General Tips http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/8131/all en-US 9 Things to Never Do When Your Car Breaks Down http://www.wisebread.com/9-things-to-never-do-when-your-car-breaks-down <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-things-to-never-do-when-your-car-breaks-down" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman-hitchiking-broken-car-Dollarphotoclub_55893103.jpg" alt="woman hitchiking broken car" title="woman hitchiking broken car" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>A car breakdown is not a common occurrence for the average motorist. In fact, it has yet to happen to me, although I have only been driving for 13 years. However, at some point your car could break down, be it a mechanical failure, an electrical issue, or a flat tire. When that happens, you will probably call your insurance or a tow service first. But make sure you also take heed of the following list. It will save you time, money, and maybe even your life. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/repair-the-car-or-spend-the-cash?ref=seealso">Repair the Car or Spend the Settlement?</a>)</p> <h2>1. Do Not Stay in the Car</h2> <p>Unless the weather is extreme, you need to get everyone out of the car and away from the road. Ideally, people should be behind a crash barrier if there is one. Of course, if the weather is extreme, you may have to balance the risks of staying in the car and being hit, with the possibility of exposure or other weather-related conditions. And if you are in a dangerous area, you may need to lock yourself in the car until help arrives. Try and get the car as far away from the road as possible in these exceptions.</p> <h2>2. Do Not Exit the Vehicle Using the Doors Nearest the Traffic</h2> <p>This may seem like common sense, but few people are thinking clearly when they're in a situation like this. The first reaction is to get out of the car and look under the hood. But if you exit using the driver's door, you are at much greater risk of being hit by a vehicle. It may seem like a pain, but get out of the doors that are furthest from the flow of traffic. It is much safer.</p> <h2>3. Do Not Stand Behind, or Next to, the Vehicle</h2> <p>Once you're out of the car, you need to get a safe distance away from it. Remember, a car parked by the side of the road can be a distraction, and there are plenty of horrific crashes and near misses caught on camera every year. You do not want to be leaning on the car when a vehicle doing 60 mph smashes into it. Like it says above, get behind a crash barrier.</p> <h2>4. Do Not Accept Help From Unofficial Sources</h2> <p>It's a sad sign of the times that this one is on the list. But, it's necessary. Good Samaritans are everywhere, but so are predators, scam artists, and thieves. Even if their intentions seem genuine, someone could be setting you up for something unthinkable. You never want to get into their car if they offer to take you to the nearest gas station or repair shop. The only time you should ever accept help when it is offered is from the emergency services, official breakdown or highway services, or from someone you know and trust. If anyone else offers, politely decline and tell them the breakdown service is just a couple of minutes away.</p> <h2>5. Do Not Flag Down Other Vehicles</h2> <p>Just like the previous tip, this is a precaution you have to take for your personal safety. You have no idea who you're going to get to help, and there are plenty of people out there who will take advantage of the situation. You are basically telling a potential predator that you are stranded, and that puts you in a very vulnerable spot. Even if you're a big burly guy who can handle himself, there are always people out there who can do you harm. Don't take the chance; don't take the chance, wait for help from your breakdown service.</p> <h2>6. Do Not Leave Your Vehicle in the Road</h2> <p>You are required to get that car out of the way, and quickly. If it's possible to pull over to the side of the road, do so safely. If the car is stuck in traffic, you're going to have to move it yourself. A friendly (or impatient) motorist will no doubt come along and help you push or steer. If you don't get it out of the road, you could be rear-ended, cause a collision, or something even worse could happen.</p> <h2>7. Do Not Assume People Can See You</h2> <p>Your car is parked by the side of the road; the hood is up, it's clear you're having car trouble. But these days, motorists are more preoccupied than ever (which is not a good sign at all). You need to make sure you and your car are as visible as possible to other drivers. Turn on your emergency lights immediately, that's what they're there for.</p> <h2>8. Do Not Display Your Red Warning Triangle</h2> <p>It seems obvious that you should put that out the second you breakdown. Not so. <a href="http://www.greenflag.com/downloads/hardshoulderguide.pdf">Green Flag breakdown service</a> says that the risks of getting out of your car and walking by the side of fast-moving traffic are far greater than the benefits of that red triangle.</p> <h2>9. Do Not Try to Fix the Problem Unless You Know What You're Doing</h2> <p>This may seem like a no brainer, but any mechanic will tell you that a little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing. Most people know how to fix a flat tire, but some have never even tried. Put the jack in the wrong place on the car and start jacking it up, and you're doing damage. You may also have to put yourself perilously close to the moving traffic in order to change the tire. If that's the case, wait for your breakdown service. You pay a monthly fee, now is the time to utilize it.</p> <p>Fiddling with engine parts can also be dangerous, and can cause more damage to the car (and you). So, if you have the knowhow, and are confident you can solve the problem, by all means do so. But if you're planning to lift the hood to fiddle with wires and do a little mindless tinkering, don't bother. You are not helping. In fact, you could make it even harder to repair.</p> <p><em>Any other roadside safety tips we should pass along? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-things-to-never-do-when-your-car-breaks-down" class="sharethis-link" title="9 Things to Never Do When Your Car Breaks Down" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-things-to-never-do-when-your-car-breaks-down">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/skills-that-can-save-you-money-part-1-parallel-parking">Skills That Can Save You Money Part 1: Parallel Parking</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/broken-down-turn-your-pencil-into-a-flashlight">Broken down? Turn your pencil into a flashlight.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-really-easy-ways-to-unclog-drains">10 Really Easy Ways to Unclog Drains</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-wonderful-uses-for-witch-hazel">15 Wonderful Uses for Witch Hazel</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-effective-grease-and-oil-stain-removal-tips">14 Effective Grease and Oil Stain Removal Tips</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> General Tips accidents breakdowns Cars Wed, 10 Dec 2014 18:00:06 +0000 Paul Michael 1265971 at http://www.wisebread.com The Military's Four-Step Plan to Keeping Your Place Clean http://www.wisebread.com/the-militarys-four-step-plan-to-keeping-your-place-clean <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-militarys-four-step-plan-to-keeping-your-place-clean" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman-cleaning-countertop-Dollarphotoclub_45032082.jpg" alt="woman cleaning countertop" title="woman cleaning countertop" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Tight corners on the beds. Scrubbing floors with toothbrushes. Ruthless efficiency, glorious shine. The military knows how to clean. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-clean-everything-with-just-3-all-natural-cleaners?ref=seealso">How to Clean Everything With Just 3 All Natural Cleaners</a>)</p> <p>In just four steps &mdash; each of which are ingrained in boot camp &mdash; you too can have an inspection-passing home, and spend less time keeping it that way.</p> <h2>Step One: Clean a Little Each Day</h2> <p>&quot;If you keep everything fairly clean throughout the week, you really only need to do a larger clean two or three times per month,&quot; says Paul DiCesare, a former staff sergeant in the US Air Force and now CEO of <a href="http://www.sharejockey.com">ShareJockey</a>. It may seem daunting to wipe down your shower after every use or wipe the bathroom countertop down every other day but by &quot;finding a routine that works for you and your household and sticking to it,&quot; DiCesare adds, &quot;it's a pretty easy process to master.&quot; Whether you wipe down the bathroom counters, sweep the kitchen floors, or straighten up the items laying around the family room, a little cleaning each day is going to help you out immensely.</p> <h2>Step Two: Create a Simple System for Cleaning</h2> <p>This process should involve &quot;simple, basic cleaning that gets the job done,&quot; according to Chief Warrant Officer 3, Robert Streit who is currently stationed in Wiesbaden, Germany with the U.S. Army. &quot;You can overclean,&quot; he says, and when you do, you can ruin finishes, waste cleaning material, or even &mdash; as he discovered &mdash; wear off the water sealer around a tub due to excessive scrubbing with a wire brush. Using a simple, effective system with the right cleaners will always save you time and energy over harsher chemicals used once a month.</p> <p>Create a plan that works for you. Make a list of items you will clean daily or after each use. Items on this list would include:</p> <ul> <li>wiping down the shower walls (to ward off soap scum and mildew);</li> <li>wiping out the kitchen sink after each use;</li> <li>picking up items laying around in the main rooms of the house;</li> <li>doing one load of laundry from washing machine to putting everything away into drawers.</li> </ul> <p>Also, make a list of items you will do weekly. For example, you could wipe down bathrooms on Mondays, vacuum the carpets on Tuesday, sweep the kitchen floor on Wednesday (maybe daily if you have a busy household) and dust the main rooms of the house on Thursday. Set a schedule that makes sense for you and stick with it each week. Officer Streit agrees,&quot;routines are key to cleaning. If you establish a routine, then it becomes natural.&quot; He adds that this routine can also help you notice when something is out of place or doesn't belong.</p> <h2>Step Three: Find a Home for Everything</h2> <p>Space is a premium in places like barracks and ships; everything in those places has a designated space and must be returned to that space when it is no longer needed. This same tactic should be used in your home. Every coat should have a hanger; every backpack, it's own hook. Each toy should have a place to be stored (whether it's in a basket in the living room or a shelf in your child's bedroom.)</p> <p>Items without a space of their own will cause clutter and disorganization, and the military has learned that clutter and disorganization do not allow things to run smoothly. Tracy Tluchowski, wife of a former Marine sergeant found out quickly that the military taught her husband how to organize. &quot;Every file has a name on it. Everything is where it is supposed to be.&quot;</p> <h2>Step Four: Keep Cleaning Tools Nearby</h2> <p>Having items within reach allows you to complete the job in less time. Sergeant DiCesare took this step and turned it into a business when he created ShareJockey, a cleaning company that focuses on cleaning as quickly as possible for people who are renting out their apartments, condos, and rooms in their homes on the website Airbnb. His employees wear a custom made military-style backpack with all the tools they need to clean a one bedroom, one bath apartment in under one hour.</p> <p>While we can't all have a backpack like that, we can keep a caddy or bin in each bathroom with cleaners for the sink, toilet, shower and mirrors. Under the kitchen sink there should be plenty of hand towels and washrags, as well as cleaners for the sink, stove, and stainless steel surfaces. The linen closet near your bedrooms should have dusting supplies, glass cleaner and if there's room, a vacuum cleaner. Having all these items nearby will give you less reason to skip cleaning and help you finish quicker.</p> <p><em>How do you keep your place ship-shape? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-militarys-four-step-plan-to-keeping-your-place-clean" class="sharethis-link" title="The Military&#039;s Four-Step Plan to Keeping Your Place Clean" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-militarys-four-step-plan-to-keeping-your-place-clean">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-really-easy-ways-to-unclog-drains">10 Really Easy Ways to Unclog Drains</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-things-to-throw-out-today">25 Things to Throw Out Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/101-little-things-you-can-fix-right-now">101 Little Things You Can Fix Right Now!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-you-declutter-and-keep-your-stuff-too">This Is How You Declutter and Keep Your Stuff, Too</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fall-cleaning-101-the-spic-and-span-basics-of-making-your-home-sparkle">Fall Cleaning 101: The Spic-and-Span Basics of Making Your Home Sparkle</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> General Tips Home cleaning declutter organization Tue, 09 Dec 2014 12:00:06 +0000 Linsey Knerl 1265914 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Surprising Uses for Coat Hooks http://www.wisebread.com/10-surprising-uses-for-coat-hooks <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-surprising-uses-for-coat-hooks" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/coat-hooks-122571468-small.jpg" alt="coat hooks" title="coat hooks" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Chef Alton Brown is a hero of mine; he never buys an item that has only one use, unless it's unavoidable. Alton is always looking for something that you can use in many different ways, making best use of your money, and the space in your kitchen. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-surprising-ways-to-use-bungee-cords?ref=seealso">10 Surprising Ways to Use Bungee Cords</a>)</p> <p>So, with that in mind, here are 10 different ways you can use coat hooks of all different shapes and sizes.</p> <h2>1. Necklace Organization</h2> <p>I have two girls, 8 and 10, and I can say I am now an expert in untangling those really small gold and silver chains. But as I'd rather be spending my time with the girls than their necklaces, I hang them on a series of small coat hooks in the bedroom. They are organized by size and color, and I no longer have to spend a good 20 minutes untangling a mess of chains and beads.</p> <h2>2. Tablet/iPad Stations</h2> <p>Using the smaller plastic self-stick hooks, you can create a tablet holder in any room in your house&hellip; even the bathroom. Just place two of the hooks on a wall, using the longest side of the iPad as your guide. Then place another two hooks at the top, the same distance apart, but upside down. Now you can slide the tablet into it's custom holder and it will be held there safely, leaving your hands free.</p> <h2>3. Cable Tidy</h2> <p>Cables collect under your desk like a nest of angry snakes. Unplug and reconnect them a few times, and you have a puzzle that would test the patience of a saint. Use small coat hooks, arranged under your desk, to help with this problem. You can hang and wrap cables around them in a neat and organized fashion, making it a lot easier to separate them when the time comes to unplug.