5 Happiness Hacks That You Need To Try Today

When was the last time you felt happy? Not just a shadow of the pleasant feeling, but truly happy? You could say that most of our actions are fueled by our motivation to feel good. Unfortunately, however, it’s not all the time that we feel happy. There are days when we just can’t resist feeling low. […]

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When was the last time you felt happy? Not just a shadow of the pleasant feeling, but truly happy?

You could say that most of our actions are fueled by our motivation to feel good. Unfortunately, however, it’s not all the time that we feel happy. There are days when we just can’t resist feeling low.

If that is your case today, these simple happiness hacks can give you that extra shot of joy.

Let Your Inner Child Take the Lead

Children’s faces usually light up at the seemingly smallest things.

Take, for example, the silly faces their older sibling makes at them across the dinner table. The big hug they get when their dad arrives home from work and the feeling of flying in the air while they are on the playground’s swing set make them giggle with laughter, too.

If you want to put yourself in a happy place, try doing an activity that you enjoyed as a child. You’ll be amazed at how quickly this can spike your happy chemicals.

Enjoy Strange Interactions

stranger interaction

The “stranger danger” warnings handed down to us during childhood can permanently hinder our interactions with people we don’t know.

However, if you make an effort to push through the discomfort and regularly interact with strangers, you’ll find yourself feeling happier during the day. A study conducted by behavioral scientists in Chicago found that individuals who made small talk with strangers during a ride on public transportation rated their experience as more positive than those who did not.

When we take the time to connect with other people, even when we don’t know them, it tends to increase our happiness.

Take A Risk On Something New

When was the last time you tried something that you’ve never done before?

If it’s been a while, then you may want to give this happiness hack a shot. Taking the time to try something you’ve always wanted to do, like getting a new hobby, is not only stimulating but can lead to increased happiness.

Feelings of accomplishment and boosted confidence can also contribute to the smile on your face. Whether you’ve always wanted to try alligator wrestling, knife throwing, or sewing Halloween costumes for your dog, now’s the time to do it.

See Also: How to Start a New Hobby Without Wasting Money

Hold Onto Those Pennies

Spending money when you feel bad can be an easy way to give yourself a quick high. However, once the initial high wears off, people tend to crash pretty hard, especially if they had a hard time earning it.

Rather than splurging on that new toy, try making a habit of regularly saving a part of your earnings. According to a recent survey, the more often people save money, the happier they tend to be. Saving money is also a good way to enhance feelings of self-control, security, and overall well being.

See Also: 10 Ways To Save Money Without Compromising Your Lifestyle

Celebrate Small Goals

celebrate small goals

By setting and achieving small goals on a regular basis, you will not only be more productive but feel happier as well.

Setting our sight on massive goals often results in feelings of failure and depression. So, rather than focusing on your end goals, try chopping them up into several small goals that you can easily achieve and celebrate. Keep in mind that the more specific you are with your goals, the better.

As you get started with these happiness hacks, try to keep your focus on the positive things in your life and use gratitude to your advantage. As you increase your own happiness, you will notice that the people around you will begin to smile and laugh more often as well.

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7 Of The Most Haunted Places In The World

Yes, spirits and ghosts do exist. While some may be friendly, others may give you spooky and spine-chilling experiences. If these experiences don’t frighten you, then here are 7 of the most haunted places in the world to feed your wanderlust. Take a trip or stay the night to experience the eerie presence of the ghosts and […]

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Yes, spirits and ghosts do exist. While some may be friendly, others may give you spooky and spine-chilling experiences. If these experiences don’t frighten you, then here are 7 of the most haunted places in the world to feed your wanderlust.

Take a trip or stay the night to experience the eerie presence of the ghosts and spirits in these places.

Borgvattnet (The Haunted Vicarage), Sweden

haunted vicarage

Witness the ghost of the lady in gray wandering through the rooms, or the apparition of the three women staring without a flicker of the eye. You can also experience cold touches at midnight here.

If the mere ideas of these events brought a chill down the spine, imagine how scary the real encounter would be. These ghost encounters are so creepy that the keepers are even offering certificates to those who would dare stay the night.

Surprise Guests

Built in 1876, this vicarage has had a fair share of ghost encounters since 1927. You would be visited by the spirit of the old vicar and crying women at night.

