A Painless Life May Sound Enticing, But It's the Guarantee to True Suffering

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No one wants to suffer. As a general rule, people like to avoid hurt and pain as much as possible. As a species, humans want a painless existence so much that scientists make a living trying to create it.

People can now choose “pain-free” labor for babies, and remedies to cure back pain, headaches, body-pains and even mental pains are a dime a dozen. Beyond medicine, we also work hard to experience little pain even when it comes to loss; often times we believe a breakup won’t hurt as much if we are the ones to call it off.

But would a world without pain truly be painless? It’s unlikely. In fact, it would probably be painful exactly for that reason.

If people never experienced hurt, they wouldn’t know what it was. On the surface level, that seems like a blessing, but think for a moment: if we didn’t know pain, how would we know peace? If you don’t know you’ve hurt or been hurt, how would you know that you need to heal? Imagine someone only knowing they have an incurable cancer at the final stage because no obvious symptoms have appeared at early stages.

Without the feeling of pain, people won’t be aware of dangerous situations—what should or shouldn’t do for survival.

Pain Is Our Guardian

Pain serves to protect human beings from harmful actions. It’s the same reason parents teach babies that fire equals hot, and that hot equals hurt. Should the baby still place its hand in a fire or on a stove, the intense pain remains so memorable, that the child is certain never to repeat that action.

In the same way, pain within human bodies can serve as a warning that something is not right. Because you know what it is to feel “well,” you know what it is to feel poorly.[1]

Along with serving as a teacher of what not to do, pain also teaches you what you are made of in terms of what you can handle as an individual.

While the cliche, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” is a tired term, it’s used excessively for a reason: it’s true. Pain helps you learn to cope with life’s inevitable difficulties and sadnesses— to develop the grit it takes to push past hardships and carry on.

Whether it’s a shattering pain, like the loss of a loved one or a debilitating accident, pain affects everyone differently. But it still affects everyone. Take a breakup as an example, anyone who has experienced it knows it can hurt to the point of feeling physical. Especially the first breakup. At a young age, it feels like the loss of the only love you’ll ever know. As you grow and learn, you realize you’re more resilient with every ended relationship.

No Pain, No Happiness

You only know happiness when you have known pain. While the idea of constant happiness sounds nice, there is little chance it would be. Without the comparison to happiness, there’s no reason to be grateful for it. That is to say, without ever knowing sadness or pain, you would have no reason to be grateful for happiness.

In reality, there is always something missing, or something unpleasant, but it is only through those realizations that you know to be grateful when you feel you have it all. Read more about why happiness and pain have to exist together: Chasing Happiness Won’t Make You Happy

In a somewhat counter-intuitive finding, researchers found one of the things that brings about the most happiness is challenge. When people are tested, they experience a greater sense of accomplishment and happiness when they are successful. It is largely for this reason that low-income individuals can often feel happier than those who have a sense of wealth.[2]

This is a great thing to remember the next time you feel you would be happier if you just had a little more cash.

Avoiding Pain Leads to More Suffering

Pain is inevitable, embrace it positively. Anyone who strives to have a painless life is striving for perfectionism; and perfectionism guarantees sadness because nothing will ever be perfect.

This isn’t a bleak outlook, but rather a truthful one. The messy moments in life tend to create the best memories and gratitude. Pain often serves as a reminder of lessons learned, much like physical scars on the body.

Pain will always be painful, but it’s the hurt feelings that help wiser decisions be made.

Allow Room for the Inevitable

Learning how to tolerate pain, especially the emotional kind, is a valuable lesson.

Accepting and feeling pain makes you human. There is no weakness in that. Weakness only comes when you try to blame your own pain on someone else, expecting the blame to alleviate your hurting. There’s a saying,

“Holding on to anger is like drinking poison and expecting your enemy to die.”

Think back to the last time you were really angry with someone. Maybe you were hurt because you got laid off from a job. You felt angry and that anger caused so much pain that you could feel it in a physical way. Being angry and blaming your ex boss for that pain didn’t affect him or her in any way; you’re the only one who lost sleep over it.

The healthier thing to do in a situation like that is acknowledge your pain and the anger along with it. Accept it and explore it in an introspective way. How can you learn and grow? What is at the root of that pain? Are you truly hurting and angry about being laid off, or is the pain more a correlation to you feeling like you failed?

While uncomfortable, exploring your pain is a way to raise your self-awareness. By understanding more about yourself, you know how to deal with similar situations in the future. You can never expect to be numb to difficult situations, but you will learn to better prepare financially for the loss of a job and be grateful for an income since you now know nothing is promised (no matter how much you work or how deserving you may feel).

Pain Hurts, but Numbness Would Be Worse

Pain does not feel good, but the bad feeling of it will help you learn and grow. It makes the sweet moments in life even sweeter and the gratitude more sincere.

To have a happier and more successful life, you don’t learn from success or accomplishment, but through pain and failures. For it is in those moments that you learn how to do better in the future or at least cope a little more easily.

You are the strong person you are today because of the hardships this life has presented to you. While you may have felt out of control when those hard times came, the one thing you will always have control over is how you choose to react to things. The next time you hurt or you’re angry or sad, acknowledge it and allow yourself to ruminate in it. Then take a deep breath and start learning from that pain. You’ve got this!

Reference

[1] University of Calgary: Why is Pain Important?
[2] Greater Good Magazine: The Importance of Pain

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The Best Anxiety Treatment I'd Recommend as a Psychotherapist

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In Part I of this two-part series, we looked at what anxiety is and how to tell if you or someone close to you is suffering from an anxiety disorder.

Now let’s explore the causes of anxiety disorders and the treatments for them. We’ll also delve into the best self-help strategies anxiety sufferers can practice themselves and how their friends and families can help.