</p> <h2>4. Drawer Handles</h2> <p>Yes, many coat hooks are actually very cool alternatives for the traditional drawer handles. I replaced mine and can hang shirts from them when I'm sorting the laundry. With two on each drawer, you have 4 to 12 (or more) handy hooks at your disposal whenever you need them. Just be sure to pick sturdy hooks with screws, nothing that's self-stick or too frail and fragile.</p> <h2>5. Curtain Rod Holders</h2> <p>If you're looking for something a little different to do in the bedroom, living room, or dining room, why not replace those standard curtain rod hooks with coat hooks? They are often a lot less expensive, and do basically the same job. They, too, come in a variety of styles and colors, and allow you to really bring a unique look to the window treatment.</p> <h2>6. Tool Storage</h2> <p>Just like pots and pans, tools usually have a hole or hook integrated into the design. Use this to your advantage to organize your garage or workshop. Smaller hooks are great for things like scissors, soldering irons and hammers. Big hooks can support the weight of drills, sanders and saws. And speaking from experience, they are much more sturdy than the pegboard hooks that always seem to fall out when you remove a tool.</p> <h2>7. Pan Lid Holders</h2> <p>Those lids for your pots and pans can be quite the storage headache, especially if you like to hang your pans above the cooking area or kitchen island. One simple way to deal with the pan storage pain is to utilize the space on the inside of your cabinet doors. A couple of small hooks (the self-stick plastic ones) placed a few inches apart at an angle will hold a pan lid in place. It also makes it easy to remove when you need it. Give it a try. And speaking of pans&hellip;</p> <h2>8. Pan Holders</h2> <p>If you are running out of storage space in the cupboards, make space on a kitchen wall for your pans. Almost all of them will come with a hole in the handle for ease of hanging. Arrange coat hooks in a straight line (or a pattern if you're feeling adventurous) and hang them on a kitchen or dining room wall for easy access (and <a href="http://cdn.homedit.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Coat-Hooks-kitchen.jpg">a great display</a> if you have really top notch pans).</p> <h2>9. Extension Cord Storage</h2> <p>Two coat hooks can put an end to those extension cord tangles. I got the idea when I was wrapping up the cord on the vacuum cleaner. Why not use two coat hooks, mounted vertically or horizontally on the garage wall, to keep the extension cords in order? You can wrap the cords tightly, which is much better than the usual coil that can unravel or get caught on other items. Put three of fours sets of coat hooks in a row at different widths apart and you can accommodate extension cords of all shapes and sizes. They are also really good for Christmas lights.</p> <h2>10. Ironing Board Hanger</h2> <p>Coat hooks often hold way more weight than the average coat. This is why they're perfect for hanging ironing boards. Find two durable brass, iron, or steel coat hooks that the foot of the ironing board will easily fit into. Hang these horizontally on the wall of your laundry room, and you now have a great place for the ironing board to go without constantly tripping over it on laundry day.</p> <p><em>What cool uses for coat hooks have you come up with? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-surprising-uses-for-coat-hooks" class="sharethis-link" title="10 Surprising Uses for Coat Hooks" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-surprising-uses-for-coat-hooks">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-surprising-ways-to-use-bungee-cords">10 Surprising Ways to Use Bungee Cords</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-really-easy-ways-to-unclog-drains">10 Really Easy Ways to Unclog Drains</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-wonderful-uses-for-witch-hazel">15 Wonderful Uses for Witch Hazel</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-effective-grease-and-oil-stain-removal-tips">14 Effective Grease and Oil Stain Removal Tips</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/109-random-acts-of-kindness-you-can-start-doing-today">109 Random Acts of Kindness You Can Start Doing Today</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> General Tips coat hook hacks coat hooks surprising uses useful things Tue, 02 Dec 2014 19:00:10 +0000 Paul Michael 1260493 at http://www.wisebread.com 11 Laundry Mistakes You Didn't Know You Were Making http://www.wisebread.com/11-laundry-mistakes-you-didnt-know-you-were-making <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/11-laundry-mistakes-you-didnt-know-you-were-making" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman-doing-laundry-469754783-small.jpg" alt="woman doing laundry" title="woman doing laundry" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="143" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you hate doing laundry, raise your hand.</p> <p>I can't see you, of course, but I'm confident that 99% of you reading this post dread laundry day. The sorting, the switching, the waiting, the folding, the unexplained disappearance of an arbitrary item. When will it all end? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-secrets-to-keep-your-clothes-brighter-whiter-and-lasting-longer?ref=seealso">25+ Secrets to Keep Your Clothes Brighter, Whiter, and Lasting Longer</a>)</p> <p>Well, at least you can make the thankless task a little easier to bear by avoiding these mistakes that are costing you time, money, and a bit of sanity.</p> <h2>1. You're Not Using Laundry Detergents That 'Rinse Clean'</h2> <p>Most of the leading laundry detergents are scented and given names that bring to mind a summer rain or a spring breeze. While they make our clothes smell fresh as a field of fragrant lilacs, it's not exactly getting your clothes &quot;clean.&quot; Your clothes are clean in the sense that the dirt and grime has been eliminated, but as a result there's chemical detergent residue left behind.</p> <p>Michelle C. Smith, an entrepreneur and blogger who specializes in making <a href="http://blog.mamasuds.com/">all-natural personal cleansing products</a>, says, &quot;The biggest laundry mistake people are making is not using a laundry detergent that rinses clean &mdash; or has a fragrance, for example. This residue is left on your clothes and then most people put a dryer sheet &mdash; full of material that leaves more residue &mdash; in the dryer with their clothes because they don't like how their clothes feel.&quot;</p> <p>To solve this problem, try swapping your normal brand with an all-natural, fragrance-free brand &mdash; or<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-diy-laundry-detergent-recipes"> learn how to make your own laundry detergent with natural ingredients</a>.</p> <h2>2. You're Using Too Much Detergent</h2> <p>Are you a detergent eye-baller like me? What I mean by that is that I pour an amount of detergent into the cup that I think looks right for the load and toss it into the washer. It must stop now.</p> <p>Mona Weiss, who talks about even more laundry mistakes over at <a href="http://econutssoap.com/eleven-things-people-overlook-when-doing-their-laundry/">the Eco Nuts blog</a>, says that overdosing on detergent can result in dingy, worn-out clothes over time, along with a worn-out budget.</p> <p>&quot;If you're using a 'measure to this line' type of detergent, make sure you read the directions and make sure you are measuring to the correct line,&quot; she says. &quot;There are also many a lazy laundry-doer that just pours what looks 'about right' directly into the laundry machine and hopes for the best. That's literally pouring money down the drain.&quot;</p> <h2>3. You're Overfilling the Machine</h2> <p>Weiss also touches on another laundry mistake that I'm guilty of making &mdash; overfilling the machine. It's a no-no: completely counterproductive &mdash; and costly.</p> <p>&quot;If you're all about saving money, then adding a few more clothes to the washer so you don't have to do another load is the worst possible idea,&quot; she chides. &quot;It's so inefficient, it's anti-efficient. If your clothes can't rub up against each other during the wash then they're not getting clean, which means you'll have to wash the whole load over again. You may as well do a quick rinse in the sink under the faucet, because that's the level of 'clean' you're going to get. Some top-loading machines have a line to show where the water goes up to &mdash; your clothes level should be under that. Not up to the line, under. When in doubt take two things out.&quot;</p> <p>Or 12, in my case.</p> <h2>4. You're Not Checking Your Pockets Thoroughly</h2> <p>How many times have you screamed in horror when you discovered that you left something in your pocket because you were too lazy to do a thorough check?</p> <p>Somehow a crayon snuck into my dryer once (it wasn't pretty), there's been bubblegum in there, and countless burst pens, of course. All manner of paper gets mangled and destroyed, and sometimes there are items that I no longer recognize, or &mdash; better yet &mdash; have no idea why they were in my pockets in the first place. I'm lookin' at you, Matchbox car.</p> <h2>5. You're Spending Too Much Time Sorting Baby Clothes by Color</h2> <p>In general, most of us sort our own clothes in light, white, dark, and denim piles &mdash; although my method only includes three piles: whites, denim, and everything else that isn't those two things &mdash; because we don't want any of the dyes bleeding onto other garments. I'm totally on board with that; many of us spend a lot of money on clothing, and we need to make sure it lasts as long as possible.</p> <p>Babies, on the other hand, are a different story.</p> <p>First, any parent will tell you that the laundry from a baby never quits. I've seen some kids go through four outfits in a day, and I'm like, you need to learn how to stop vomiting all over yourself, dude. Second, these are babies we're talking about here &mdash; professional mess factories who don't have jobs or anybody to impress &mdash; so there's no need to spend anymore of your precious time sorting their bottomless hamper into separate stacks. Save for keeping dark navy and deep red items away from the whites, says Jennifer Porter, a <a href="http://satsumadesigns.com/baby-laundry-basics/">blogger at Satsuma Designs</a>, toss it all in on the &quot;Miracle&quot; cleaning setting and get on with your day.</p> <h2>6. You're Spending Money on Chemical Stain Removers When Home Hacks Work Just as Well</h2> <p>Have a whole arsenal of store-bought stain removers in your laundry room? Props to Kelly Ripa for being a formidable product endorser, but you're wasting your money. You have powerful stain fighters in your home right now that are not only cleaner than their chemical counterparts but work just as well &mdash; if not better. Porter recommends that we &quot;avoid harsh stain removal chemicals and instead use baking soda from the orange box in your refrigerator and mix with a bit of water to make a paste. Let paste rest on stain for 20-30 minutes and launder as usual.&quot;</p> <h2>7. You're Not Protecting Your Delicates as Well as You Should</h2> <p>Porter and Weiss both recommend placing delicates and other small items into a zippered mesh bag so they enjoy gentler cycles, and so you can reduce the risk of your socks and undies ending up in the Great Garment Abyss.</p> <p>&quot;Add years of life to bras, save folding time, and beat the dryer sock gremlins when you use a cotton wash bag for lingerie, socks, and baby items (booties, socks, mittens, and more) for laundry cycles,&quot; Porter says.</p> <p>Weiss seconds her sentiment: &quot;There is no black hole and [your garments] don't vanish into thin air. They do, however, get sucked into tiny places like underneath the agitator, under the gasket, or into the dryer vent. Simple solution &mdash; put all socks, underwear, lingerie, handkerchiefs, and tiny baby things into zippered mesh bags.&quot;</p> <h2>8. You're Not Following the Care Instructions</h2> <p>If your garments are coming out on the other side of a wash and dry ruined, there's something wrong &mdash; and it's probably your fault. Not all garments should be treated equally, so it's important to read the care instructions on your clothing before you launder them. It's generally recommended that denim be turned inside out before washing on cold; many cotton items have special instructions; and please, pleeeeease, whatever you do, don't put anything wool in the washer or dryer unless you plan to pass it down to your five-year-old nephew when the cycle has finished.</p> <h2>9. You're Not Adding Vinegar to Your Stinky, Sweaty Workout Gear</h2> <p>Marathon runner Marigrace McKay told me that she adds one cup of vinegar to the washer to take the funk out of her gear, so I did a little digging to verify her claim. She's <a href="http://www.wikihow.com/Add-Vinegar-to-Laundry">100% correct</a> &mdash; vinegar acts as a deodorizer to neutralize bad smells &mdash; and there are several other practical applications for vinegar in the wash, including protecting clothes from fading, acting as a natural bleaching agent, and combating lint and static clings.</p> <h2>10. You're Wasting About Half the Costly Energy During the Dry Cycle</h2> <p>Want to cut your dryer bill by almost half? It could be possible.</p> <p>Matt Kilsdonk of <a href="http://www.helpfulreviewer.com">HelpfulReviewer.com</a> provides this smart tip to save energy and money: &quot;You can reduce your drying time by half, by simply adding a dry towel to your load of wet laundry,&quot; he says. &quot;The surface area of the dry towel helps absorb moisture and speeds up the drying time of the rest of the clothes.&quot;</p> <p>He notes, however, that it's important to take the now wet towel out mid-cycle and air dry it. &quot;Leaving the towel in the full cycle will not reduce the drying time,&quot; Kilsdonk explains.</p> <h2>11. You Might Be Taking Mom for Granted (and She'll Get Back at You)</h2> <p>The usefulness of this tip is debatable, but I found it hilarious nonetheless. Kate Kassian, proprietor of <a href="http://www.buffalogalsmercantile.com/contact-us.html">Buffalo Girls Mercantile</a>, shared words of wisdom.</p> <p>&quot;My tip: Never C.O.D. your dirty laundry home to mom. You will never see it again. True story.&quot;</p> <p>Let that sink in for a minute, friends. It gets funnier the more you think about it.</p> <p><em>Do you have other laundry mistakes that we should avoid? Let me know in the comments below.</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-laundry-mistakes-you-didnt-know-you-were-making" class="sharethis-link" title="11 Laundry Mistakes You Didn&#039;t Know You Were Making" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-laundry-mistakes-you-didnt-know-you-were-making">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/defensive-laundry-9-ways-to-help-your-clothes-last-longer">Defensive Laundry: 9 Ways to Help Your Clothes Last Longer</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-effective-grease-and-oil-stain-removal-tips">14 Effective Grease and Oil Stain Removal Tips</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/16-ways-to-make-your-clothes-last-longer-without-spending-big">16 Ways to Make Your Clothes Last Longer Without Spending Big</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/household-cleaning-hacks-that-save-you-money">Household Cleaning Hacks That Save You Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-secrets-to-keep-your-clothes-brighter-whiter-and-lasting-longer">25+ Secrets to Keep Your Clothes Brighter, Whiter, and Lasting Longer</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> General Tips clothes clothes washer detergent dryer laundry wash Tue, 02 Dec 2014 13:00:12 +0000 Mikey Rox 1260491 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Signs Someone's Being Fake http://www.wisebread.com/5-signs-someones-being-fake <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-signs-someones-being-fake" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple-argument-101380945-small.jpg" alt="couple argument" title="couple argument" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We all do it to some extent: Present a carefully crafted persona that highlights our best qualities and minimizes our flaws. It's human nature. In fact, the vast majority of us <a href="http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/homo-consumericus/201111/how-often-do-people-lie-in-their-daily-lives">tell at least one fib each day</a>. It's not always a bad thing; our ability to obscure the truth is part of the reason human beings have such highly developed brains. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-giveaways-that-people-were-just-talking-about-you?ref=seealso">8 Giveaways That People Were Just Talking About You</a>)</p> <p>Even so, this behavior can go too far, which is why you've probably met at least a few people in your life that you referred to as &quot;fake.&quot; People who were inconsistent. People who stretched the truth. People who refused to own up to their bad behavior. In short, people you probably struggled to trust before. So how can you spot someone who's being fake before being duped? Here are five signs that the person you're dealing with is a phony.</p> <h2>1. They Use a Fake Smile</h2> <p>Some amount of fake smiling is normal. You probably crack a fake smile when someone pulls out a camera, or when you feel social pressure to laugh at a joke. But when you catch someone pulling a fake smile too often, beware.</p> <p>How can you tell the difference?</p> <p>According to extensive research by Dr. Paul Ekman, it's all in the eyes. In a genuine smile, tiny wrinkles appear at the corners of the eyes, and the skin between the eyebrows and upper eyelids will move down. While much of a smile can be produced voluntarily, some of the muscles used in a real smile can't be contracted at will. Can you <a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/science/humanbody/mind/surveys/smiles/">spot a fake smile</a>?</p> <h2>2. They Can't Get Their Story Straight (or Don't Believe It Themselves)</h2> <p>When people are telling the truth, it always comes out the same. Because it really happened. When people are bending the truth &mdash; or making things up &mdash; it's harder to keep that story straight. That's why if you suspect someone is being fake, you should listen for inconsistencies in their stories. You can look for inconsistencies in what they say and what happens on their face as well. Believe it or not, when a person is lying, she might be saying one thing is the truth, but betraying herself with an ever-so-slight shake of the head. (See also <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-tell-if-someone-is-lying-other-than-the-long-nose?ref=seealso">How to Tell If Someone Is Lying &mdash; Besides the Long Nose</a>.)</p> <h2>3. Their Microexpressions Tell a Different Tale</h2> <p>Just like tiny gestures, microexpressions, or the subtle, less-noticeable expressions that tend to pass quickly across a person's face, can tell you a whole lot about that person's sincerity. These expressions tend to last less than a 25th of a second, and tend to represent a concealed emotion. Watch carefully for what the person's face is telling you &mdash; and whether those expressions match the person's words.</p> <h2>4. Their Body Language Shows Discomfort</h2> <p>We don't always pick up on a person's body language, but it can be a huge red flag that that person is being insincere. Does the person turn his or her body away from you while speaking to you? That can be a sign of discomfort. Does the person tend to fidget, blink rapidly, and shrug his or her shoulders at times? Those can be signs that a person is being less than honest. A liar might also unconsciously place items between you and him or herself while talking. These signs don't always mean a person is being fake, but when you see this behavior often, or at times when you believe a person's story to be suspect, beware.</p> <h2>5. Your Gut Says So</h2> <p>How can you spot someone who's being fake? The simplest answer may be easier and more effective than all of the above: trust your instincts. According to research, our <a href="http://www.bbc.com/news/health-26764866">initial impressions of a person's motives tend to more accurate</a> than what we come up with when we think about it too much. Maybe our sense of empathy kicks in. Or we feel we need to give the person the benefit of the doubt. Or be polite. Or ensure that we're liked. And, in many cases, those messages can speak louder than that gut feeling telling us that a certain person just isn't sincere. If a person makes you uneasy and you initially question their integrity, listen to your instincts. Then, look for other clues that you're dealing with a phony. Chances are, you'll find them.</p> <p><em>Know of any other sure fire ways to spot a phony? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-signs-someones-being-fake" class="sharethis-link" title="5 Signs Someone&#039;s Being Fake" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tara-struyk">Tara Struyk</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-signs-someones-being-fake">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-tell-if-someone-is-lying-other-than-the-long-nose">How to Tell If Someone Is Lying (Other Than the Long Nose)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-giveaways-that-people-were-just-talking-about-you">8 Giveaways That People Were Just Talking About You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-really-easy-ways-to-unclog-drains">10 Really Easy Ways to Unclog Drains</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-wonderful-uses-for-witch-hazel">15 Wonderful Uses for Witch Hazel</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-effective-grease-and-oil-stain-removal-tips">14 Effective Grease and Oil Stain Removal Tips</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> General Tips fakes liars lies phonies Mon, 01 Dec 2014 13:00:08 +0000 Tara Struyk 1260448 at http://www.wisebread.com What to Eat for Lunch for a More Productive Afternoon http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-eat-for-lunch-for-a-more-productive-afternoon <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/what-to-eat-for-lunch-for-a-more-productive-afternoon" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/businesswoman-eating-lunch-185591453-small.jpg" alt="businesswoman eating lunch" title="businesswoman eating lunch" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You need fuel to perform your best. And it makes all the difference whether that fuel consists of processed sugars or healthful, natural ingredients like protein and vitamins. Exhibit A: It wouldn't be Thanksgiving without a post-turkey nap, now would it?</p> <p>So on days when you want to keep your energy levels up and your focus razor sharp well into the evening, skip the burgers, fries, and sugary soda, and opt instead for one of these energizing mid-day meals.</p> <h2>1. Spinach Salad</h2> <p>An excellent source of iron, spinach is a nutrient-loaded, low-calorie superfood that is one of the body's best energy producers. It's also affordable and readily available year-round.</p> <p>Consider topping your spinach salad with a sprinkle of health-enhancing cranberries and energy-boosting mandarin orange slices or protein-packed almonds and sugar spike-slowing strawberries. You might also want to add a dash of chia seeds, which promote energy metabolism, regulate insulin levels, and help keep you hydrated.</p> <h2>2. Salmon and Brown Basmati Rice</h2> <p>Salmon is chock full of protein, vitamin B6, niacin, and riboflavin &mdash; all of which help convert the food you eat into energy. Lest we forget the other superpowers of this pink fish, such as its ability to lower cholesterol and reduce your risk of heart disease. We recommend enjoying a filet or two with a side of brown basmati rice, a whole grain that <a href="http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/eating-brown-rice-day-good-you-10049.html">prevents blood sugar spikes</a> and helps the body rev up for action.</p> <h2>3. Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwich</h2> <p>A fan favorite among athletes, bananas are a go-to food for energy and endurance. And one of the best ways to incorporate them into your lunch is to stuff fresh slices between two pieces of peanut butter covered bread. Peanut butter is full of protein and fiber, which give you <a href="http://www.runnersworld.com/nutrition-for-runners/peanut-butter-a-great-runners-food?page=single">a slow, sustained release of energy</a> &mdash; a foolproof lunch choice for those of us who want to avoid that late afternoon slump. The carbohydrates in the sandwich bread will give your body even more fuel to last you 'til dinner time.</p> <h2>4. Crab Cakes With Edamame Salad</h2> <p>High in protein and low in fat, crab meat helps you feel full more quickly as it <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2013/apr/20/crab-good-for-you">ramps up your metabolism</a>. It's also rich in vitamin B12, which helps the body convert food into energy. Round out your meal with a side of edamame, a soybean packed with protein, magnesium, fiber, and B vitamins that help the body power up to its full potential.</p> <h2>5. Southwestern Corn and Black Bean Salad</h2> <p>A one-cup serving of corn has 5 grams of energy-building protein complete with all the essential amino acids. What it lacks is a sufficient amount of lysine to be considered a complete protein. That's where the black beans come in. Beans are packed with all the lysine your body needs to <a href="http://www.livestrong.com/article/403305-what-are-the-health-benefits-of-corn/">get that extra boost</a>. Add sliced avocado to your salad for an extra boost from <a href="http://www.californiaavocado.com/nutrition/">this fruit's 20 essential nutrients</a>, which include fiber, potassium, vitamin E, B vitamins, and folic acid. It's a tasty lunch that's guaranteed to get you ready and raring to go for the rest of the day.</p> <p><em>What's your usual workday lunch? Does it keep you going or slow you down? Tell us about it in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-eat-for-lunch-for-a-more-productive-afternoon" class="sharethis-link" title="What to Eat for Lunch for a More Productive Afternoon" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/brittany-lyte">Brittany Lyte</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-eat-for-lunch-for-a-more-productive-afternoon">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-snacks-that-will-keep-you-energized-through-the-day">20 Snacks That Will Keep You Energized Through the Day</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/breaking-the-bread-code-how-to-get-the-freshest-loaf">Breaking the Bread Code: How to Get the Freshest Loaf</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/40-rice-cake-topping-ideas">40 Rice Cake Topping Ideas</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/16-ways-to-use-up-leftover-champagne">16 Ways to Use Up Leftover Champagne</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-gluten-free-lunch-ideas">20 Gluten-Free Lunch Ideas</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Food and Drink General Tips afternoon doldrums brain food energy food healthy food lunch Wed, 26 Nov 2014 13:00:11 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1260443 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Habits That Are Quietly Eating Your Brain http://www.wisebread.com/6-habits-that-are-quietly-eating-your-brain <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-habits-that-are-quietly-eating-your-brain" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man-eating-cake-86490135-small.jpg" alt="man eating cake" title="man eating cake" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Bad habits &mdash; everybody's got 'em. But did you know that some of them are actually making you dumber? That's right, just as you can engage in practices that boost your brain power, there are other actions &mdash; including some you may be taking right now while mistakenly thinking they're harmless &mdash; that actually diminish your intellectual capacity. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-habits-that-are-quietly-making-you-fat-and-have-nothing-to-do-with-eating?ref=seealso">7 Habits That Are Quietly Making You Fat</a>)</p> <p>So read on, smarten up, and don't say we didn't warn you.</p> <h2>1. Overeating</h2> <p>Listen up, men. Especially those of you who carry around a little extra weight. Researchers have found that being overweight may actually increase the <a href="http://www.webmd.com/men/news/20030305/obesity-may-hamper-mens-brain-power">risk of mental decline in men</a>, making it more difficult for their brains to function at peak levels over time. So next time you get the midnight munchies, think not just of the damage it could do to your waistline, but also the harm it could cause to your intellect.</p> <p>Women, by the way, are not at risk for this eating-induced loss of mental function because of where and how the female body stores and distributes fat. Hurray!</p> <h2>2. Using GPS Navigation</h2> <p>A series of studies has uncovered a startling fact about the way we navigate this modern world, and the effect it has on our brains. It turns out that depending on GPS to get from point A to point B may have negative consequences on brain function, especially on the hippocampus, which is involved in <a href="http://phys.org/news/2010-11-reliance-gps-hippocampus-function-age.html">memory and navigation processes</a>. Neuroscientist Veronique Bohbot of McGill University in Montreal contends that it's probably wise for us all to limit our use of GPS strictly for occasions when we're finding the way to a new destination. Then, on the way back, or when we're going somewhere else we're already familiar with, we should turn it off.</p> <h2>3. Working Odd Hours</h2> <p>If you work the graveyard shift or otherwise make a living by a strange schedule, you may want to put in for a change of hours. Studies show that long-term shift work leads to impaired memory and <a href="http://www.swansea.ac.uk/media-centre/latest-research/researchshowslongtermshiftworklinkedtoimpairedbrainpower.php">stunted brain function</a>. &quot;The cognitive impairment observed in the present study may have important safety consequences not only for the individuals concerned, but also for society as a whole, given the increasing number of jobs in high hazard situations that are performed at night,&quot; wrote a team of researchers from the National Center for Scientific Research at the University of Toulouse in France. Experts say it all boils down to the toll sleep disruption has on the brain's ability to store information. The old 9-to-5 doesn't sound so bad afterall, now does it?</p> <h2>4. Getting Stressed Out</h2> <p>Only 37% of Americans feel they are doing an <a href="http://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/stress/2012/impact.aspx#">adequate job of managing their stress</a>. And now there's evidence that stress could be <a href="http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-mindful-self-express/201208/how-prevent-stress-shrinking-your-brain">shrinking our brains</a>. New research shows that prolonged stress is associated with decreased volume in the parts of the brain responsible for regulating thoughts and feelings and creating new memories. So it would seem to reason that it's more important now than ever to pick up a few little tricks to help release those tightly wound tensions we all accumulate in the mind and body as we go about our day. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-little-ways-to-de-stress-and-enjoy-life-more?ref=seealso">6 Little Ways to De-Stress (and Enjoy Life More)</a>)</p> <h2>5. Skipping Meals</h2> <p>When you skip a meal, you aren't just starving your stomach &mdash; you're also <a href="http://www.memphis.edu/update/feb10/health.php">starving your brain</a>. The brain relies on blood sugar from the food we eat as fuel to keep all our neural-activity functioning properly. All it takes is a few hours on an empty stomach for our blood sugar to drop to subnormal levels, which means the brain can't perform optimally. &quot;In short, skipping meals leads to poor cognitive functioning, including loss of memory, concentration, the ability to learn, hand-eye coordination, and the ability to catch mistakes,&quot; said Rallie McAllister, author of <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00C01L6WI/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00C01L6WI&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=WRRRAYANZHVFN22S">Healthy Lunchbox: The Working Mom's Guide to Keeping You and Your Kids Trim</a>.</p> <h2>6. Eating Soda, Candy, and Sugary Snacks</h2> <p>Yet another reason to wrangle in that sweet tooth: A diet high in <a href="http://www.cbsnews.com/news/need-your-brain-this-food-can-make-you-dumber/">fructose slows the brain</a>, which hampers memory and learning. And studies show all it takes is six weeks of sugary eating for the effects on the mind to begin to show. &quot;Our findings illustrate that what you eat affects how you think,&quot; UCLA biology professor Fernando Gomez-Pinilla told CBS News. &quot;Eating a high-fructose diet over the long term alters your brain's ability to learn and remember information.&quot;</p> <p><em>Are you guilty of any of these bad habits? Planning to stop now? Tell us about it in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-habits-that-are-quietly-eating-your-brain" class="sharethis-link" title="6 Habits That Are Quietly Eating Your Brain" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/brittany-lyte">Brittany Lyte</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-habits-that-are-quietly-eating-your-brain">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-break-bad-habits">How to Break Bad Habits</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-habits-you-must-start-right-now-and-be-a-better-person">20 Habits You Must Start Right Now and Be a Better Person</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-habits-you-must-kick-right-now-and-be-a-better-person">20 Habits You Must Kick Right Now and Be a Better Person</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/breaking-the-bread-code-how-to-get-the-freshest-loaf">Breaking the Bread Code: How to Get the Freshest Loaf</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/16-ways-to-use-up-leftover-champagne">16 Ways to Use Up Leftover Champagne</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Food and Drink General Tips bad habits habits intelligence Tue, 25 Nov 2014 13:00:05 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1260291 at http://www.wisebread.com 4 Magic Words and Phrases That Will Make You Sound Smarter http://www.wisebread.com/4-magic-words-and-phrases-that-will-make-you-sound-smarter <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-magic-words-and-phrases-that-will-make-you-sound-smarter" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/business-conversation-513991085-small.jpg" alt="conversation" title="conversation" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Smart is the new sexy.</p> <p><a href="http://youtu.be/zuBSRC1zpHw">Ashton Kutcher</a> said it best, &quot;the sexiest thing in the entire world is being smart, being thoughtful, and being generous. Everything else is crap.&quot; (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/want-to-be-more-attractive-work-these-5-magic-words-and-phrases-into-your-vocabulary?ref=seealso">Want to Be More Attractive? Work These 5 Magic Words (and Phrases) Into Your Vocabulary</a>)</p> <p>However, appearing smart takes more than just throwing on a pair of glasses and learning complicated words, such as denouement or onomatopoeia. To help you smarten up, here are four magic words and phrases to work into your speech and writing.</p> <h2>1. &quot;Because&quot;</h2> <p>This is one of the most powerful words in the English language. It's so powerful that it increases your chances of getting people to agree with you.</p> <p>Let's imagine that you are waiting in a long line to use the photocopier. Somebody tries to cut in and asks you &quot;Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine?&quot; According to one study, <a href="http://www.communicationcache.com/uploads/1/0/8/8/10887248/the_mindlessness_of_ostensibly_thoughtful_action-_the_role_of_placebic_information_in_interpersonal_interaction.pdf">only 60% of individuals would let the person cut in</a>. But when the person tweaks his question to &quot;I have 5 pages. May I use the Xerox machine, <em>because</em> I am in a rush?&quot; a whopping 94% of individuals would let the person cut in.</p> <p>But wait a minute, aren't most of us, including those waiting in line, in a rush? Why in the world would virtually everybody let that person cut in line? The answer is that people simply like to have a reason for doing what they do (a.k.a. &quot;What's in it for me, buddy?&quot;). By using &quot;because&quot; you're providing that reason. Turns out that most of us won't argue when provided a reason, even if it may not be that great.</p> <h2>2. &quot;You're Right&quot;</h2> <p>One of the advantages of being smart is that you win arguments. &quot;You're right&quot; is your magic shortcut to appear smarter during arguments and, hence, win them more often.</p> <p>The main issue with arguments is that they take place when there's a problem that needs to be resolved. Whenever there are problems, you will have to deal with conflicts. If you only focus on the negative aspects of the conflict, then the arguments get heated. Nothing good comes out of a heated discussion.</p> <p>The best way to keep a balanced argument is to make <a href="http://www.salon.com/2012/06/03/your_words_matter/">three positive comments for every negative comment</a> that you make. By keeping the negativity in check, you're increasing your chances of solving the problem. &quot;You're right&quot; achieves this for you.</p> <p>&quot;You're right&quot; is a magic phrase for two reasons. First, it's an easy crutch to use when you can't come up with a positive comment. For example, you can use it when the other person mentions a fact (&quot;You're right, the invoice does show 17 widgets.&quot;). Second, &quot;You're right&quot; kicks in the rule of reciprocation. By making this concession, the other person is obligated to return a concession of their own.</p> <h2>3. &quot;Instantly&quot;</h2> <p>From headache-relief pills to menu items to answers, we want things to work right now.</p> <p><a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22633679">MRI studies</a> have shown that our brains get all excited at the mention of instant gratification. That's why you can't sound like it will take too long to work with you. You have to add to your vocabulary words that trigger that much needed instant gratification, such as &quot;instantly,&quot; &quot;immediately,&quot; and &quot;fast.&quot;</p> <ul> <li>Say &quot;I'll get back to you <em>immediately</em>&quot; instead of &quot;I'll get back to you.&quot;</li> <li>Promise to deliver <em>fast</em> results, not just results.</li> <li>Assert &quot;my proposal addresses your needs <em>instantly</em>.&quot;</li> </ul> <p>An important warning is that when you use &quot;instantly,&quot; you must deliver on your promise. Nothing is worse than failing to meet the high standards that made somebody choose you over somebody else. You may get away with under-delivering on your promises once, but once the word gets out, nobody will buy your empty promises any more.</p> <h2>4. &quot;Even&hellip;&quot;</h2> <p>Throughout your day you do your best to convince other people to do things, for example:</p> <ul> <li>Asking your 5-year old son to eat his vegetables.</li> <li>Requesting your boss for an extra 20 minutes during your lunch break.</li> <li>Calling your insurance company for a discount on your premium.</li> </ul> <p>We have already discussed how using &quot;because&quot; dramatically increases your chances of getting your way, but here's an extra way to make your offer irresistible: Downplay your request through the smart use of &quot;even&quot;.</p> <p>In a study, <a href="http://www.mhhe.com/cls/psy/ch15/foot.mhtml">people were asked for donations</a> using two types of requests:</p> <ol> <li>&quot;Would you be willing to help by giving a donation?&quot;</li> <li>&quot;Would you be willing to help by giving a donation? <em>Even</em> a penny will help.&quot;</li> </ol> <p>When using the first question, only 28% of people donated. When using the second question that included the &quot;even&quot; statement, 50% of people donated.</p> <p>By setting minimal parameters for your request, you can make people almost twice as likely to agree to it. The best part of this study is that donors that responded to the second question donated the same amounts as donors from the first question. This means that if you ask your boss, &quot;Can I get an extra 20 minutes for my lunch break? <em>Even</em> five will help,&quot; she will still agree to give you the full 20 minutes.</p> <p><em>What words or phrases do you find smart? Please share them in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-magic-words-and-phrases-that-will-make-you-sound-smarter" class="sharethis-link" title="4 Magic Words and Phrases That Will Make You Sound Smarter" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/damian-davila">Damian Davila</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-magic-words-and-phrases-that-will-make-you-sound-smarter">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/you-can-learn-a-new-language-just-use-one-of-these-3-apps">You CAN Learn a New Language — Just Use One of These 3 Apps</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-does-ymmv-mean-the-official-guide-to-decoding-the-language">What Does “YMMV” Mean? The Official Guide to Decoding the Language of Frugality</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-really-easy-ways-to-unclog-drains">10 Really Easy Ways to Unclog Drains</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-wonderful-uses-for-witch-hazel">15 Wonderful Uses for Witch Hazel</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-effective-grease-and-oil-stain-removal-tips">14 Effective Grease and Oil Stain Removal Tips</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> General Tips language magic words sound smarter Mon, 24 Nov 2014 13:00:10 +0000 Damian Davila 1258686 at http://www.wisebread.com 12 More Grammar Mistakes That Are Making You Look Stupid http://www.wisebread.com/12-more-grammar-mistakes-that-are-making-you-look-stupid <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/12-more-grammar-mistakes-that-are-making-you-look-stupid" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/businessman-writing-450814525-small.jpg" alt="businessman writing" title="businessman writing" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Having bad grammar can be a job killer.</p> <ul> <li><a href="https://hbr.org/2012/07/i-wont-hire-people-who-use-poo/">Some employers won't hire people who use poor grammar</a>.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Even in industries, such as IT, <a href="http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/career-management/would-you-hire-someone-with-poor-grammar-skills/">good grammar is a requirement</a>.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Human resource experts see <a href="http://www.cbsnews.com/news/why-sloppiness-is-killing-your-job-search/">bad grammar as an obstacle to landing the job</a>.</li> </ul> <p>Simply put: If you're not able to distinguish the difference between &quot;your&quot; and &quot;you're,&quot; employers may not be comfortable with your learning curve.</p> <p>So take action today, and fix these 12 more grammar mistakes that are making you look stupid. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-grammar-mistakes-that-are-making-you-look-stupid?ref=seealso">12 Grammar Mistakes That Are Making You Look Stupid</a>)</p> <h2>Mixing Up Words</h2> <p>At the top of the list of grammar mistakes is the misuse of homonyms (words that sound alike). Let's look at some common mixups.</p> <h3>1. Its vs It's</h3> <ul> <li><em>Its</em> is a possessive pronoun</li> <li><em>It's</em> is a contraction of &quot;it is.&quot;</li> </ul> <p>The test to determine whether or not you're using &quot;it's&quot; correctly is to replace it for &quot;it is.&quot; For example, &quot;<em>It's</em> an apple&quot; is correct (&quot;<em>It is</em> an apple&quot; makes sense), and &quot;<em>It's</em> red car is awesome&quot; is incorrect (&quot;<em>It is</em> red car is awesome&quot; doesn't make sense).</p> <h3>2. Lose vs Loose</h3> <p>That extra &quot;o&quot; makes a world of difference.</p> <ul> <li>Use <em>lose</em> to indicate that you're unable to find something or someone, or fail to win a game or contest. For example, &quot;when I play chess with grandpa, I <em>lose</em> all the time!&quot;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>On the other hand, use <em>loose</em> when something is not tightly fastened, attached, or held. For example, &quot;wearing <em>loose</em> pants is very comfortable.&quot;</li> </ul> <h3>3. To vs Too vs Two</h3> <ul> <li><em>To</em> indicates place or direction. (&quot;I moved from Maryland to Hawaii.&quot;) <em>To</em> is also used when you're using a verb in its infinitive form. (&quot;<em>To</em> make that move was great!&quot;)<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><em>Too</em> means also. (&quot;I made that move, <em>too</em>!&quot;)<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><em>Two</em> is the number after one. (&quot;<em>Two</em> people moved from Maryland to Hawaii.&quot;)</li> </ul> <p>Now that you know the difference, test yourself with this sentence: &quot;I'm to/too/two tired to/too/two help you carry these to/too/two suitcases to/too/two the taxi.&quot;</p> <h3>4. Accept vs Except</h3> <p>While these words may sound alike, they have very different meanings. Generally <em>except</em> is a preposition (it can also be a verb or conjunction) and <em>accept</em> is a verb. Here are some examples.</p> <ul> <li>The most common use of except is to exclude somebody or something. For example, &quot;the family was all there <em>except</em> Uncle Jerry.&quot;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Use accept when you take or receive something, such as in the event that &quot;you <em>accept</em> the Oscar on behalf of Leonardo DiCaprio.&quot;</li> </ul> <h3>5. Advice vs Advise</h3> <p>Confusing these two words can sound like nails scratching on a chalkboard. <em>Advice</em> is a noun and <em>advise</em> is a verb.</p> <ul> <li>Use <em>advice</em> to refer to guidance or recommendations. (&quot;I accept your <em>advice</em>.&quot;)<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>On the other hand, use <em>advise</em> to indicate the action of giving suggestions or recommendations. (&quot;I <em>advise</em> you to go home.&quot;)</li> </ul> <h2>Idioms</h2> <p>An idiom is an expression whose meaning is not predictable from the usual meanings of the words that make it up. The most mistakes with idioms involve verbs and their associated prepositions.</p> <h3>6. Distinguish From vs Distinguish Between&hellip; And&hellip;.</h3> <p>Both idioms are correct, but you need to use the right prepositions at the right time.</p> <ul> <li>Incorrect: &quot;Some people can't <em>distinguish</em> Monet <em>and</em> Manet.&quot;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Correct: &quot;Some people can't <em>distinguish between</em> Monet <em>and</em> Manet.&quot;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Correct: Some people can't <em>distinguish</em> Monet <em>from</em> Manet.