Castle Of Good Hope, Cape Town, South Africa

castle of good hope

Having a rich history attracts tons of visitors. Unfortunately, the first guests in this place are spirits.

The gruesome history of torturous punishments inflicted on the soldiers has made this place a dwelling ground for their souls. The Castle of Good Hope or the Goede Hoop houses a number of haunted places within its precincts. This includes the battlements, bastion grounds, bell tower, and even the parapets.

You can find the spirits’ presence everywhere.

Surprise Guests

Built in 1666, this castle has a number of eerie spirits wandering through the grounds.

You will be visited by the ghosts of a tall man, a sad woman, and the ghost of Lady Anne Barnard. You can also encounter the Lady in Grey and even the strange apparition of the black hound.

Stanley Hotel-Estes Park, USA

stanley hotel estes park

Room no. 217, which is infamous for its eerie happenings and supernatural events, would definitely send chills down the spine. Like every other haunted place, this hotel also has tons of mysterious stories as to how the chambermaid’s spirit started wandering there.

We dare you to stay the night in the same room if you are an unmarried couple.

Surprise Guests

Mrs. Elizabeth Wilson, the head chambermaid, who was injured in the gas blast that took place in the infamous room no. 217 would visit you at night and do her routine work. Sometimes, she’d do way more than that!

Ancient Ram Inn-Gloucestershire, England

ancient ram inn

Built over an ancient burial ground, Ancient Ram Inn is one of the most haunted houses in the world. The countless tales of devil worshiping and a gruesome history of murders and deaths impart a spooky presence.

Take a tour of this place to witness ancient graves, stuffed animal heads, and other unnatural things that would haunt your dreams for nights to come.

Surprise Guests

Being a thousand-year-old house, the Ancient Ram has a number of evil spirits and spooky entities that would make their presence felt from time to time. You can experience the presence of a witch, a bishop, and several other child ghosts there.

Waverly Hills Sanatorium-Kentucky, United States

waverly hills sanatorium

This place is an old tuberculosis sanatorium where thousands of patients were exposed to brutal experiments. With more than 6,000 people killed there, it is believed to be filled with spirits.

While this story creeps us, the story of room no. 502, where a nurse committed suicide, is way more spooky. Footsteps thumping, screaming voices, and flickering lights are common there. Some people even experienced hearing balls rolling, muffled conversations, and other paranormal activities in the place.

Surprise Guests

With the death of over 6,000 people, it wouldn’t be a surprise if one of their souls decides to visit you while you’re there. Add to that number is the nurse’s spirit in 502.

Banff Springs Hotel-Alberta, Canada

banff springs hotel

Seeing an apparition of a bride dancing with her gown in flames can give goosebumps to any visitor. Located amidst a picturesque surrounding, hotel Banff Springs is one of the most haunted places in Canada. These uncanny and hair-raising presences can scare even the bravest of hearts.

Surprise Guests

Be prepared to be accompanied by several ghosts. While the spirit of the bellman would serve you in a friendly manner, the family of room no. 873 would haunt with their presence. And do not to forget the dancing bride!

Bhangarh Fort-Rajasthan, India

bhangarh fort

A warning signboard denying the permission to stay after sunset and before sunrise would welcome you to this fort. Legends say that the eerie state of the fort is because of a black magician’s spell (or curse). This curse lives on and no spirit has ever lived here in peace.

Surprise Guest

While some can feel a strange presence watching them throughout the trip, others have seen the apparition of a small boy locked inside a dark room.

Are you ready to take a trip to these haunted places and see for yourself?

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Daily Habits That Will Improve Your Life

Establishing daily healthy habits is one good way to boost your physical, mental, spiritual and emotional health. They can get you through life’s problems, inconveniences and stress. Despite the benefits they offer, these habits aren’t easy to develop, especially if you’ve been quite used to your way of life. To help you make the necessary changes, […]

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Establishing daily healthy habits is one good way to boost your physical, mental, spiritual and emotional health. They can get you through life’s problems, inconveniences and stress. Despite the benefits they offer, these habits aren’t easy to develop, especially if you’ve been quite used to your way of life.

To help you make the necessary changes, here’s an in-depth guide on how to get healthier habits.