Types of people who are prone to anxiety disorders

The causes of anxiety disorders are not completely understood, but most people I’ve worked with seem to have one or more of the following: a more sensitive temperament, to have suffered events that felt traumatic to them early in life, and to have endured a period of stressful situations. The combination of these factors brought them to a tipping point that created an anxiety disorder. Specific risk factors for anxiety disorders include:

  • Childhood trauma, such as abuse, neglect, or witnessing a traumatic event.
  • Stress build-up due to a single, very stressful event or a sequence of smaller stressful situations.
  • Having close relatives with an anxiety disorder.
  • Chronic physical illness.
  • Substance abuse.
  • Borderline Personality Disorder and Histrionic Personality Disorder.

The most common misconceptions about anxiety

Common misconceptions about anxiety disorders include:

  • Anxiety is not a “real” illness and people who have anxiety just need to get over it.
  • Anxiety is part of who a person is and can’t change.
  • Anxiety disorders can’t be cured, you just have to live with them.
  • An anxiety disorder is a brain disorder.
  • There are quick-fix remedies for anxiety disorders.

None of these is true. Anxiety is a real illness, it is caused by multiple factors, and although there are no “quick fixes,” it can be cured by a combination of therapy, self-help strategies, supports, and life-affirming activities.

When to consider medication

When I work with people who have anxiety, I suggest medication only after we have tried other methods.

Most people can resolve an anxiety disorder by developing a “package” that includes developing a different attitude toward their lives, doing specific practices and activities that relax and stabilize, removing unnecessary stresses, and understanding the underlying issues that caused their anxiety disorder.

When the anxiety is so great that a client can’t make the needed changes, medication can often be a helpful supplement to therapy and self-care. Occasionally, medication is necessary in an ongoing way, but I haven’t found that often to be so.

The one exception is Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). People who have OCD often respond very well to the Prozac family of antidepressants, usually administered in larger doses than given for depression.

Medications that help with anxiety come in two varieties: antidepressants and anxiolytics.

Some antidepressants help with both depression and anxiety, particularly the antidepressants in the Prozac family, known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Sometimes people remain on antidepressants for a long time, but often they can stop after they have learned other ways to handle anxiety and depression.

Anxiolytics work on the specific parts of the brain that are associated with anxiety. These include medications such as Xanax, Ativan, Klonopin, and Valium. They are fast-acting, but they don’t address underlying causes. Although they are sometimes prescribed as long-term treatments, in my experience they are best used on a short-term, as-needed basis. They tend to lose effectiveness when they are taken regularly, and they are physically addicting. For many people, stopping an anxiolytic they have become physically dependent on is harder than quitting smoking.

The right approach to tackle anxiety

The most important thing people with an anxiety disorder can do is to learn as much as they can about their problem and how to treat it. People who take charge of their illnesses, whether physical or psychological, always do better than people who are more passive.

The next most important thing to do is to find a therapist who understands anxiety disorders, has had success working with them, and who seems to “get” you. All therapists are not created equal.

Interview your prospective therapist on the phone about how he or she might help with your anxiety, and ask how many clients he or she has successfully treated. If someone is helping you, keep seeing that person. If, after a few sessions, you don’t feel significantly helped, discuss it with the therapist. If, after the discussion, you continue not to feel helped, this therapist is probably not right for you. Ask for a referral, and also consult therapist directories such as Goodtherapy.org and the Find-a-Therapist service sponsored by Psychology Today.

A good self-help book on anxiety disorders is an extremely useful supplement to therapy. The best I’ve found, and one I often recommend to clients, is The Anxiety & Phobias Workbook by Edmund Bourne. It’s a virtual encyclopedia of knowledge, self-tests, and strategies for dealing with anxiety.

Along with therapy, some of the most effective activities I’ve found helpful for reducing anxiety and becoming more resilient include:

  • Learning to treat yourself with the same compassion you would show to others you love.
  • Developing a healthy lifestyle, including proper nutrition, exercise, and good sleep habits.
  • Building nurturing relationships with friends, families, and other social supports.
  • Regularly practicing centering, self-soothing techniques such as meditation, yoga, and walks in nature.
  • Developing a creative activity that you can look forward to doing even when you feel anxious.
  • Noticing what helps – and doing more of it!

What not to do when having anxiety

The list of things NOT to do is pretty short:

  • Don’t use alcohol and drugs, since they can make anxiety worse.
  • Quit smoking, as nicotine can also worsen anxiety.
  • Cut down on your consumption of foods and beverages that contain caffeine, such as coffee, tea, cola, energy drinks, and chocolate. Caffeine can increase anxiety symptoms.
  • Don’t overcommit to activities that increase your anxiety. Pushing too hard doesn’t speed up recovery.
  • But don’t always give in to anxiety, either. Gently challenging anxiety is helpful.

The best things friends and family can do to help

These are some of the things friends and family can do to help people who have anxiety disorders.

Learn about anxiety disorders

Knowledge is power. The most helpful thing friends and family can do is to help the person with anxiety feel seen, heard, and understood. You can’t help someone if you don’t understand what they are going through.

Ask how to help

Everyone is different, and everyone needs different kinds of support. People with anxiety can tell you what helps and what doesn’t.

Be reassuring

Remind anxiety sufferers not to be too hard on themselves, and reassure them that the disorder is not their fault. Praise accomplishments and progress. Let them know you care.

Be a companion

People with anxiety are often reluctant to start new things. Offer to go to a yoga class, take a walk or bike ride, or do some other kind of relaxing physical activity together.

Encourage treatment

No matter how compassionate and how smart you are, someone with an anxiety disorder probably also needs professional help. Offer to help them find a therapist. See if they would like a ride to a therapy session.

