinkle on a handful of Kosher salt and rub with half a lemon. Rinse with clean water and dry to ensure it is clean and germ-free.

Via Off the Wheaten Path

Use scrap paper to help hang an arrangement of picture frames easily. Cut templates for each frame,marking nail locations on the paper, then tack to the wall until you find the ideal arrangement. Then simply nail through the marks on the paper!

Via Centsational Girl

Use ice-cubes to lift out indentations made by furniture on your carpets.

Via North Carolina Charm

Prevent soil from escaping through the holes in the base of flowerpots by lining with large muffin cases.

Via This Old House

Place a length of masking tape along the edge of a spirit level and mark the location of nail holes for your picture frame. Then simply transfer the level to the wall to ensure you hang your pictures straight.

Via The Family Handyman

Use a toothpick to prevent tape ends from sticking back to the roll

Via Real Simple

To easily peel potatoes, boil with the skins on them immerse in cold water for 5 seconds. Then twist the potatoes between your hands and the skin will peel right off!

Via All That’s Interesting

To decorate a chocolate beautifully, lay a piece of lace over the cake and sprinkle icing sugar over the top.

Via Painted by Cakes

Use toilet paper rolls to easily organise power cords

Via Clipper Girl’s Saving Spot

To stop the annoying sound of a dripping tap, tie a piece of string around the faucet which is long enough to reach down to the sink.

Via Re-Nest

To sharpen scissors, simply cut through sandpaper.

Via U-Create Crafts

A very simple solution to get rid of furniture scratches!

Via Obrienkr18 (Uploaded to Pinterest)

Use rubber bands to help open a jar easily: place one around the jar lid and another around the middle of the glass. The rubber provides friction to prevent your hands from slipping.

Via Martha Stewart

To prevent your eyes watering while chopping onions, wipe the chopping board with white vinegar (which won’t affect the taste of the onions)

Via Pinterest Upload

Use ketchup to remove the tarnish from copper pans. Slather  the pan with ketchup and leave for 30 minutes for the acid to break down the tarnish, then rinse clean and buff with a soft cloth.

Via Pinterest Upload

Re-purpose an unwanted Slinky to create a pretty bird feeder

Via Re-Nest

Store bed sheets inside their pillowcases for easy storage and access

Via Storage and Glee

Place a few drops of essential oil on the cardboard tube of a toilet roll to make your bathroom smell wonderful

Via Ekwetzel

Drop a couple of denture cleaning tablets into the toilet bowl at night to clean off stubborn stains.

Via Stockpiling Moms

Use baby powder to easily remove sand from your skin

Via I Heart Nap Time

Take a bunch of bananas apart to prevent them from ripening too quickly

Image via Keepon

Store cut lettuce in mason jars and refrigerate to make it last much longer

Via Salad in a Jar

Organise scarves by tying around trouser hangers to store in your wardrobe
Via Squidoo
Use cupcake cases to cover drinks glasses in the summer and prevent flies from dropping in

Via Modern Day Proverbs Wife

Line salad drawers with newspaper to absorb bad odours in the fridge

Via Babble

Use binder clips to keep stacked bottles in place in the fridge

Via In This Crazy Life

Another way to clean a chopping board is to cover liberally with Kosher salt and leave overnight. Scrape off with a cloth in the morning to find the salt has absorbed all moisture to leave your board clean and dry.

Via Joseph the Butler

Use egg boxes to store delicate Christmas tree decorations

Via Gifts that say Wow

Cut the top off a screw-top bottle and use to seal open bags.

Via Very Pinteresting

This has to be the simplest way to open those annoying blister packs!

Via Babble

Tape a laundry bag to the inside of your tumble dryer door for easy drying of sports shoes

Via Good Ideas for You

Use a cut potato to easily remove a broken lightbulb

Via Pinterest upload

Use a magazine holder to store rolls in the kitchen

Via Recreate Design Company

Use chalk to remove grease stains from clothes. Simply rub white chalk on the affected area and wash as normal – the chalk will absorb the grease and be washed away in the cycle.

Via Budget101

They look pretty too – a great tip for parties!

Via Daily Pix

Slot the stick of an ice lolly through a cupcake case to prevent drips on little fingers.

Via Good Ideas for You

Store laundry dispensers in the drawer of your washing machine so you won’t forget where it is

Via Glamumous

Trouser hangers make great frugal cooking book holders!

Via Simply Frugal

Use an empty toilet roll to store hair accessories for easy access

Via Good Ideas for You

Place a wooden spoon over a pan to stop the water from boiling over

Via The Life of a Not So Ordinary Housewife

Another great use for used drinks cans!

Via Buzzfeed

Just don’t press down too hard or you will squash the bread!

Via TheChive

Pin document wallets inside your pantry door to store recipes and takeaway leaflets

Via MawMawOfTwo

Towel hangers on the inside of a pantry door make great storage for awkward saucepan lids!

Via Squidoo

A genius tip to help prevent paint spillage!