&quot;</li> </ul> <h3>7. Consider</h3> <p>When you use &quot;consider,&quot; you don't add the preposition &quot;as.&quot;</p> <p>I <em>consider</em> this a common mistake because people think of the similar idiomatic expression, &quot;regard as.&quot;</p> <h3>8. Supposed To</h3> <p>In this case, the problem is not the preposition but the verb tense in the idiom.</p> <ul> <li>Incorrect: &quot;I was suppose to call you last weekend.&quot;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Correct: &quot;I was <em>supposed to</em> call you last weekend.&quot;</li> </ul> <h2>Made Up Words or Phrases</h2> <p>These words don't even exist, yet somehow end up in our speech and writing. Here are some terrifying abuses of the English language.</p> <h3>9. Irregardless</h3> <p>Holy double negatives, Batman!</p> <p>&quot;Irregardless&quot; is not a word. When you're trying to say &quot;anyhow&quot; or &quot;anyway&quot; use &quot;regardless.&quot; When you use &quot;regardless&quot; at the beginning of a sentence, add the preposition &quot;of.&quot;</p> <ul> <li>Correct: &quot;They knew it was going to rain; they went to the park <em>regardless</em>.&quot;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Correct: &quot;<em>Regardless of</em> the rain, they went to the beach.&quot;</li> </ul> <h3>10. Could of, Would of, and Should of</h3> <p>When said quickly &quot;I would've gone to the movies if you had invited me,&quot; some people may hear &quot;would of.&quot; This happens because &quot;would have&quot; is contracted as &quot;would've.&quot;</p> <p>&quot;Could of,&quot; &quot;would of,&quot; and &quot;should of&quot; are speech slurs of &quot;could've,&quot; &quot;would've,&quot; and &quot;should've.&quot; When writing out these expressions, make sure to spell them correctly as &quot;could've,&quot; &quot;would've,&quot; and &quot;should've.&quot;</p> <h3>11. Doggy-Dog World</h3> <p>A &quot;doggy-dog&quot; world sounds like a wonderful paradise filled with tiny, fluffy, and cuddly puppies.</p> <p>If you're trying to say that the world is a vicious place filled with people that will betray one another to get to the top, then you must be referring to a &quot;dog-eat-dog world.&quot;</p> <h3>12. Dangling Participle</h3> <p>Last but not least, here is my second favorite grammar pet peeve: the dangling participle.</p> <p>Also known as dangling modifier, the dangling participle is one of the most common grammar mistakes. Not only will this error make you look dumb, but also it will render your speech or writing almost unintelligible.</p> <ul> <li>Incorrect: &quot;By studying every day, the grade increased from 70 to 90.&quot;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Correct: &quot;By studying every day, Mike increased his score from 70 to 90.&quot;</li> </ul> <p>Notice that a modifier (&quot;By studying every day&quot;) attaches to the first noun it meets. Since grades don't study, the modifier is misplaced in the first example. In the second, it modifies &quot;Mike,&quot; and we understand how he improved his score.</p> <p>Modifier phrases, such as participles, must be right before or right after the noun that they're modifying. Take a look at this next example:</p> <ul> <li>Incorrect: &quot;After declining for months, the company turned around its revenue.&quot;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Better: &quot;After declining for months, the revenue was turned around by the company.&quot;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Best: &quot;The company turned around the revenue, which had been declining for months.&quot; (This is the best choice because it avoids the use of passive voice.)</li> </ul> <p>By paying attention to these grammar mistakes, you are improving the chances of landing your dream job.</p> <p><em>What are your grammar pet peeves? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-more-grammar-mistakes-that-are-making-you-look-stupid" class="sharethis-link" title="12 More Grammar Mistakes That Are Making You Look Stupid" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/damian-davila">Damian Davila</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-more-grammar-mistakes-that-are-making-you-look-stupid">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-9"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-grammar-mistakes-that-are-making-you-look-stupid">12 Grammar Mistakes That Are Making You Look Stupid</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/change-your-life-by-learning-how-to-admit-youre-wrong">Change Your Life by Learning How to Admit You&#039;re Wrong</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-stupidest-things-smart-people-do">The 10 Stupidest Things Smart People Do</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/lessons-learned-from-new-years-eves-gone-wrong">Lessons Learned from New Year&#039;s Eves Gone Wrong</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-really-easy-ways-to-unclog-drains">10 Really Easy Ways to Unclog Drains</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> General Tips diction grammar Mistakes spelling Fri, 21 Nov 2014 15:00:16 +0000 Damian Davila 1257851 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Survive the 5 Most Common Emergency Situations http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-survive-the-5-most-common-emergency-situations <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-survive-the-5-most-common-emergency-situations" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman-flat-tire-177572755-small.jpg" alt="woman flat tire" title="woman flat tire" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Nuclear fallout, asteroid strikes, and sinkholes are rare. But, yes, emergencies do happen. And while you'd be foolish to spend time preparing for any of <em>those</em> three disasters, it's smart and doubly worthwhile to prep for some of the more common ones. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-emergency-situations-you-must-prepare-for-and-5-you-can-ignore?ref=seealso">5 Emergency Situations You Must Prepare For</a>)</p> <p>Read on for our round-up of likely red alert scenarios, complete with tips on how to prevent and get out of them.</p> <h2>1. A Bad Case of Frostbite</h2> <p>If you spend time at high altitudes or in sub-zero climes, chances are you've flirted with frostbite. A mild case can mean your skin becomes partially frozen &mdash; and when it warms back up it's going to hurt like heck. But a bad case of <a href="http://www.ncemi.org/cse/cse1104.htm">frostbite can lead to severe blistering</a>, permanent cold sensitivity, and long-term loss of feeling. Not to mention it's a warning sign of life-threatening hypothermia.</p> <p>So if you think you've been exposed to frostbite of this magnitude &mdash; or if you're at all uncertain &mdash; it's important to remove yourself from the elements as quickly as possible and seek professional emergency medical treatment. As you make your way to the medics, keep in mind two important don'ts. Never use friction to warm body parts that have been exposed to frostbite, for this can further damage the tissue. And never rewarm frostbitten skin while you're still out in the elements &mdash; you'll run the risk of refreezing and doubly damaging your skin.</p> <h2>2. Flat Tires And Blowouts</h2> <p>Prior to 2007 when tire pressure monitoring systems were installed in all vehicles, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimated flat tires and blowouts as the cause of 414 fatalities, 10,275 non-fatal injuries, and 78,392 crashes on American roads annually. Tire pressure monitoring systems have made us safer, but <a href="http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/811617.pdf">tire troubles are still one of the most common problems faced by drivers</a>. That's because the tires are the only part of the car that are in constant contact with the road, making them extremely vulnerable.</p> <p>The best way to prevent a faulty tire situation is to check your air pressure regularly, rotate your tires every time you change the oil, and keep an eye on the treads, making sure to replace any tires that appear worn out. And <a href="http://www.procarcare.com/icarumba/resourcecenter/encyclopedia/icar_resourcecenter_encyclopedia_emergency2.asp#blowouts">if you do hear a tire pop</a> or experience a sudden lack of control in steering while whizzing down the highway, follow these steps: Get a firm grip on the wheel and slowly apply the brakes (sudden braking can propel your car into a spin-out), pull over to the side of the road, and activate your flashers. Once you're safely stopped out of the way of traffic, change the tire yourself or call for help.</p> <h2>3. A Severe Storm Threat</h2> <p>Be it a hurricane, blizzard, or wildfire, Mother Nature can wreak havoc on our lives. Where you live will help determine what kind of storm event you ought to prepare for, but nonetheless most disaster kits contain many of the same key ingredients. These kits should be assembled well in advance of an emergency, and they should contain <a href="http://www.ready.gov/build-a-kit">everything you need to survive for 72 hours</a>.</p> <p>Some of those items include nonperishable food for you and your pets, bottled water, a sleeping bag or warm blanket for everyone in your household, prescription medications, first aid supplies, matches, a flashlight with extra batteries, and a whistle to signal for help. Be sure to keep your kit in a secure location &mdash; and be sure that everyone in the house knows where it is. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-safest-cities-in-america-from-natural-disasters?ref=seealso">Safest Cities in America From Natural Disasters</a>)</p> <h2>4. Getting The Pink Slip</h2> <p><a href="http://www.gallup.com/poll/168563/job-loss-quickly-lead-hardship.aspx">Four in 10 Americans would feel financial hardship</a> a month from now if they were to lose their job today. Gallup's 2014 Economy and Personal Finance Poll also found that 23% of Americans earning $50,000 or less said they are very or fairly likely to lose their job in the near future. For Americans earning more than $50,000, it's 12%.</p> <p>&quot;With long-term unemployment a serious problem in recent years, many U.S. workers are not in a position financially to go a month, or even a week, without finding a new job if laid off,&quot; the Gallup poll concludes. &quot;That underscores the economic hardship that unemployment of any length can bring on U.S. families, particularly for younger and lower-income workers.&quot;</p> <p>One of the top reasons so many Americans fall into a financial black hole when they lose employment is that they didn't see it coming. So the best way to prevent yourself from falling into this trap is to prepare for the unexpected by creating an emergency savings fund. Paul Golden, spokesman for the National Endowment for Financial Education, recommends setting aside three to six months of living expenses to <a href="http://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/articles/2013/12/26/why-you-need-an-emergency-fund-in-the-new-year">offset any future potential job loss</a>. During a recession, that amount should increase to six to nine months of expenses, Golden says.</p> <h2>5. House Fires</h2> <p>Every year there are <a href="http://www.nfpa.org/research/reports-and-statistics/fires-by-property-type/residential/home-fires">more than 360,000 house fires</a>, killing about 2,500 people and causing more than $7 billion in property damage in the U.S. Cooking equipment is the leading cause of house fires, followed by cigarette smoking and faulty heating equipment. And since two of every five house fires starts in the kitchen, one of the best ways to prevent one in your home is to fire-proof the area around your stove by removing anything flammable (think dish towels, anything made of paper or plastic) within three feet of the burners. It's also important to install and <a href="http://www.redcross.org/prepare/location/home-family/prevent-home-fires">test your home smoke alarm</a> to ensure that it's working properly.</p> <p><em>Are you prepared? For what? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-survive-the-5-most-common-emergency-situations" class="sharethis-link" title="How to Survive the 5 Most Common Emergency Situations " rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/brittany-lyte">Brittany Lyte</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-survive-the-5-most-common-emergency-situations">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-10"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-6-stages-of-dealing-with-financial-disaster">The 6 Stages of Dealing With Financial Disaster</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-weird-ways-to-keep-you-and-your-stuff-safe">7 Weird Ways to Keep You and Your Stuff Safe</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-really-easy-ways-to-unclog-drains">10 Really Easy Ways to Unclog Drains</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-wonderful-uses-for-witch-hazel">15 Wonderful Uses for Witch Hazel</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-effective-grease-and-oil-stain-removal-tips">14 Effective Grease and Oil Stain Removal Tips</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> General Tips disasters emergencies insurance preparation Thu, 20 Nov 2014 12:00:07 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1257139 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Critical Steps to Protect Your Data in the Cloud http://www.wisebread.com/10-critical-steps-to-protect-your-data-in-the-cloud <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-critical-steps-to-protect-your-data-in-the-cloud" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man-working-laptop-186066717-small.jpg" alt="man working laptop" title="man working laptop" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>While movies have portrayed hackers as both good (<a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0307949486/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=0307949486&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=H5TI6KQEDOMORY32"><em>The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo</em></a>) and evil (<a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000VNMMR0/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000VNMMR0&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=IDSOEIWF6ERDSE5A"><em>Live Free or Die Hard</em></a>), the one thing that is clear is that they can do a good deal of damage.</p> <p>Several female celebrities, such as Kate Upton, Jennifer Lawrence, and Hayden Panettiere, became victims of malicious hackers, who nabbed several <a href="http://news.yahoo.com/apparent-hollywood-hack-attack-nabs-stars-nude-pix-013137802.html">intimate pictures from the celebrities' cloud storage accounts</a>.</p> <p>And if you think that this just happens to celebrities, think again. <a href="http://www.businessinsider.com/snapchat-hacked-the-snappening-2014-10">Even common folks like you and me are being exploited by malicious hackers</a>. It is time to step up the security of your data on the cloud with these 10 useful tips.</p> <h2>1. Create a Stronger Password</h2> <p>A strong password is your very first line of defense against anybody trying to hack your account. Unfortunately, your password is usually the weakest link. In fact, <a href="http://www.cloudentr.com/latest-resources/industry-news/2014/3/19/weak-passwords-among-top-causes-of-data-breaches-tips-for-password-security">76% of cyber attacks on corporate networks</a> are due to weak passwords.</p> <p>Strengthen your password using these <a href="http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-vista/tips-for-creating-a-strong-password">security tips from Microsoft</a>:</p> <ol> <li>Make the length of your password at least eight characters. If you want to make it absolutely uncrackable use <a href="http://www.infoworld.com/article/2655121/security/password-size-does-matter.html">15 characters or more</a>.