Wake up early

Sleep, one of human’s five basic needs for survival, is incredibly important to your health and happiness. Getting the proper amount of sleep will keep you energized and alert throughout the day.

By waking up early at the same time every day, you’ll be able to establish a good sleep routine. This will allow your body to sleep and wake naturally and give you a more restorative sleep.

Life’s fast pace can be exhausting as we are constantly receiving input and stimulation. It is important to find time during the day to ground yourself, detox your mind and refocus your energy.

The early morning is a perfect time to put this attention on ourselves. It’s also the best time for planning and strategic thinking.

When you wake up early, you’ll have time to prioritize and review your goals so that you can be productive. This will save you from wasting time and making bad decisions throughout the day.

Mornings are very important as they set the tone for the rest of day. Avoid the stress of rushing and the fear of being late by waking up early and going about your morning in a calm, collected manner. Starting the day with this small victory will help your mood and outlook going forward.

If you have to travel to work or school, you can avoid traffic by waking up early and travelling during non-peak hours. This will cut down on your overall time spent commuting, a time when we are generally nonproductive.

Time is our most valuable resource and we should value it enough to stay away from rush hour.

Get clean

Bathe often. You don’t necessarily need to shower every day, but you should clean your body and shampoo your hair on a schedule that works best for you. Showering too often can strip your body of necessary oils so do so fittingly. Make sure you spend time on the frequently neglected areas of your body, such as the ears and feet.

Take care of your skin. Your skin is incredibly important. It covers your body and protects everything inside. Condition your skin with products that coordinate with your skin type. This will keep you feeling healthy and looking well.

Brush your teeth thoroughly and floss daily. Brushing keeps bacteria from accumulating in your mouth and flossing helps maintain strong, healthy gums. Scrape your tongue and rinse with mouthwash to keep your breath fresh. Always have lip balm handy to avoid dry or chapped lips.

brush teeth

Stay clean cut. Maintaining a well-groomed, presentable appearance will certainly make people think more highly of you. It will make you feel better about yourself, too. Always keep your hairstyle fresh and be in control of your facial hair. It can make all the difference.

Address your allergies. Sneezing, sniffling and coughing are all signs of an infection and they can be incredibly repulsive when done in public. Pick up some allergy pills and nasal spray over the counter to keep those problems at bay.

Always wash your hands before eating and after using the toilet. Keeping your hands clean is vital in preventing the spread of germs and bacteria. Keep sanitizing gel close by for when soap and water aren’t available.

Maintain healthy nails on both your hands and feet. We do everything with our hands and feet and problems such as hangnails and infected nail beds can be an absolute nuisance. Make sure your nails and the skin around them are clean. Always keep them trimmed to build strength and drop the bad habit of biting them.

Always smell good. We are perceptual beings and our sense of smell has the power to impact feelings and evoke emotions. Keep the mood light by using deodorant to control your body odor and choosing a fragrance that compliments you.

Keep your clothing clean. Your clothes will surely affect the way you smell, so make sure you keep up with your laundry. And don’t forget your bedding, too. Some recommend washing your bedding once a week.

Dress well

The way you dress reflects your personality and can cite a number of reactions from people. When you dress well, you demand respect and people are quicker to trust you. After all, it’s hard to assume you can get things done right when you can’t even get your clothes right.

Dress slightly above the occasion, make sure your clothes fit well and wear appropriate, good-looking shoes. Shoes are the key to every outfit. In addition to that, keeping your feet comfortable can ensure their health, too.

Well-chosen accessories can compliment your look. Try to invest in a nice pair of sunglasses and a quality wristwatch.

Eat better

Proper nutrition is crucial to your health, but eating healthy can seem like a massive undertaking. To make it simpler, choose an area of your diet where you need to make changes and stay there until the work is done. Move at your own pace, stay encouraged and you will be eating better in no time.

Exercise

The benefits of regular exercise and physical activity are impossible to ignore. From physical and mental health benefits to social opportunities, exercising is arguably the most rewarding thing you can do with your time.

Exercise four to five days a week if your schedule allows and get the most out of off-days by recovering actively.

See Also: 19 Ways to Get Motivated to Exercise

Serve

We all want to live a meaningful life. We want to make a difference and have a positive impact on the world around us. To be valued and appreciated is a feeling that we all need, but we don’t have to conquer the world to get it.