Via Buzzfeed

Use a rubber band to rescue a stripped screw

Via Re Create Design

Store matches in a mason jar and add a disc of sandpaper to the lid on which to strike them.

Via The Burlap Bag

A ball of aluminium foil makes a great glassware scrubber!

Via Budget 101

Wrap rubber bands around the ends of a coat hanger to prevent dresses from slipping off.

Via Re Create Design

Yet another use for drinks can ringpulls! Use to create a hanging loop for picture frames by screwing into the back.

Via Babble

For even more storage in the kitchen, cut up a shoe holder to hang inside a cupboard door.

Via Mrs Polly Rogers

Lost the back to your favourite earring? Use a pencil eraser instead!

Via Good Ideas for You

Use a tension rod to store spray bottles in your undersink cabinet

Via Blue Velvet Chair

About this post

Most of these tips were found via Pinterest (which by the way is a great resource for discovering tips to help around the home!). Wherever possible, I’ve attributed the image and tip by means of links to the original site or web-page, but if you think I have made a mistake please let me know the original source and I will correct the link.

Cinnamon Combined With Magnesium Decreases Blood Pressure More Than Any Hypertension Medication In The World

Cinnamon Combined With Magnesium Decreases Blood Pressure More Than Any Hypertension Medication In The World

cinnamon22222 Cinnamon Combined With Magnesium Decreases Blood Pressure More Than Any Hypertension Medication In The World

by Mae Chan
PreventDisease.com

Supplementation with cinnamon has been found to lower blood pressure in pre-diabetic and diabetic people. Cinnamon combined with magnesium, diet and lifestyle changes may lead to overall reductions in blood pressure up to 25mm Hg, a reduction lower than any hypertension medication can achieve without side effects.

Data from 22 trials with magnesium supplements revealed that the mineral may reduce systolic and diastolic blood pressure, researchers from the University of Hertfordshire report in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Combined with diet and lifestyle changes, magnesium and cinnamon supplementation may lead to an overall reduction of up to 25mm Hg more than any hypertension medication in the world with the advantage of no adverse effects.

Even Cinnamon Alone Will Reduce Blood Pressure

Valued in ancient times as currency and once considered more precious than gold, cinnamon — one of the world’s oldest known spices — has one of the highest antioxidant values of all foods and its use in medicine treats everything from nausea to menstruation and energy to diabetes.

“Cinnamon itself has insulin-like activity and also can potentiate the activity of insulin. The latter could be quite important in treating those with type 2 diabetes. Cinnamon has a bio-active component that we believe has the potential to prevent or overcome diabetes,” researcher Don Graves said in a prepared statement.

When it comes to the highest antioxidant values on the ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) scale, cinnamon comes in third only lower than clove and sumac. ORAC units or “ORAC score” were developed by the National Institute on Aging in the National Institutes of Health (NIH). While the exact relationship between the ORAC value of a food and its health benefit has not been established, it is believed that foods higher on the ORAC scale will more effectively neutralize free radicals. According to the free-radical theory of aging, this will slow the oxidative processes and free radical damage that can contribute to age-related degeneration and disease.

Numerous studies have reported that cinnamon and the compounds it contains may improve parameters associated with diabetes. The meta-analysis, performed by scientists from the University of Toronto (Canada), the University of West London (UK), and London South Bank University (UK) is said to be the first to evaluate the effects of cinnamon on blood pressure in diabetics.

Cinnamon alone without any diet and lifestyle changes is associated with reductions in systolic and diastolic blood pressure of 5.39 and 2.6 mmHg, report scientists in Nutrition .

Out of a possible 93 identified studies, Dr Akilen and his co-workers limited their meta-analysis to only three randomized clinical trials, two of which included diabetics while the third was with pre-diabetics.

The doses of cinnamon used in the studies ranged from 500 mg to 2.4 grams per day, and all the studies lasted for 12 weeks.

Crunching the numbers yielded the result that cinnamon intake was associated with significant decreases in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure.

Commenting on the potential mechanisms of action, Dr Akilen and his co-workers said that a recent review had “confirmed that cinnamon and components of cinnamon have been shown to have beneficial effects on virtually all of the factors associated with metabolic syndrome, including insulin sensitivity, glucose, lipids, antioxidants, inflammation, blood pressure, and body weight.”

“In summary, this meta-analysis of three RCTs indicates that the consumption of cinnamon (short term) is associated with notable reduction of systolic and diastolic blood pressure in patients with prediabetes and [type-2 diabetes],” they wrote.

“However, the precise relationship between blood pressure regulation and the effect of cinnamon in humans remains unclear and to be established in future studies.”

Read the full article here: http://preventdisease.com/news/13/082313_Cinnamon-Combined-With-Magnesium-Decreases-Blood-Pressure-More-Than-Any-Hypertension-Medication-In-World.shtml

Sources: 
Nutrition

Mae Chan holds degrees in both physiology and nutritional sciences. She is also blogger and and technology enthusiast with a passion for disseminating information about health.

***REPOSTERS NOTE

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