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Skip using your real name, last name, or company name.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Don't build entire words with only letters.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Use a combination of numbers, uppercase and lowercase letters, and symbols (@, #, $, and %), if applicable.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Update passwords regularly and make them significantly different from previous ones.</li> </ol> <p>Using these guidelines, you can create a strong password like this one: ILuv2PlayB@dm1nt()n. By picking characters from the full set of allowed printable characters, you force hackers to guess from <a href="http://www.bu.edu/infosec/howtos/how-to-choose-a-password/">645 trillion possible combinations</a>.</p> <h2>2. Store Your Passwords Securely</h2> <p>That's not a typo. Yes, you need several passwords. Hackers exploit the fact that about <a href="http://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/2013/04/23/users-same-password-most-websites/">55% of Internet users use the same password</a> for several services. The last thing that you want is that after your Dropbox account gets hacked, your online banking account becomes the next target.</p> <p>It goes without saying, keep your password to yourself. Don't store it on visible places, such as taped to the back of your keyboard or smartphone.</p> <p>In a perfect world, you would just memorize them. However, a more realistic approach is to keep an offline notebook in a secure place or use a password management application, such as <a href="http://keepass.info/">KeePass Password Safe</a>, <a href="http://lastpass.com">LastPass</a>, <a href="http://agilebits.com/onepassword">1Password</a>, or <a href="http://passwordsafe.sourceforge.net/index.shtml">Password Safe</a>.</p> <h2>3. Activate Two-Factor Authentication</h2> <p>On top of your password, you can often add an extra layer of security by activating two-factor authorization (also known as 2FA). Without 2FA, hackers only need your username and password to access your data.</p> <p>Several cloud-based services, such as <a href="http://www.cnet.com/how-to/how-to-enable-dropbox-two-step-verification/">Dropbox</a> and <a href="http://www.cnet.com/news/multifactor-authentication-extended-to-all-office-365-users/">Office 365</a>, offer 2FA by sending you a code via text or phone call that you need to access your account. It's an extra step, but once you've set it up on all of your devices, you are good to go.</p> <h2>4. Keep Your Birth Date Private</h2> <p>But don't just stop there.</p> <ul> <li>The name of your first pet</li> <li>Mom's maiden name</li> <li>Last four digits of your social security number</li> <li>Name of the street that you grew up in</li> </ul> <p>What do these have in common? They're all potential answers to security questions to retrieve your password or access to your account. When selecting your security questions, make sure that their answers are not a simple Google search away.</p> <p>Hide your birth date and any other private information from your bio section from any social media sites, online forums, or websites. The more private your personal information is, the less likely that a hacker can find it through search engines.</p> <h2>5. Learn the Process to Report Hackers</h2> <p>Almost every service has a way to submit a report when you think somebody else is using your account. Here is an example from <a href="https://account.live.com/ResetPassword.aspx">Microsoft</a>.</p> <p>By investing the time in becoming familiar with the process of recovering access to your account, you are better prepared for the day that you have to rely on this process. This will help you keep some sanity during that stressful time and know what information is necessary.</p> <h2>6. Be Wary of Public Wi-Fi</h2> <p>Over <a href="http://www.gfi.com/blog/survey-95-6-of-commuters-in-the-us-put-company-data-at-risk-over-free-public-wi-fi/#!">95% of American commuters use free public Wi-Fi</a> to complete work on the go.</p> <p>The problem is that about 60% of them admit they will utilize any free Wi-Fi source they can find. Data transfers happening over public Wi-Fi networks aren't encrypted, so hackers can exploit these public networks to tap into tablets and smartphones.</p> <p>By setting up &quot;hot spot honeypots,&quot; digital thieves tempt people with the offer of free Internet, and gain access to all kinds of private data. And they're not doing anything too high tech: hackers just need a <a href="http://hakshop.myshopify.com/products/wifi-pineapple?variant=81044992">$100 device</a> and can be <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/Business/story?id=3454066">up to 100 feet away</a> from their victims.</p> <p>Use these strategies when attempting to connect to a public Wi-Fi:</p> <ul> <li>Verify the official name of the network with the place offering it. Don't assume that every business or public space offers free Wi-Fi.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Only activate the Wi-Fi feature of your device, when you are about to access a Wi-Fi network that you have verified.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>If planning to review work files, use your company Virtual Private Network (VPN) network, if one is available. VPN encrypts all your data during your session and and hides the identity of the servers to which you are connected. Depending on the nature of your industry, you may never want to risk viewing company files without a VPN connection.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Keep your device's operating system up to date. For example, Apple is constantly releasing security updates to address system vulnerabilities for iPhones and iPads.</li> </ul> <h2>7. Prevent Automatic Upload of Media</h2> <p>If you keep the default settings from cloud storage services, such as iCloud or Dropbox, then all of your photos and videos may be automatically uploaded to the cloud.</p> <p>If you're planning to take some photos and videos that are meant for your eyes only, make sure to update the settings of your cloud storage accounts. Nobody can hack for intimate photos or videos if there are none available online in the first place.</p> <ul> <li>iPhone Users: To prevent photos from automatically uploading from your iPhone or iPod to your iCloud account, you can go to Settings &gt; iCloud &gt; Photo Stream, and turn off My Photo Stream.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Android Users: You need to check any auto-backup settings you can find on individual apps. Some examples of apps uploading media automatically to the cloud are Facebook, Twitter, and Dropbox. Check the settings menu of your apps and disable any photo-syncing that you're not comfortable with.</li> </ul> <h2>8. Backup Your Media Offline</h2> <p>While it is important to prevent undesired media from ending up in the cloud, it is equally important to backup the data that is important to you. An offline backup of your media is not only important for when your phone is lost, stolen, or severely damaged, but also for when somebody hacks into your cloud account and deletes all of your data!</p> <p>Most smartphones provide a way to back up your device's media that is not cloud-based and that can be stored in your personal computer. For example, Apple devices can leverage <a href="http://support.apple.com/kb/ht1766">iTunes to create backups</a>, and Samsung devices can backup through the <a href="http://www.samsung.com/us/kies/">Kies software</a>.</p> <h2>9. Beware Fake Messages</h2> <p>If you use cloud based storage services, be on the lookout for phishing emails.</p> <p>These emails may look like real messages from the developers of the service, but they are not. Hackers are trying to trick you into providing your personal information.</p> <p>Here are some red flags to watch out for:</p> <ul> <li>The spelling of the sender's email is funny looking. For example, instead of <a href="mailto:xxx@dropbox.com">xxx@dropbox.com</a>, it reads <a href="mailto:xxx@dropboxx.com">xxx@dropboxx.com</a> or <a href="mailto:xxx@drop-box.co">xxx@drop-box.co</a>.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>The hyperlinked URLs have misleading domain names. For example, if you hover over a link, you notice that instead of going to the apple.com domain, it goes to apple-com.info.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>The message contains plenty of misspellings or typos.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>You are asked to submit your password or personal information, such as mailing address, phone number, or social security number, via email.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>The message includes a form in Word or PDF format for you to fill out.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>You're asked for money to cover for expenses.</li> </ul> <p>If you see any of these red flags, don't click on any of the links, and delete the email immediately.</p> <h2>10. Delete What You Don't Want Anybody to See</h2> <p>In an era of potentially unlimited storage through the cloud, we are tempted to keep everything.</p> <ul> <li>THOSE pictures from your bachelorette party,</li> <li>Intimate videos or sexts with your current or past partners,</li> <li>Progress pictures when you started your diet,</li> <li>Financial or tax documents over 5-years old, or</li> <li>Scanned copies of IDs from several years ago.</li> </ul> <p>If you don't want anybody else getting their hands on your data, delete it. This is the only way that you can be sure.</p> <p><em>What steps have you taken to protect your data in the cloud? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-critical-steps-to-protect-your-data-in-the-cloud" class="sharethis-link" title="10 Critical Steps to Protect Your Data in the Cloud" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/damian-davila">Damian Davila</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-critical-steps-to-protect-your-data-in-the-cloud">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-11"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tips-for-finding-legitimate-work-at-home-opportunities">Tips for Finding Legitimate Work at Home Opportunities</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-why-your-projects-always-take-longer-than-you-expect">This Is Why Your Projects Always Take Longer Than You Expect</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/shhhhh-how-to-block-out-noise">Shhhhh: How to Block Out Noise</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-stages-of-procrastination-read-this-right-now">The 7 Stages of Procrastination (Read This Right Now!)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/an-organized-year-a-month-by-month-guide">An Organized Year: A Month-by-Month Guide</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> General Tips Productivity cloud backup computer security computers hackers Thu, 13 Nov 2014 12:00:08 +0000 Damian Davila 1253966 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Surprising Ways to Use Bungee Cords http://www.wisebread.com/10-surprising-ways-to-use-bungee-cords <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-surprising-ways-to-use-bungee-cords" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/bungee%20cord.jpg" alt="bungee cord" title="bungee cord" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Everyone has a bungee cord or two hanging around the house or garage. They're handy little things for securing items, come in a wide variety of lengths, and they're inexpensive.</p> <p>They're also really, really versatile. Here are 10 useful and creative ways to use your bungee cords.</p> <h2>1. A Second Curtain Panel Holder</h2> <p>Look around the hardware stores and you'll see that the price of a double curtain rod is double the price of a single. That's annoying, as most of the time that second panel is made of something much more sheer, and is not the focus of the window treatment. So, instead of buying a double, simply stretch a bungee cord between the fittings and put your sheer panels on that. The front panels will hide the bungee cord ends, and they take just seconds to fit. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-unexpected-uses-for-tension-rods?ref=seealso">20 Unexpected Uses for Tension Rods</a>)</p> <h2>2. A Ball/Cuddly Toy Holder</h2> <p>You know those ball holders they have in places like Target and Walmart, that use long elastic cords to keep the balls in place? Well, they can be made using bungee cords. Just find a space in your garage and stretch handful of bungee cords vertically from a shelf, or the wall, to some hooks screwed into the garage floor. Now, you can keep all your balls, toys and other loose items behind them. Everything is easy to access, but is kept firmly in place until needed. You can also stretch them horizontally between the studs to hold balls, tools and other loose items.</p> <h2>3. Holding Down the Garbage Can Lid</h2> <p>Even if the lid of the garbage can lock on its own, it's rarely strong enough to stop a stiff breeze from blowing it open. On windy days, that means your garbage can spill all over the street, the lawn, and the neighbors' property. It can also be raided by critters like raccoons. Some tight bungee cords can keep the lid held firmly in place.</p> <h2>4. New Handles for Old Totes</h2> <p>Are your bag handles looking a little worse for wear? Don't throw the whole thing away. Replace the old handles with colorful bungee cords. They're flexible, stretchy, and come in a variety of colors and patterns. You can even swap them out with your mood.</p> <h2>5. Keep Bags and Groceries Steady in the Car</h2> <p>Wrap a bungee cord around the headrest, and hook your bag handles over the ends. No more runaway bags. You can also use bungee cords in the trunk to keep bags and boxes from shifting around in traffic.</p> <h2>6. Secure Your Ironing Board Cover</h2> <p>When you're doing some precision ironing, you do not need the hassle of an ironing board cover that refuses to stay firmly in place. You can solve that problem with bungee cords. Make a few holes in the undersides of the cover and stretch the bungee cords between them; one or two cords across the width of the board, and one down the length. That cover will not move again.</p> <h2>7. Emergency Suspenders</h2> <p>If you are out of belts or suspenders and your jeans are falling down, two bungee cords make an excellent back-up plan. They fit perfectly through the belt loops, and are surprisingly comfortable. With a sweater or t-shirt over the top, no one will even know your little secret. They're also great when you're doing DIY or grubby jobs around the house, and don't want to get a good belt or pair of suspenders dirty.</p> <h2>8. Windproof Your Tablecloth Outdoors</h2> <p>Anyone who has ever had a picnic in the park, or gone camping with tablecloths, will know the pain of a windy day. The tablecloth whips up and flies everywhere, and you usually have to weigh it down on each corner with something heavy. Of course, the second anyone moves that big bottle of ketchup or bowl of nuts, the whole plan is over. Use two bungee cords stretched across the ends of the table, and your tablecloth will stay put on the windiest day.</p> <h2>9. Repair a Broken Chair or Sofa</h2> <p>When the strapping on the back of a chair breaks, or the cushion support starts to give way, bungee cords can come to the rescue. If you string cords where the strapping used to be, and keep them as tight as possible, they will easily support a person's weight as they lean back, or sit down. For extra strength, weave the cords horizontally and vertically, over and under, for a solid lattice framework. With the cushions over the top, they won't even be seen. Or, you can make a feature of them on garden furniture.