Get help yourself

Being supportive of someone with an anxiety disorder can sometimes be taxing, so make sure you have someone to talk to, too.

The worst things friends and family can do

These are some of the things people with anxiety disorders have described as unhelpful:

Acting like nothing is wrong or minimizing the problem

Minimizing the problem, in an attempt to make someone feel better, often has the reverse effect.

Telling them that if they stop dwelling on their issues they’ll go away

Part of the problem is that they can’t simply stop dwelling on their issues. Don’t ask them to do what seems impossible.

Telling them to “get their act together.”

If people with anxiety could just “get their act together,” they would have done so already.

Blaming their problems on bad life decisions

Anxiety is not the result of bad life decisions.

Giving unsolicited advice

Like almost everyone else, people with anxiety welcome advice when it’s asked for, but not when it’s unsolicited.

Pressuring them to go out and do things

People with anxiety have to go at their own pace. Encouragement is fine. Pressure is counterproductive.

Getting frustrated

It’s difficult to remain patient when someone seems to keep suffering in ways that you, the non-anxious person, would find easy to change. If you feel frustrated, imagine how you’d respond to someone with a physical problem and you’ll probably regain your patience.

Enabling

Although pushing is rarely helpful, enabling anxiety by never challenging the “rules” the anxious person has set up is not helpful either. Finding the right balance between encouraging and accepting current limitations is an ongoing experiment, both for the anxious person and for the people who are trying to help.

Treatments I’ve found most effective

The generally recommended treatment for anxiety disorders is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). Cognitive Behavior Therapy is a structured form of therapy that focuses mainly on identifying and correcting mistaken beliefs and on teaching skills to modify dysfunctional thinking and behavior.

In my experience, CBT is a useful framework around which to structure therapy for anxiety disorders, but it is not usually sufficient. I adapt the treatment to the individual, and to where the individual is in his or her recovery. Although treatments are different for different people and vary throughout the course of recovery, the basic components include:

  • Forming a trusting client/therapist relationship.
  • Helping the person build additional supports that help him or her to thrive.
  • Identifying contributing factors in the person’s history, environment, and their ways of processing perceptions, thoughts, and feelings
  • Identifying contributing factors that can be changed, and developing strategies for changing them.
  • Identifying contributing factors that cannot be changed, and developing strategies for accepting them.
  • Teaching skills necessary for functioning in a more satisfying way.
  • Teaching methods for monitoring and maintaining progress.

To give you an idea of how varied treatment for anxiety disorders can be, here are a few snapshots of clients who have successfully dealt with their disorders.

With a client who had social anxiety, we focused mainly on helping her remove stressors, including a too-demanding job and a dysfunctional romantic relationship. Then we worked on developing the ability to enjoy small talk and other social lubricants and on understanding how some of her patterns in social situations were shaped by her family of origin but didn’t apply to her current life.

With a client who had a phobia about germs as well as OCD symptoms, what helped most was asking the client to research the germ situations he was afraid of and really test them. I also asked him to vary his counting and checking routines to help him see that they were not always necessary. For example, instead of always locking a door three times, he would sometimes do it seven times, sometimes two, and so on. Eventually, he stopped counting entirely.

A client whose untreated OCD made it impossible to leave a room without a complex set of time-consuming rituals was unable to make progress with therapy until she started on a relatively large dose of Prozac, after which the OCD symptoms quickly subsided. When she tried getting off the Prozac, the rituals returned. Staying on Prozac was the best solution for her.

I helped a client who had Generalized Anxiety Disorder and I found that her anxiety was not really related to the things she worried about. Instead, it was an ever-present free-floating anxiety that “landed” on various circumstances in her life. Using a technique from Gestalt therapy, she learned to befriend her anxious part and to pay direct, compassionate attention to it rather than trying to suppress or correct it.

Where to go from here?

Over the years, I’ve worked with many people who have fully recovered from anxiety disorders and now live much richer, fuller, and far less worried lives. Where there’s a will there’s a way. With the right kind of professional help, the right supports, and, most importantly, the right person at the helm – you! – I’m confident you’ll find your way, too.

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How to Say No When You Feel You Can Only Say Yes

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For years, I was a serial people pleaser. Known as someone who would step up, I would gladly make time especially when it came to volunteering for certain causes. I proudly carried this role all through grade school, college, even through law school. For years, I thought saying “no” meant I would disappoint a good friend or someone I respected.

But somewhere along the way I noticed I wasn’t quite living my life. Instead, I seem to have created a schedule that was a strange combination of meeting the expectations of others, what I thought I should be doing, and some of what I actually wanted to do. The result? I had a packed schedule that left me overwhelmed and unfulfilled.

It took a long while but I learned the art of saying no. Saying ‘no’ meant I no longer catered fully to everyone else’s needs and could make more room for what I really wanted to do. Instead of cramming too much in, I chose to pursue what really mattered. I started to manage my time more around my own needs and interests. When that happened, I became a lot happier. And guess what? I hardly disappointed anyone.

Successful people aren’t afraid to say no

When you learn the art of saying ‘no’ you begin to look at the world differently. Rather than seeing all of the things you could or should be doing (and aren’t doing) you start to look at how to say yes to what’s important.

In other words, you aren’t just reacting to what life throws at you. You seek the opportunities that move you to where you want to be.

Oprah Winfrey considered one of the most successful women in the world confessed that it was much later in life when she learned how to say no. Even after she had become internationally famous she felt she had to say yes to virtually everything. It was only when she realized that after years of struggling with saying no, “I finally got to this question: What do I want?”

Warren Buffett views no as essential to his success. “The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything,” he said.

When I made ‘no’ a part of my toolbox, I drove more of my own success focusing on fewer things and doing them well.

How we are pressured to say yes

It’s no wonder a lot of us find it hard to say ‘no.’