By simply serving the people around you, you could make a difference in someone’s life. By serving your community, you can help strengthen your surroundings.

Sometimes it’s as simple as reaching out to a neighbor in need, performing a random act of kindness or picking up that piece of trash along the sidewalk. As Mark Twain said, “Kindness is the language the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” So, spread love and don’t dismiss even the smallest acts of kindness.

Read

reading habit

Reading is one of the best things to do in your spare time as it benefits your mental health. Reading stimulates your mind, improves your memory and enhances your focus and concentration.

An active mind is a healthy mind since it can slow down or even prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s and dementia. Reading also helps improve your imagination and allows you to find yourself as a person.

With the infinite number of different perspectives and experiences in books, you’ll have the opportunity to see the world through someone else’s eyes. Reading makes you smarter, too. As Socrates said, “Employ your time in improving yourself by other men’s writings, so that you shall gain easily what others have labored hard for.”

See Also: 7 Reasons To Start Reading Books? Here’s why!

Meditate

Meditation, or the quieting of the mind in an attempt to achieve a heightened awareness, can help you gain a higher level of consciousness and live a more fulfilling life. When you meditate, you become consciously aware of what you think, why you think it, and how you feel about what you think.

Our thoughts, both conscious and unconscious, make us who we are. This reflects what René Descartes, regarded as the father of modern philosophy, said, “Cogito ergo sum. (I think, therefore I am.)”.

Clarity of mind is important in controlling your energy and understanding the connections of everything in your life. With steady meditation, you’ll be able to evaluate yourself and ensure that you are spending your energy in ways that benefit your psyche.

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Get One Step Closer To Success: How To Make A Difference in e-Commerce SEO

Creating a new e-commerce website with the WYSIWYG website builders is a cakewalk these days. However, maintaining it and optimizing its user experience is a different story. Without a planned strategy, your dream of running an optimized e-commerce website can very soon turn into a nightmare. The key to running an e-commerce website with a regular […]

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Creating a new e-commerce website with the WYSIWYG website builders is a cakewalk these days. However, maintaining it and optimizing its user experience is a different story. Without a planned strategy, your dream of running an optimized e-commerce website can very soon turn into a nightmare.

The key to running an e-commerce website with a regular inflow of traffic and healthy conversion rates is the prioritization of SEO (search engine optimization). This is very different from UEO (user experience optimization).

Confused already? Let’s elaborate it for you.

Get a bit creative with product descriptions

You don’t need to be overly expressive in describing your products. In fact, just a few, but quality, lines can do the trick.

Make your product descriptions informative, fun to read and engaging. Cover all features within 150-300 words and write in a way that focuses on your target audience’s perspective.

For example, if you are selling shoes, think of what your target buyers would look for in your shoes. Find out what search keywords they could use and make sure to include them in your product description.

Do not forget to include your products or niche when writing subheadings. This will make it much easier for crawlers to index the products on your site.

See Also: The Average Joe’s Guide To Setting Up An Online Business

Do not shy away from including product reviews

ecommerce site

Including good reviews with every product may seem like blowing your own trumpet, but this is an absolute necessity in the world of digital marketing. Each and every positive review can add credibility to your products and can also provide quite an effective way to improve your content.

When looking for reviews, you should consider Amazon. Some of their top products have thousands of reviews, making them the favorite of search engine spiders.

Moreover, online shoppers give a lot of importance to fellow shopper’s reviews before making a purchase. It is similar to the personal “touch” shoppers experience at a physical store.

If the products you are promoting don’t have any reviews yet, you can send follow up emails to your customers urging them to review your products and their shopping experience.

Do not stuff keywords into your content

Although the newest updates of Google may not penalize you, stuffing ill-fitting keywords into your content may not give you benefits, too. Instead of putting senseless keywords in your posts, it’s a good idea if you can take time to write about keywords that are truly relevant to your site and products. They should be contextual and have a healthy density.

Since we are recommending a 300-word description for each product, we will not advise a keyword density of more than 1%. So, instead of focusing on keywords, pay more attention on giving your customers a complete description of your product. This will improve user experience and boost your organic authority over time.