</p> <h2>10. Exercise</h2> <p>Resistance bands are becoming a common part of workout routines. You can use bungee cords as a cheap and effective alternative. If you are having trouble holding the ends, fashion a small handle from a width of thick wooden dowel, or a broom handle. They can also be used to add extra resistance to weight training routines.</p> <p><em>Do you have an ingenious use for bungee cords? What is it?</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-surprising-ways-to-use-bungee-cords" class="sharethis-link" title="10 Surprising Ways to Use Bungee Cords" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-surprising-ways-to-use-bungee-cords">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-12"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/52-uses-for-rubber-bands">52 Uses for Rubber Bands</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/original-ways-to-use-original-dawn">Original Ways to Use Original Dawn</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/no-hot-water-now-what">No Hot Water: Now What?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-1-cent-cell-phone-protector-and-other-hacks">The 1-Cent Cell Phone Protector, and Other Hacks.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-guaranteed-easiest-way-to-make-your-own-pickles">The Guaranteed Easiest Way to Make Your Own Pickles</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> General Tips bungee cords hacks new uses surprising uses Wed, 12 Nov 2014 12:00:09 +0000 Paul Michael 1253726 at http://www.wisebread.com 4 Signs You're Burned Out (and How to Recover) http://www.wisebread.com/4-signs-youre-burned-out-and-how-to-recover <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-signs-youre-burned-out-and-how-to-recover" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/businesswoman-sleeping-meeting-455182873-small.jpg" alt="businesswoman sleeping" title="businesswoman sleeping" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You're working long hours, taking care of your family, and trying to keep up with your friends.</p> <p>Most of your friends may even call you superhuman. While you may think that your body has no limits, you may be very close to the point in which you are going to experience absolute exhaustion and overall disinterest. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-little-ways-to-de-stress-and-enjoy-life-more?ref=seealso">6 Little Ways to De-Stress and Enjoy Life More</a>)</p> <p>To avoid burnout, here are the four signs to watch out for and how to address them.</p> <h2>1. Severe Lack of Motivation</h2> <p>Burnout makes you think that caring about work or home is a total waste of energy. You feel as if nothing you do can ever make a difference or is appreciated. This general feeling of dissatisfaction makes you overthink everything and leaves you stuck in a state of &quot;paralysis by analysis.&quot; You just don't know where to get started.</p> <p>What's even worse is that you don't even care because you believe that it doesn't affect anybody. This is a common sign for people that feel disengaged at work. <a href="http://www.gallup.com/strategicconsulting/163007/state-american-workplace.aspx">Only 30% of American employees feel engaged at work</a>. If you're stuck in a job that is going nowhere, it may eventually get to you. The group that is largest victim of this type of job-related burnout are <a href="http://www.nbcnews.com/id/45357267/ns/business-forbes_com/t/why-some-women-are-burning-out-work/?fb_ref=.TsvEvx98ch4.like&amp;fb_source=home_multiline">under-30 millennial women</a>.</p> <p>If you have severe lack of motivation, you may engage regularly in unhealthy coping strategies, such as binge drinking, smoking, or overeating junk food. Pay attention to these unusual behaviors.</p> <h2>2. Frequent Mood Swings</h2> <p>If you have frequent mood swings that are inexplicable, you may be suffering from burnout. You may experience a constant state of emotional exhaustion because you go back and forth between absolute happiness and extreme depression.</p> <p>This rollercoaster ride of emotions can lead to <a href="http://www.naswassurance.org/pdf/PP_Burnout_Final.pdf">depersonalization, alienation, and depression</a>. These three feelings blur your mind and turn even the simplest task into an overwhelming challenge. You have an overall feeling of dissatisfaction and become unpredictable.</p> <h2>3. Physical Exhaustion</h2> <p>On top of your emotional exhaustion due to mood swings, you also feel physically tired all the time. It's not that you have less energy than usual, you feel completely spent.</p> <p>The main culprit is that you are not sleeping well. Not getting enough rest and sleep for several days is a surefire way to burn out.</p> <h2>4. Frequent Skin Breakouts, Rashes, and Blemishes</h2> <p>Our bodies are amazing organisms that provide us clear signals that are taking on more than we can handle. You can wear the effects of burnout on your face, skin, and hair.</p> <p>If you have burnout, you may experience a larger number of skin breakouts, rashes, and blemishes. If left untreated, those ailments may turn for the worse. A study at Yale University showed a correlation between prolonged stressful life events and the diagnosis of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. When compared to people that didn't have skin cancer, people with melanoma had experienced a more stressful life before the diagnosis.</p> <p>The American Academy of Dermatology suggests that <a href="https://www.aad.org/media-resources/stats-and-facts/prevention-and-care/stress-and-skin">stress can also increase hair and nail problems</a>. Beyond suffering the direct effects of stress on your body, people with burnout tend to worsen those problems by abusing their skin through scratching, pulling, or rubbing.</p> <p>Now, that you know the four signs of burnout, let's talk about how to address them.</p> <h2>Avoiding Burnout</h2> <h3>1. Take More Vacations</h3> <p>If you recognize the four signs of burnout, you need to take a vacation. Don't become part of the <a href="http://www.businessinsider.com/why-employees-dont-use-vacation-days-2014-8">two in five Americans that don't use all their paid vacation days</a>. Vacations are good for your body and your career.</p> <ul> <li>Vacations allow you to catch up on some well-deserved shut eye and readjust your sleeping patterns.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>People who engage in more leisure activities find <a href="http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=111887591">more meaning in life</a>.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>The more frequent the vacations, the longer that men live, according to findings from the <a href="http://www.framinghamheartstudy.org">Framingham Heart Study</a>.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16834516">Vacations have positive effects</a> on wellbeing and performance-related outcomes.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Employees that take vacations have a lower chance of work burnout.</li> </ul> <h3>2. Get Some Sleep</h3> <p>You need to recharge your batteries. While a scheduled nap is a great way to get a second wind from a late night, a nap can't make up for several nights of bad sleeping.</p> <p>Develop a wind-down routine to help your body prep your sleep. Eat dinner before 7 p.m., take a warm bath, avoid electronics before bedtime, and allow yourself to relax. Proper sleep is necessary for your body and mind to recover. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-sleep-better-in-fewer-hours?ref=seealso">7 Ways to Sleep Better in Fewer Hours</a>)</p> <h3>3. Consult a Physician</h3> <p>This is how to recover from the effects of stress on your body:</p> <ul> <li>If you notice any abnormalities in your skin, hair, or nails, take that as a cue to slow down and relax.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Consult a dermatologist to address the symptoms and ask for a plan of action during periods of extreme stress. Have an &quot;emergency kit&quot; ready, or learn how to procure one fast.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Resist playing, touching, or scratching those sensitive spots. That only worsens the problems.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Pay attention to the triggers of your hair, nail, or skin problems, and minimize those stressful situations.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Smile more because it helps relax the skin in your face. A relaxed face has a smaller chance of developiing obstructed pores.</li> </ul> <h3>4. Seek Support From Others</h3> <p>Victims of burnout tend to <a href="http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/high-octane-women/201205/where-do-you-fall-the-burnout-continuum">isolate themselves from others and decrease their number of social interactions</a>. This is a vicious cycle. Burnout leads to isolation and isolation further worsens burnout.</p> <p>Break the cycle and reach out to your relatives, co-workers, and friends. Talking and hanging out with others allows you to put things in perspective, provide an opportunity to vent, and learn tips that have worked for others that experienced burnout.</p> <p><em>Have you experienced any of these signs of burnout? What did you do to reduce your stress?</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-signs-youre-burned-out-and-how-to-recover" class="sharethis-link" title="4 Signs You&#039;re Burned Out (and How to Recover)" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/damian-davila">Damian Davila</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-signs-youre-burned-out-and-how-to-recover">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-13"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-productive-ways-to-reduce-stress">15 Productive Ways to Reduce Stress</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-simple-ways-to-fight-burnout">5 Simple Ways to Fight Burnout</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-little-ways-to-de-stress-and-enjoy-life-more">6 Little Ways to De-Stress (and Enjoy Life More)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-nervous-tics-you-need-to-stop-right-now">6 Nervous Tics You Need to Stop Right Now</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-little-stressors-you-can-easily-eliminate-today">6 Little Stressors You Can Easily Eliminate Today</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> General Tips Personal Development burnout fatigue stress Thu, 30 Oct 2014 11:00:05 +0000 Damian Davila 1246350 at http://www.wisebread.com 3 Unbelievable Visualization Board Success Stories http://www.wisebread.com/3-unbelievable-visualization-board-success-stories <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/3-unbelievable-visualization-board-success-stories" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/vision%20board.jpg" alt="vision board" title="vision board" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Visualization boards, collaged with images and words depicting our goals and desires, are a popular technique for manifesting what we want out of life. It's really quite simple: Paste visual representations of your wishes and intentions on poster board, thereby activating the subconscious mind to focus its energies on manifesting them to come true. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/one-thing-you-need-to-do-to-be-happy-and-improve-your-relationships?ref=seealso">One Thing You Need to Do to be Happy and Improve Your Relationships</a>)</p> <p>&quot;If you repeat the word, 'blue, blue, blue,' and you start looking around the room, all the blue things will start popping out,&quot; says sociologist and life coach Martha Beck. &quot;Part of it is quantum physics&hellip; We know now, scientifically, that <a href="http://www.oprah.com/spirit/Go-Beyond-The-Secret_1">consciousness brings matter into being</a> where there was energy. So it's not even necessarily that it draws it toward you. The conclusion is you're literally creating some of this stuff.&quot;</p> <p>It's a concept that has been given <a href="http://www.oprah.com/spirit/O-Dream-Board-Envision-Your-Best-LifeTM">the gold star of approval by the likes of Oprah.</a> But if it sounds a little hokey to you, you've got company. Dr. Neil Farber, an expert in psychology, writes that <a href="http://www.psychologytoday.com/experts/neil-farber-md-phd">visualization boards fall short in helping us achieve our goals</a> because they don't require us to take any real action. Rather, they are all about letting our thoughts do the work for us.</p> <p>&quot;Fantasizing about your perfect world and your perfect life may make you feel better in the short term but will limit your ability to transform your dreams into reality,&quot; Farber writes. &quot;Dream about it, envision how you will realistically do it or get it, and then get off your tush and make it happen.&quot;</p> <p>So: Do visualization boards really work?</p> <p>It's a controversial question, and there's little scientific evidence to support or deny the blessings they're meant to bring into our lives. But there are certainly believers among us. Read on for our roundup of the most amazing visualization success stories out there. You just might be inspired to create your own.</p> <h2>1. Manifesting Love</h2> <p>Life Coach Cheryl Richardson said she pasted a photo of a man on her visualization board. Not just any man &mdash; a man representing the person she wanted to fall in love with and marry. <a href="http://www.oprah.com/spirit/The-Law-of-Attraction-Real-Life-Stories_1/7">Now she's married to a man who looks like the picture of the man on her visualization board</a>. Coincidence? Maybe, but Richardson says no. It didn't happen overnight &mdash; in fact, it took years &mdash; but Richardson said she firmly believes she manifested her love and marriage from her visualization board into real life.</p> <p>Richardson's marriage may be the most miraculous thing she's manifested, but she said her visualization board has brought her many other successes. &quot;Phil Donahue was on here, and that's the first national show I ever did after I put him on the board,&quot; she said.</p> <h2>2. 15 Minutes of Fame</h2> <p>When Lisa Nichols, a struggling single mom turned successful entrepreneur, made her visualization board, she included the following words: &quot;<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U9Rvcx2L2CI">Lisa Reveals All On Oprah</a>.&quot; A few years later, that's exactly what she did. Nichols, a motivational speaker, was invited by Oprah to discuss her visualization board experience on the show as part of a segment inspired by <a href="http://www.thesecret.tv/index.html">The Secret</a>, a movie about the law of attraction in which the main character manifests his dream home from a visualization board.</p> <p>&quot;It's like if you were at a restaurant and you ordered something,&quot; Nichols said, describing her own visualization board process. &quot;You fully expect it to come served that way. That's how the universe is. You're putting out orders consciously and unconsciously and expecting it to come back. So if you say, 'I'm never going to have a good relationship.' &mdash; you just placed an order.&quot;</p> <h2>3. Olympic Motivation</h2> <p>When three-time Olympian Ruben Gonzalez was a kid, he wrote Sports Illustrated asking where he could learn how to luge. The magazine mailed Gonzalez a photograph of a man racing on a luge, and Gonzalez framed it so <a href="http://www.thelugeman.com/success-vision-board.htm">he could see it from his bed every morning when he woke up</a>.</p> <p>&quot;Every morning, the first person I saw when I woke up was 'The Luge Man,'&quot; Gonzalez wrote. &quot;Seeing 'The Luge Man' was a constant reminder that I was training for the Olympics. He reminded me to eat right, to work out, and to surround myself with winners. At night, before turning out the lights, the last person I saw was 'The Luge Man.' All night long, I dreamt about the luge and the Olympics.