From an early age, we are conditioned to say ‘yes.’ We said yes probably hundreds of time in order to graduate from high school and then get into college. We said yes to find work. We said yes get a promotion. We said yes to find love and then yes again to stay in a relationship. We said yes to find and keep friends.

We say yes because it feels better to help someone. We say yes because it can seem like the right thing to do. We say yes because we think that is key to success. And we say yes because the request might come from someone who is hard to resist like the boss.

And that’s not all. The pressure to say yes doesn’t just come from others. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves. At work, we say yes because we compare ourselves to others who seem to be doing more than we are. Outside of work, we say yes because we feel guilty we aren’t doing enough to spend time with family or friends.

The message no matter where we turn is nearly always, “You really could be doing more.” The result? When people ask us for our time, we are heavily conditioned to say yes.

How to say no when you feel that you can only say yes

Deciding to add the word ‘no’ to your toolbox is no small thing. Perhaps you already say ‘no’ but not as much as you would like. Maybe you have an instinct that if you were to learn the art of ‘no’ that you could finally create more time for things you care about. But let’s be honest-using the word ‘no’ doesn’t come easily for many people.

Incorporating that little word ‘no’ into your life can be transformational. Turning some things down will mean you can open doors to what really matters. Here are some essential tips to learn the art of no.

Tip #1: Check in with your obligation meter

One of the biggest challenges to saying ‘no’ is a feeling of obligation. Do you feel you have a responsibility to say yes and worry that saying no reflect poorly on you?

Ask yourself whether you truly have the duty to say yes. Check your assumptions or beliefs about whether you carry the responsibility to say yes. Turn it around and instead ask what duty you owe to yourself.

Tip #2: Resist the fear of missing out or FOMO

Do you have a fear of missing out or FOMO? FOMO can follow us around in so many ways. At work, we volunteer our time because we fear we won’t move ahead. In our personal lives, we agree to join the crowd because FOMO even while we ourselves aren’t enjoying the fun.

Check in with yourself. Are you saying yes because of FOMO or because you really want to say yes? More often than not, running after fear doesn’t make us feel better.

Tip #3: Check your assumptions about what it means to say ‘no’

Do you dread the reaction you will get if you say no? Often, we say ‘yes’ because we worry about how others will respond or the consequences of saying no or because of the consequences. We may be afraid to disappoint others or think we will lose respect from others. We often forget how much we are disappointing ourselves along the way.

Keep in mind that saying ‘no’ can be exactly what is needed to send the right message that you have limited time. In tip #X below, you will see how to communicate your no in a gentle and loving way. You might disappoint someone initially but drawing a boundary can bring you the freedom you need so that you can give freely of yourself when you truly want to.

Tip #4: When the request comes in, sit on it.

Sometimes, when we are in the moment, we instinctively agree. The request might make sense at first. Or we typically have said yes to this request in the past. Give yourself a little time to reflect on whether you really have the time or can do the task properly. You may decide the best option is to say ‘no.’ There is no harm in giving yourself the time to decide.

Tip #5: Communicate your ‘no’ with transparency and kindness

When you are ready to tell someone no, communicate your decision clearly. The message can be open and honest to ensure the recipient that your reasons have to do with your limited time. Resist the temptation not to respond or communicate all. But do not feel obligated to provide a lengthy account about why you are saying no. A clear communication with a short explanation is all that is needed. I have found it useful to tell people that I have many demands and need to be careful with how I allocate my time. I will sometimes say I really appreciate that they came to me and for them to check in again if the opportunity arises another time.

Tip #6: Consider how to use a modified ‘no’

If you are under pressure to say yes but want to say no, you may want to consider downgrading a “yes” to a “yes but…” giving you an opportunity to condition your agreement to what works best for you. Sometimes, the condition can be to do the task but not in the time frame that was originally requested. Or perhaps you can do part of what has been asked.

Remember a few key things as you learn the art of no

You will need to get out of your comfort zone

Let’s face it. It is hard to say no. Setting boundaries around your time especially you haven’t done it much in the past will feel awkward.

You are the air traffic controller of your time

Remember that you are the only one who understands the demands for your time. Think about it. Who else knows about all of the demands on your time? No one. Only you are at the center of all of these requests. are the only one that understands what time you really have.

Saying ‘no’ means saying ‘yes’ to something that matters

When we decide not to do something, it means we can yes to something else. You have a unique opportunity to decide how you spend your precious time.

Start to say ‘no’ from now on

What do you have to lose? Beginning right now, you can change how you respond to requests for your time. When the request comes in, take yourself off autopilot where you might normally say yes. Use the request as a fresh request to draw a healthy boundary around your time. Pay particular attention to when you place certain demands on yourself. If you are the one placing the demand on yourself, try to evaluate the demand as if it were coming from somewhere else.

Try it now. Say no to a friend who continues to take advantage of your goodwill. Or, draw the line with a workaholic colleague and tell them you will complete the project but not by working all weekend. Or, tell someone in your family you can’t loan them money again because they never paid you back the last time. You’ll find yourself much happier.

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How to Share Your Vision and Ideas With The Super Wealthy – Kevin Harrington

Posted from https://addicted2success.com/podcasts/how-to-share-your-vision-and-ideas-with-the-super-wealthy-kevin-harrington/

Kevin Harrington is an American entrepreneur and business executive. Harrington is the founder of “As Seen On TV”. Kevin has appeared on the television series Shark Tank and has launched over 500 products resulting in more than $5 Billion in sales worldwide.

 

Listen to this Addicted2Success episode to find out how you can share your vision in the most effective way

Does a Romantic Candle Lit Dinner Help To Drive Better Sex?