Include alternate text for images

Do not leave the original text for the product images. Access your back-end editor and change the name of each image to a relevant text. We suggest using names or terms you are aspiring to rank for but steer clear of stuffing keywords.

Image alt texts are hardly 3 to 4 words and we would rather advise you to include a descriptive name that is relevant. For example, “leather tan boots with 2 inch heels – XYZ (brand name)”.

Put on your thinking hat for titles and URLs

Titles are more important for SEO than you can ever imagine. They help in indexing and SERP ranking by enabling search engines to understand the purpose of every landing page in your website.

So, steer clear of duplication by skipping vendor titles and manufacturer titles since your competitors may use the same. We would suggest you go a little creative when it comes to creating titles for each of your landing page.

While making URLs, keep your customers in mind. Use simple names and special descriptions for your URLs that will help your visitors easily find their way to your products.

Create XML maps and share with search engines

Your website builder might have this as a built-in option. If not, use a simple plug-in that can generate an XML map of your website indexing all the pages, subpages etc. Update any existing map to give the search engines an easy route through your website and new products.

Most of the CMS platforms that are dedicated to catering to e-commerce websites have automated sitemap generation options. This is to levy the stress most site crawlers are subjected to when you continuously update your inventory and make changes to the content of your site. Keep your XML sitemaps updated to keep your site in the good books of all search engines.

Internal linking to quality content

ecommerce products

The days of “blackhat” SEO are over. Now, if you stuff keywords repeatedly from other sources, you may not be penalized actively but your SRL ranking can decrease tremendously.

Today, it’s better if you can focus on meaningful content with wise use of contextual keywords. Since the introduction of Hummingbird, the keyword game has changed and the current algorithms focus more on the meaning of an entire sentence rather than isolated phrases or words.

Do not forget to use active and good quality backlinks while constructing your articles or product content. This builds reputation and credibility. Including backlinks from reputable websites builds consumer trust and helps in boosting customer conversion rate magnificently.

See Also: The Future of SEO – Predictions and Premonitions That Will Dominate 2017

Be ready to make new friends

Many website owners may not believe it just yet, but Schema is going to be your new best friend. Schema.org is designed to fabricate, maintain and advertise structured data online. These are most commonly used by the likes of Google and other search engines to make sure the consumers get more than they can chew on. You can consider including Schema into the following places:

• Brand
• Offers
• Rating and reviews
• Product

Content website definitely needs more focus in the coming year if you want to make your e-commerce website a raging success. You must remember that there are thousands of successful online shopping portals people search for every day and you must always one-up them in every aspect to make yourself visible. Serve your target audience exactly what they are looking for and use e-commerce SEO to boost incoming traffic and conversion rates.

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Understanding How Glasses Work

Corrective lenses have been around for several years already. Because people are so used to them, they aren’t given as much thought as the newer discoveries. The only time one will probably give them attention is when your eyes start to get blurry. If that is the case, here are some of the things you need to […]

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Corrective lenses have been around for several years already. Because people are so used to them, they aren’t given as much thought as the newer discoveries. The only time one will probably give them attention is when your eyes start to get blurry.

If that is the case, here are some of the things you need to know about how glasses work.

Different Lenses For Different Problems

eye problems

Through the pupil, light enters the eyes and gets focused by the lens into the retina. This is how normal eyes work. However, in some cases, these light waves don’t reach the retina correctly and it results in change in vision.

One of the  most common reasons for this is the abnormality in the shape of the eye.

When the shape and length of the eyeballs are changed, it can cause poor interpretations of the light waves traveling through the pupil. To remedy this, corrective lenses are used to focus light properly so that the retina and the rest of the eyes can interpret them correctly.

Nearsightedness

Myopia or nearsightedness is caused by images coming into focus in front of the retina. As a result, objects that are close to the eyes appear clear while objects that are held away from the eyes appear blurry.

A convex or positive lens is manufactured to the exact specifications of the wearer’s needs in order to focus the image in the retina. Positive lenses bend the light from the top and the bottom of the lens downward, pushing the focal point farther back into the retina.

Farsightedness

Hyperopia, more commonly referred to as farsightedness, happens when the cornea of a person has a flatter than normal curvature. This causes light to not focus properly. People with hyperopia see things better when they are far away. Any object held close to their eyes can look blurry.