</p> <p>&quot;During the day, the picture focused my conscious mind on the dream. At night, it conditioned my unconscious mind to aim for my goal.&quot;</p> <p>Gonzalez is now such a believer in the success that visualization boarding brought to his life that he has an entire website dedicated to encouraging others to try it for themselves.</p> <p><em>Do you use a visualization board? Has it worked for you? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-unbelievable-visualization-board-success-stories" class="sharethis-link" title="3 Unbelievable Visualization Board Success Stories" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/brittany-lyte">Brittany Lyte</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-unbelievable-visualization-board-success-stories">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-14"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/successful-women-have-these-7-things-in-their-bags-do-you">Successful Women Have These 7 Things in Their Bags — Do You?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-feel-better-fast">25 Ways to Feel Better Fast</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/masters-of-small-talk-never-do-these-10-things-do-you">Masters of Small Talk Never Do These 10 Things — Do You?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-signs-youre-burned-out-and-how-to-recover">4 Signs You&#039;re Burned Out (and How to Recover)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/change-your-life-by-learning-how-to-admit-youre-wrong">Change Your Life by Learning How to Admit You&#039;re Wrong</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> General Tips Personal Development optimism positive thinking success visualization board Tue, 21 Oct 2014 17:00:07 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1239950 at http://www.wisebread.com 15 Productive Ways to Reduce Stress http://www.wisebread.com/15-productive-ways-to-reduce-stress <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/15-productive-ways-to-reduce-stress" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/businessman-golf-135224775-small.jpg" alt="businessman golf" title="businessman golf" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There's no way to avoid stress altogether &mdash; unless you know something we don't know &mdash; but there are plenty of positive ways you can reduce it before it gets out of hand. Let's look at 15.</p> <h2>1. Take Your Business to the Golf Course</h2> <p>Mixing a little business with pleasure on the links is a great way to relieve stress, says Tony Gomes, president of a financial services company that helps manage wealth.</p> <p>&quot;My job can be stressful at times, like many people's, but I find one of the most <a href="http://tonygomesonline.com/reasons-why-every-business-professionals-needs-to-learn-how-to-play-golf/">productive ways to reduce stress</a> is to go on a business golf outing,&quot; he says. &quot;It is well known that a lot of business gets done on the golf course, but also, golf is seen as a very relaxing way to spend time. People may think that there are some emotional peaks and valleys that enter when playing a round of golf, but if you are out there for other purposes (business, exercise, etc.), then it can be one of the more relaxing activities.&quot;</p> <h2>2. Get Your 'Om' On With Meditation</h2> <p>Barb Schmidt is the author of <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0757317987/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=0757317987&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=NWME563IWK26U7WB">The Practice: Simple Tools for Managing Stress, Finding Inner Peace and Uncovering Happiness</a>, and she counts meditation among her top stress-relieving tactics.</p> <p>&quot;Starting your day in stillness and peace is setting the tone for your whole day,&quot; she says. &quot;In a 5-minute meditation, you are training your mind by placing your attention on your breath, practicing being patient, and spending time with yourself, connecting with that deep place of calmness and strength. This time in the morning grounds you as you go into your day with the knowing you are carrying this peace with you.&quot;</p> <p>If you're not necessarily into that holistic way of thinking, perhaps you're keen to know that there's <a href="http://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/meditation/in-depth/meditation/art-20045858">scientific evidence that meditation is ideal for stress management</a>.</p> <h2>3. Plan Your Tomorrow Today</h2> <p>You can eliminate a decent amount of stress by thinking ahead, according to Dr. Joshua Jacobi, a board certified cardiologist.</p> <p>&quot;Plan out the day in advance the night before,&quot; he suggests. &quot;I like to think of the analogy of driving in a car. If my day is planned out, then I know where I am going. If my day is not planned out in advance, then I feel like I am lost driving around in my car. Being lost stresses me out.&quot;</p> <p>Put this advice to use right now. Pick out your outfit, make your lunch, and make a to-do list for tomorrow. Your stress level is almost guaranteed to go down at least a little.</p> <h2>4. Sweat It Out the Old Fashioned Way</h2> <p>Feeling overwhelmed and a little anxious? Send those stress symptoms packing by getting that body in motion.</p> <p>There are <a href="http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/stress-management/in-depth/exercise-and-stress/art-20044469">a number of benefits to working out</a>, like increased production of endorphins (neurotransmitters that give you the feel-goods), letting your mind concentrate on something else besides your burdens, and better sleep. Have you ever noticed how upbeat your fitness-minded friends are? They're in on the secret, and you should be too.</p> <h2>5. Add More Yoga to Your Routine</h2> <p>Like meditation, yoga is beneficial when you're dealing with stress. You're able to concentrate on a positive activity while practicing yoga instead of harping on the negatives in your life.</p> <p>&quot;The <a href="http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/features/yoga-for-stress-management">benefits of yoga include decreased stress</a> and tension, increased strength and balance, increased flexibility, lowered blood pressure and reduced cortisol levels,&quot; said Beth Shaw, Founder/President of Yogafit Training Systems.</p> <p>So grab your mat, practice your Downward Dog, and let that stress slip away.</p> <h2>6. Put Your Problems on Paper</h2> <p>As a writer, I can tell you that putting my thoughts down on paper is a cathartic experience when I'm under a lot of stress. Have you heard that piece of advice that when you're mad at something, particularly a person, you should write them a letter and then burn it afterward? It's not a bad suggestion, because in most cases you'll calm down during the writing process and you'll get your issues out so you can handle them in a more positive way.</p> <p>Life mastery coach Jason Treu agrees.</p> <p>&quot;Write a letter forgiving someone else,&quot; he says. &quot;You never have to deliver it. Bottling up anger and resentment causes high levels of stress. Forgiveness doesn't take two parties &mdash; just one. You write the letter, then stand in front of a mirror and read it. It's pretty amazing at what happens.&quot;</p> <h2>7. Look Into the Benefits of Acupuncture</h2> <p>Acupuncture dates back many millennia &mdash; like way back to the BCE &mdash; so there's reason to believe that it's an effective treatment for stress relief.</p> <p>A 2013 study published in the Journal of Endocrinology demonstrated that acupuncture blocks the chronic effects of stress, according to Nicole Murray, a licensed acupuncturist.</p> <p>&quot;First, acupuncture regulates the sympathetic nervous system 'fight or flight' response. Second, acupuncture regulates the hormones that affect the body's reaction to stress, mood and emotions,&quot; she explains. &quot;In our clinic, Beach Community Acupuncture in San Diego, stress is the primary reason many of our patients seek treatment. Stress also contributes to other, more serious health conditions. Patients overwhelmingly report stress relief and relaxation after receiving acupuncture. Even better, there are more and more community acupuncture clinics popping up around the country to make these treatments more affordable.&quot;</p> <h2>8. Eliminate the Unnecessary</h2> <p>A feeling of peace washes over me when I cut something out of my life that was causing me stress. I'm sure you've experienced this before, too. It's a practice we should do a bit more often perhaps.</p> <p>Licensed psychologist Dr. Anita Marchesani says that all of her clients arrive stressed out &mdash; and she's ready to help them overcome it.</p> <p>&quot;The first thing we do is figure out what needs to go from their lives or businesses,&quot; she explains. &quot;This means saying 'no' or 'not right now' to certain demands that do not align with their primary objectives, no matter what they are. Good, solid, and consistent boundaries are a foundational stress management tool. It increases focus, and therefore increases productivity. People get results when they do this&hellip; although no one 'likes' to do this.&quot;</p> <h2>9. Express Your Feelings More Freely</h2> <p>I've never been known to mince words, so I totally agree with Dr. Fran Walfish &mdash; psychotherapist and expert panelist on the upcoming WE TV show &quot;Sex Box&quot; &mdash; when she advocates for saying exactly what's on your mind as a way to relieve stress.</p> <p>&quot;Express your feelings in the moment,&quot; she encourages. &quot;Do not allow anger and disappointment to build up inside you. Say what you feel clearly and respectfully. It will free you.&quot;</p> <p>Bottling those feelings up will only drag you down in the long run. Let it out.</p> <h2>10. Activate Dance Therapy</h2> <p>This is one of the more interesting and super fun ways to relieve stress that I've heard: Dance! The advice comes from Kim Hardy, author of <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0978618750/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=0978618750&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=W6U3HW6I5EJ7KV6K">RELAUNCH!: 5 Keys to Getting Past Stuck and Stress at Work and Life</a>.</p> <p>&quot;At the end of a stressful day, I like to go into my garage and turn up the music as loud as I can until I'm able to feel the music vibrating in my soul, and then I dance,&quot; she confesses. &quot;My musical guests range from Michael Jackson to James brown, and sometimes I sprinkle in a little country to mix it up.&quot;</p> <p>Let's get this stress-free party started!</p> <h2>11. Breathe, Relax, Daydream</h2> <p>If your day won't allow for yoga or an impromptu dance party, you can still lower your stress. Try this three-prong approach detailed by Dr. Lori Schade &mdash; a licensed marriage and family therapist who often treats patients for stress-related depression, anxiety, and relationship problems &mdash; anytime, anywhere.</p> <ul> <li>Breathe with your diaphragm. Under stress, people have a tendency to breathe shallowly in their chest, and deep breathing begins to reverse the stress response.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Engage in a progressive muscle relaxation exercise in which you start at the top of your head and tighten muscle groups as tight as you can and then release, releasing stress in the process (moving from the top of the head to neck, shoulders, chest, arms, stomach, etc., down to your feet).<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Create an image for yourself while you breathe, somewhere peaceful. Research shows that by imagining yourself relaxed, the brain will start to respond in ways as if you are participating in that scene.</li> </ul> <h2>12. Spend Time on an Activity That Requires Little Thought</h2> <p>When life gets complicated and stress starts to take over, engage in something decidedly mundane.</p> <p>New York-based artist Imani Powell-Razat says that she allows her mind to &quot;completely zone out&quot; with boring daily tasks like washing the dishes, sweeping the floor, or stretching a canvas.</p> <p>Take a cue from Imani the next time you feel stress taking over by finding something to do that requires little no thought.</p> <h2>13. Ditch the Diet</h2> <p>&quot;A study conducted at UCLA found that dieting increases both perceived stress as well as the stress hormone cortisol,&quot; says Dr. Ellen R. Albertson, a licensed wellness coach and founder of <a href="http://www.smashyourscale.com">SmashYourScale.com</a></p> <p>The gist of this premise, according to the psychologist behind the study, Dr. A Janet Tomiyama, is that if not eating food makes us feel badly, then eating food must make us feel good. &quot;As a stress researcher, I realized that I can empirically measure whether food can or cannot relieve stress,&quot; she says.</p> <h2>14. Clear the Clutter</h2> <p>Similar to how you can lower stress by eliminating unnecessary people and things from you life, clearing the clutter can be a beneficial tactic in finding more inner peace, too.</p> <p>Modern feng shui master Dana Claudat says that &quot;by spending even 10 minutes a day sifting through a junk drawer, weeding out a closet, eliminating extra paperwork and the like, you can dramatically decrease stress. Electronic clutter &mdash; emails, social media, files on computers &mdash; is just as important these days to clear as the obvious clutter of papers, extra stuff, piles for donation, and everyday mess.&quot;</p> <h2>15. Treat Yourself</h2> <p>Many of these suggestions on how to lower stress have come from doctors and other experts, but this one is all me.</p> <p>When I'm stressed, I like to take a step back and evaluate everything that I've got going on. My stress is usually a result of being too busy. But being too busy generally means that I'm being productive &mdash; and that's cause for a little self-praise. I like to give myself a pat on the back (because who else will?) for handling my responsibilities the best way I know how and continuing to truck on.</p> <p>I also like to treat myself to something special (like a piece of chocolate cake) or engage in an activity that helps me unwind (like retail therapy) to take my mind off life for a bit. If you're not taking time for yourself and treating yourself to small pleasures along the way, life will pass you by (and give you <a href="http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/face-it/201203/does-stress-cause-wrinkles-and-gray-hair-fact-or-fiction">gray hair and wrinkles faster</a>), and you might not realize it until it's too late. Step back, relax, and do something nice for yourself today. You deserve it.</p> <p><em>Do you have other productive ways that we can lower stress? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-productive-ways-to-reduce-stress" class="sharethis-link" title="15 Productive Ways to Reduce Stress" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-productive-ways-to-reduce-stress">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-15"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-signs-youre-burned-out-and-how-to-recover">4 Signs You&#039;re Burned Out (and How to Recover)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-little-ways-to-de-stress-and-enjoy-life-more">6 Little Ways to De-Stress (and Enjoy Life More)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-nervous-tics-you-need-to-stop-right-now">6 Nervous Tics You Need to Stop Right Now</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-little-stressors-you-can-easily-eliminate-today">6 Little Stressors You Can Easily Eliminate Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-feel-better-fast">25 Ways to Feel Better Fast</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> General Tips Personal Development stress stress reduction Tue, 21 Oct 2014 11:00:05 +0000 Mikey Rox 1240247 at http://www.wisebread.com