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Sunset picnics on the beach. Romantic candle lit dinners. Lovers feeding each other chocolate fondue. It seems like there is no shortage of associations between food, romance and sex. But are these familiar scenes just go-to content for lazy rom-com writers and first dates? Or do these meals actually lead to more exciting and enjoyable sex when the lights are turned down low?

In other words, are couples really more likely to have sex after consuming certain foods?

There is some evidence of a surface level connection between food and sex

Specifically, certain foods are more associated with sex than others. And this is largely thought to be the case because the shape of some foods resembles male and female genitalia. Think about the phallic shape of a banana (not to mention the widely used eggplant emoji as sexual innuendo!). And then there are foods that are thought to resemble the shape of a vulva, such as figs and oysters. Because these foods are thought to make us think about our (and/or our partner’s) genitals, it has been suggested that eating them may put sex on our brains and make us more likely to act on those impulses.

There is also some evidence that certain foods can stimulate our bodies in ways that mimic our natural preparation for sex. Blood flow is an essential component of sexual arousal for men and women. The increased blood flow to the genitals produces an erection for men and blood flow to the vagina intensifies sexual sensations for women.

It has been suggested that spicy foods (like ginger, curry, and cinnamon) are found to increase blood flow which has the potential to feel a bit like sexual arousal and could potentially have a positive impact on our sexual enjoyment. Therefore, consuming spicy foods could lead to better sex on account of the increased genital sensations.

However, the association between food and sex is more about the psychological interpretations and meanings we assign to those foods

For starters, we can never discount the power of the placebo effect. That is, if we believe something is going to have a positive impact, chances are it will. So, if you believe that eating chocolate will make you more interested in having sex, there is a higher chance that upon eating a piece of dark chocolate you will think about sex or want to engage in sexual activity. On the other hand, if you think that chocolate just tastes good and has no relationship to your sexual interest or enjoyment, likely you won’t feel any sexual urges post chocolate binge.

Another psychological element at play when associating a particular food with sex is what psychologists have termed classical conditioning. That is, if we repeatedly see chocolate fondue enjoyed during a romantic evening and that is followed by a sexual encounter, we begin to associate chocolate fondue with sex. The more often we see this connection being made in movies, TV shows, and in our real life, the more we are primed to think about sex when we see or eat fondue.

This association can even happen with less expected food items. In my Psychology 101 class our professor shared a story about a woman being turned on by the smell of onion on account of her sexual partner being a frequent eater of french onion dip! So if you want to create a romantic or sexual setting with food, consider picking your staple, pre-romance appetizer. Over time it just may become a cue that this is the night for romance.

What About Alcohol? Is It A Sex-Driver or Killer?

And then there is the spurious variable that often accompanies all of the romantic scenes I described earlier: wine (or some other alcohol variation). In other words, it may be less about the chocolate fondue, oysters, banana or cinnamon, and more about the alcohol that accompanies those meals. That’s because alcohol has been found to positively impact our interest in sex as alcohol make us feel more relaxed and laid back which can reduce our inhibitions and lead to a greater chance for sexual activity.

It’s important to be aware that there is a balancing act when it comes to how much alcohol to consume. Too much alcohol can get in the way of good sex by making us sloppy or tired. However, a glass of wine (even if it’s paired with chips and dip) may put you in the mood for sex.

The Setting Of Your Meal Is More Important Than The Food Choices

Finally there is the contextual setting of a romantic or sensual meal that goes far beyond whatever food is being consumed. Eating oysters with your grandmother at 3pm on a Sunday probably isn’t going to get you all hot and bothered. Whereas eating oysters with our romantic partner, at sunset with a glass of wine and candles just might do the trick.

Research has found that both men and women indicate that romantic settings play an important and positive role in their sexual desire. And that’s because a lot more is happening during a romantic meal than just the food on the table. A candle lit dinner takes time, effort and energy. It requires two people stepping away from their busy lives, making time for one another, and talking (hopefully without their smart phones on the table!). It could also include that glass of wine we discussed earlier. So even though a meal is part of this scenario, it’s really not the star of the show.

Consuming foods as aphrodisiacs definitely won’t hurt your sex life. In fact, depending on how they are used they just may bring some spark and enjoyment to your sexual experiences. And if you and your partner associate foods with positive romantic and sexual scenarios, chances are that eating those foods together will put sex on the brain.

But it’s also important to focus on the context of a romantic date over a shared meal. So don’t minimize the attention needed on the other components. Good conversation, undivided attention, and the effort of cooking a meal together could mean that spaghetti and meat balls or even ramen noodles could be your personal aphrodisiac.

The post Does a Romantic Candle Lit Dinner Help To Drive Better Sex? appeared first on Lifehack.

10 Clever Kitchen Gadgets You Don't Even Know Exist

Posted from http://feeds.lifehack.org/~r/LifeHack/~3/aKPnn9G0_4Y/10-clever-kitchen-gadgets-you-dont-even-know-exist

Traditional kitchen gadgets are useful, but boring. Cooking and being in the kitchen doesn’t have to be a serious business. With a little creativity, kitchen gadgets can be fun. Even if you don’t like cooking, you’d love to have one of these (or all of these) in your kitchen.

Lifehack has handpicked 10 clever kitchen gadgets that go beyond your imagination.

1. MasterPan Non-Stick 3 Section Meal Skillet

This genius pan is designed to allow you to cook everything you need in one spot. Whether you’re trying to cook in a small dorm, or you just don’t have a lot of kitchen counter space, this pan will be your best friend. With its Riveted Steel handle featuring a silicone grip, you won’t risk burning your hand while cooking.

It even features a XYLAN PLUS double layer non-stick coating which is PFOA free. Plus it ensures your food doesn’t wind up stuck to the pan instead of in your stomach. Along with being oven-safe, this brilliant pan is dishwasher safe, too!

MasterPan Non-Stick 3 Section Meal Skillet, $33.24

2. The “Bolo” Rolling Knife

This innovative knife set comes with the Handle, Precision Steel Blade (420J2 steel), Tenderizing Blade (420J2 steel) Pastry Blade (ABS) and 2 Blade Covers.

This rolling knife has a sharp blade, it dices, cuts, slices and minces a variety of ingredients such as vegetables, spices, herbs, meats, pizza, sandwiches, desserts, fruit and so on. This tool saves you room because you have all the blades you need in one handle!

The “Bolo” Rolling Knife, $29.95

3. The Salad Cutter Bowl

With this, you can make a salad in under a minute.

It’s the perfect size for a personal salad, but it does so much more than allow for easy cutting. It also acts as a strainer and salad spinner. If you want a quick and easy way to slice veggies for your salad, you can toss them in here and cut away.

And for those of us who wind up with nicks and cuts when preparing a meal, this gadget allows for worry-free cutting. Plus it’s easy to clean and saves a ton of space.

The Salad Cutter Bowl, $9.99

4. Magisso Cake Server

Cutting and plating a slice of cake is always a mess, plus it usually requires someone touching a side of the cake with their fingers, and that’s gross. This cake server makes cake cutting clean and easy.

Once you get the cake plated, you always have the few that request a smaller piece. This utensil ensures everyone gets the exact same size and shape cut.

Perhaps best of all, it’s easy to use. Just press the cake server through your dessert, squeeze it gently for lifting the piece onto the place, release slightly once you’ve set it on the plate and your done!

Magisso Cake Server, $9.17

5. Culina Designs Small ABS Bag Sealing Device

Now you can throw out all those twist ties you’ve been hoarding! Sealabag is a compact gadget that can be used to seal a variety of kitchen staples.

Its design allows it to be used on your counter, or even mounted inside of a cupboard so no one has to know how you keep all of your breads so fresh.

Culina Designs Small ABS Bag Sealing Device, $7.95

6. Dreamfarm Savel – Flexible Food Saver for Wedges, Halves and Wedge-Outs

This flexible gadget covers cut foods, such as fruits and veggies, and keeps them fresh. You don’t have to waste any more plastic bags or try any silly hacks to keep your items fresher longer.

The silicone strap stretches to ensure the perfect fit while keeping the item secure. The base is food-safe and prevents any air exposure.

Dreamfarm Savel – Flexible Food Saver for Wedges, Halves and Wedge-Outs, $8.72

7. Dreamfarm Spadle – Silicone Sit Up Scraping Spoon That Turns Into a Serving Ladle

When used as a spoon, this spoon-ladle crossover features a flat squeegee tip to scrape pans without scratching, a deep ½ cup scooping head and useful measuring lines.

To transform it into a ladle, just twist the handle. It doesn’t even require a spoon rest; a clever bend in the handle to sit up off your counter to keep it clean.

It’s non-stick and heat resistant up to 200°C/392°F. And it’s dishwasher safe!

Dreamfarm Spadle – Silicone Sit Up Scraping Spoon That Turns Into a Serving Ladle, $19.99

8. Ankomn Savior Non-Electric Vacuum Food Storage Container Marinator

With a simple push of a button, this non-electric vacuum storage container will keep everything fresh, from cereal to dried fruits and nuts.

It doesn’t require any complicated wires or batteries, plus it’s easy to clean and BPA free. You can even store it in the fridge and toss it in the dishwasher when it needs to be cleaned.

Ankomn Savior Non-Electric Vacuum Food Storage Container Marinator, $64.99

9. KEFIRKO – Kefir Fermenter Kit

This easy kefir-making system includes a unique 20 oz concave glass jar, strainer lid, secure cover lid, citrus juicer attachment, swizzle stick, user guide and recipe booklet. You can make kefir milk or kefir water by simply adding kefir grains and liquid. The Kefiko can even be used as a sprouter!

A measuring cup for the kefir grains is integrated in the top cover, and the included juicer allows you to squeeze juice into your water kefir for extra flavor.

KEFIRKO – Kefir Fermenter Kit, $39.95

10. Stainless Steel Magnetic Knife Holder

This magnetic knife holder is an aesthetically pleasing way to store and display your knifes. It’s super simple to install and includes mounting screws and hardware.

The magnetic strip is a quality stainless steel, and all the materials are non-toxic, food safe and easy to clean.

Stainless Steel Magnetic Knife Holder, $16.97

The post 10 Clever Kitchen Gadgets You Don’t Even Know Exist appeared first on Lifehack.

5 Powerful Reasons Why You Should Commit to Lifelong Learning

Posted from https://addicted2success.com/life/5-powerful-reasons-why-you-should-commit-to-lifelong-learning/

Education is commonly equated to an experience for children and young adults, but the reality is that lifelong learning can benefit you in many ways. The world is constantly changing, and this means that you must be open to absorbing and actively seeking new information to stay up-to-date. This, of course, expands far beyond education in your area of professional expertise.

You can enjoy both personal and professional benefits when you make education a lifelong priority, and these are five very powerful factors to consider:

1. Wider Knowledge, More Skills

As you expand your knowledge base in different ways, you can increase your skill set tremendously. Formal education remains important, but it is not fully sufficient because of how rapidly the world around us is evolving. Therefore, you should regularly work to improve your professional skills and to explore new interests and hobbies as well.

For example, you may consider learning a new language which can help you with your professional career, but also assist you in exploring different cultures more easily while traveling. You can widen your computer skills or learn how to play an instrument.

Whatever you choose to pursue, there are many ways to widen your knowledge base: taking up a class, attending a seminar, listening to audio tapes, etc. You can also leverage online educational opportunities, and these include apps and educational websites. Reading books, visiting museums and watching educational programming on television are a few other thoughtful ideas to consider.

2. New Career Opportunities

The job market is increasingly competitive and many employers are focused on finding well-rounded workers to join their team. They want to find people who have expertise in many areas rather than one, so they will be drawn to individuals with various skills and interests.

Education will, therefore, definitely augment your potential of getting promoted or finding a new job: learning that new language may open up job opportunities in a different part of the world. When you improve your skillset, you may even gain knowledge that can help you start your own business or become a consultant. Such opportunities can improve your quality of life and potentially lead to a higher income level. So, if you are unhappy with your job, don’t wait, start honing your skills now!

“Stay positive and happy. Work hard and don’t give up hope. Be open to criticism and keep learning. Surround yourself with happy, warm and genuine people.” – Tena Desae

3. Open-Mindedness

In the words of Malcolm Forbes, “Education’s purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one.” The reality is that constantly seeking knowledge can help you to better understand the world around you, and this includes getting to know new cultures, concepts, and customs. Ultimately, this will make you less prejudice and more open-minded. Your horizons will be expanded and you will start exploring things you were previously unaware of.

Furthermore, education can change your entire outlook on certain topics and help you become a well-rounded and informed citizen. More than that, it can help you to carry on intelligent conversations and make you become an interesting person in the eyes of other people. Overall, your broad world view will help you enjoy a more successful career and foster great personal relationships with friends and colleagues alike.

4. Self-Esteem and Health Benefits

By regularly expanding your knowledge in different areas, you may inadvertently be promoting a healthy level of self-esteem and improving your mental and physical well-being. Educated people naturally feel more confident, and this level of self-esteem can exude from you. It can also boost your productivity and lead to a better overall quality of life with ample happiness.

Constantly seeking knowledge may also ward off the development of dementia and other degenerative memory conditions. You may also learn more about dietary and exercise habits, so you can improve your lifestyle and physical health in different ways.

5. Having a Great Time

Many people struggle to find happiness and a sense of fulfillment in life because they lack balance. Simply working all of the time will not lead to contentment with life, and you need to have fun as well if you want to feel fulfilled on a regular basis.

Learning can actually be enjoyable and even fun, which happens when you explore topics that interest you. While some topics may specifically be explored to boost your professional expertise in your field, you can also spend time learning more about religions, locations, cultures and concepts that have fascinated you on a more personal level.

“A good teacher can inspire hope, ignite the imagination, and instill a love of learning.” – Brad Henry

Acquiring new knowledge and learning new skills should be a lifelong endeavor. It can help you to improve both your professional and private life, leading to increased happiness and fulfillment as well as to an increased money-making potential over the years.

Mahatma Gandhi eloquently stated, “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” Adopting this philosophy can improve your life tremendously in the years to come.

How do you make sure to always stay open-minded in order to never stop learning? Let us know by commenting below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

How Long Term Relationship Couples Keep Their Passion For Sex

Posted from http://feeds.lifehack.org/~r/LifeHack/~3/bakEJzjQB4A/how-long-term-relationship-couples-keep-their-passion-for-sex

Long passionate kisses. Ripping off each other’s clothes. Frequent sex. Trying multiple new sex positions. Not able to keep your hands off each other. If this wouldn’t exactly describe your current sex life with your partner. You’re certainly not alone.

Most couples experience stronger and more intense sexual urges at the beginning of their relationship (often referred to as the “honeymoon” phase); but as relationships progress, so too does our interest in sex.

It is rare for sexual desire to remain at that super passionate state past the first few months of a relationship. Somewhere between 6 months and 2.5 years, our sexual desire wanes as our relationship becomes more familiar. We become friends and companions, in addition to lovers.

As a relationship progresses we also turn our attention to other life demands like work, and taking care of our homes, social lives, pets and children. Evolutionary psychologists have even suggested our desire has to decrease because we literally could not sustain those early levels of passion and be productive members of our community. We would be late for work, miss out on seeing friends and forget to buy groceries. In essence, life continues and sex is forced to take a backseat.

But that doesn’t mean your sex life is doomed or has be in a permanent rut. In fact, there are plenty of scientifically proven things you can do to reintroduce passion into your relationship.

One of the biggest things found to predict higher levels of sexual satisfaction? Believing your sex life is something that can, and will, fluctuate – and that you can do something to help it get back on track. Specifically, researchers have found that individuals and couples who believe that their sexual desire is destined or that it is “fate” (i.e that lower desire and passion represents a problem in the relationship) are less sexually satisfied, while those who hold a growth perspective (i.e., we haven’t been putting effort into our sex lives – but we could and it might help!) were more sexually satisfied. So holding on to the very notion that your sexual desire and passion will ebb and flow actually leads you to be more satisfied.

In other words, if you’re open to working on your sex life you’re already half way to increased desire and passion. So what are the specific things you can try to increase your sexual passion? There are five big things that passionate people are doing:

1. Take Time To Focus Only On Your Partner

Communication is important on so many levels. And it has been repeatedly and consistently found to be a facilitator of sexual desire. When we talk openly with our partner we feel closer and connected and, for many people, feeling connected to their partner is a crucial step to feeling the urge to engage in sexual activity. We all know how different it feels to sit on the couch and have a meaningful conversation with our partner versus sitting on the couch zoning out on our smart phones. And while the latter is okay sometimes, most often we don’t feel connected in that scenario and sex is less likely to follow. So try taking time away from the other demands that naturally steal our attention (work, social engagements, kids, phones) to open up often and regularly with your partner.

2. Be Open To Talk About Sex

Okay so talking is important. We know this. But talking about sex – what we like and don’t like, what we want to try, and fantasies that turn us on but we may never actually want to try – are all important to help our partner better know what we like so they have a better chance of giving us sexually pleasurable experiences (and vice versa).

It is logical, but something that eludes many couples: if we aren’t having very good sex then we aren’t going to be excited about having it. So focus less on wanting to want sex and instead shift to what would make sex better and more enjoyable. It’s the difference between trying to get yourself psyched up to have cold leftover cheap pizza and the legitimate drooling that happens when you’re anticipating that piping hot gourmet pizza from your favourite spot.

So talk about sex. Even better? Talk about sex while having sex. And make sure that as much as possible you’re using positive reinforcement. Encourage what you like in the moment. It helps your partner learn what to do to please you so you enjoy what is happening. Not to mention that it helps you stay in the moment because you’re paying attention and giving feedback. Which just so happens to be another important contributing factor to sexual passion.

3. Putting In Effort and Make Sex a Priority

One of the wildest myths we hold about sex is that it should be spontaneous and effortless. After all, that’s kind of how it felt when we first started dating.

Except that it wasn’t. Despite how it felt, sex is not (and never was) spontaneous. It just felt that way. When we went on dates we planned them well in advance, put in plenty of effort during dinner to talk and connect. We would wear something nice. And so, if sex followed, it wasn’t really so random.

In longer-term relationships it’s important to remember this and not get discouraged that sex has been less frequent or less fun because you haven’t found yourself suddenly in bed with your clothes off. Find time to be together. Schedule it. If one of you works late and the other gets up early, find a day that you’re both home at the same time and make that your sex day. If you haven’t had sex in a while. Talk about it. Say – “lets try to make that happen tonight”. Knowing that sex is on the horizon can even help the anticipation build and feed into those passionate feelings.

4. Doing Something New and Exciting

It’s easy to fall into a familiar sexual routine with a partner. We find out what we like and we often keep doing it. Again, and again. And again.

And while that’s all good and well, every now and then it’s important to invite some freshness into your relationship. And that’s because this mimics some of the excitement that occurred during that honeymoon phase we talked about earlier. When we start being sexually active with our partner everything is new and different. Everything we try is fresh and exciting. So inviting some of that newness feels fun and exciting and also reminds us of passionate times of the past.

Maybe it means trying a new position. Maybe it means having a quicky in the morning before work instead of waiting until Sunday afternoon. Or maybe buy a new sexy pair of underwear.

5. Stay Mentally Present During Sex

It’s easy to let our mind wander during sex. We may make a to-do list for what we need to get done tomorrow or can replay an awkward or unpleasant conversation at work over and over again. But when we do this we don’t tune into the sexual sensations and we miss out on potentially pleasurable feelings.

But staying mentally present isn’t always easy. Some therapists recommend that if you practice mindfulness (observing your thoughts versus judging them) and slowly and surely take in each touch and caress (and not rush through sex) that desire and passion increase. You can try this even during sexual foreplay or holding hands. If you catch your mind wandering just invite it back to the moment and focus on your senses and those sexual sensations.

Ultimately there is no magic potion to keep passion alive. Sex, like all parts of our lives (romantic, professional, social) takes effort. And putting in that effort, through communication, mental presence, positive sexual feedback and trying something new could just give your sex life that boost you’re looking for.

The post How Long Term Relationship Couples Keep Their Passion For Sex appeared first on Lifehack.

$938,382.40 In 229 Days

Posted from http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/JohnChowDotCom/~3/QDpGQGI-wNE/

Today (Aug 18, 2017), I broke the $900,000 payout mark in MOBE earning for 2017. At the time of this post, I was at $901,342.46 payout plus $37,039.94 pending payout for a total $938,382.40 in just 229 days.

That works out to $4,097.74 per day or $174.74 an hour for every hour of the day. My goal for 2017 was to make $1 million with MOBE. At this rate, the goal will be hit by next month.

MOBE has become my #1 online money-making system. It has allowed me to live Dot Com Lifestyle, drive $250K of cars for free, send Sally to one of the Top 50 private schools in America, and buy a $2 million house for cash.

Can I Really Do This Business?

One of the most common questions I get from people who are thinking about joining MOBE is, “Will all of this work for me?” and “Can I really do this business?” The answer is, regardless of your age, background, where you’re from, or your experience level, you can do this business. You can start your own online business, and be successful at it.

Your first first step is to download my ebook, the Ultimate Online Profit Model. This details the business systems I use to make six-figure monthly income and live the Dot Com Lifestyle. You can also get my Blogging Secrets book at Amazon.

Attend The IM Freedom Workshop

If you wish to talk to an expert face to face about Internet marketing, then I invite you attend a live IM Freedom Workshop in your area.

Each workshop will have both an afternoon session and an evening session. Find the workshop that’s most convenient to you, and register now. Space is limited. Tickets are given out on a first come, first served basis. You must be pre-registered to attend. There is no on-site registration. Find the closest workshop here.

Apply for My Ultimate Dot Com Lifestyle Coaching Program

If you’re truly ready to move forward and make a positive change in your financial future, then go applying for my Ultimate Dot Com Lifestyle coaching program.

This is a 21 step system I created with MOBE to help you make your first $1,250, $3,300, $5,500, and even $10,000 online. You’ll also be given a one on one coach who will work with you, and answer any questions you may have. All you have to do is follow the system and do what your coach advises. You may not pull down $900K in 229 days like I did, but it’s pretty easy to make $1,000 a month from it.

The application fee is one time $49, and allows you to go through all 21 steps. I recommend you go through the steps, then decide if this is something you want to do. If it is, great! Welcome aboard. If you decided this is not something you want to do at this time, then get a refund and go on with your life. I can’t make it simpler than that.

Click Here To Download John Chow’s New eBook, The Ultimate Online Profit Model!