A set of concave eyeglasses are used to correct the issue. They help bend light slightly inward so that they end up in the retina.

Astigmatism

Astigmatism is caused by an oval shaped cornea which distorts light waves. It makes everything look blurry, regardless of how far or near an object is held from the eyes.

The condition requires multiple focal points to be corrected. Typically, cylindrical lenses are prescribed for correction.

See Also: Eye Safety In The Workplace: Effective Ways To Protect Your Vision

What Do All Those Numbers Mean, Anyway?

eyeglasses frame

Frame Sizes

If you’ve ever looked on the inside arm of your glasses, you’ll noticed a set of numbers. Those numbers will give you an idea of the width of your glasses’ bridge, the length of its arms, height of the lens opening and its overall width.

These numbers help determine which frames will best fit your face, both for aesthetics and for optimal vision correction.

Corrective Prescription

Reading a prescription isn’t easy for the average person. It’s full of shorthand that doesn’t really make sense unless you’re really knowledgeable and trained about them.

For example, OD means the right eye while OS refers the left eye. In addition to codes, you also have to understand numbers.

The first number represents the spherical base. A plus or minus sign before that numbers indicates whether it is positive or negative. The second number, on the other hand, refers to the cylinder strength. The third number correlates to the cylinder axis orientation. If there is a fourth number, that will indicate your need of bifocals.

It’s important to be able to understand what these numbers mean as well as their order, especially if you are planning on ordering your glasses online.

See Also: A Guide to Buying Glasses Online

You Don’t Have To Understand Optical Physics

Understanding how your glasses work is great, but you don’t need to have a PhD in optical physics to know that. Since they have been around for a long time, you can find tons of sources that can enlighten you more about them.

To start, you can learn more about how corrective lenses work from this infographic.

Please include attribution to FramesDirect.com with this graphic.

How Do Glasses Work Infographic

 

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What Are The Advantages Of Business Consolidation Loans?

There are quite a few myths that revolve around debt consolidation loans. However, if your small business is struggling, debt consolidation loan is your only option to keep yourself afloat. It is also the only option that will not dampen your credit score. Debt consolidation is the hero without a cape that has saved countless […]

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There are quite a few myths that revolve around debt consolidation loans. However, if your small business is struggling, debt consolidation loan is your only option to keep yourself afloat. It is also the only option that will not dampen your credit score. Debt consolidation is the hero without a cape that has saved countless number of companies from going down under.

According to the American Small Business Administration, almost 30% of the new small companies do not survive their first year in the market and almost 50% of them go under in their fifth year. The lack of funding and consolidation resources are majorly responsible for their untimely departure from the marketing world. In this cutthroat world of business, it is miraculous to get another chance with debt consolidation.

There are quite a few benefits you can enjoy when working with companies that offer actual debt consolidation meaning. This means you can’t only get your company on solid ground but you can also enjoy added benefits.

The list includes:

Reduced APR

With timely filed consolidation loans, you can reduce your annual payment rates and interest rates. If you happen to have a great credit history, you can file for lower interest rates with a longer payment term. You can enjoy APRs as low as 12% for repayment terms of 5 years or longer.

Lower monthly payments

This is something almost all businesses look forward to. You can coalesce all your monthly payments into one payment that has a lower interest rate. This automatically reduces the net amount you’ll be paying each month.

Additional borrowing

This is one benefit most new entrepreneurs would kill to enjoy.

When you are applying for your consolidation loan, you can apply for additional money to fund your future projects. Because of your lower interest rates, you are likely to get an increased DSCR for your business. This means, you do not have to take out short term debts again when starting a new project soon.

Simplify cash flow

There are three ways you can enjoy better cash flow.

1. You will have to pay just one creditor, instead of 3 or 4. It gives you the chance to use the loan amount to pay your credit card bills. You can just manage one account and the rest of the payments will take care of themselves.

credit card

2. You do not have to deal with defaulter’s notices anymore or penalties for missed payments. The consolidation loan company will take care of timely payments. In addition to that, you get to enjoy making one pre-scheduled payment to your loan company every month.

3. Longer debt and longer payment terms call for lower monthly payments. You can easily save more cash and cover regular expenses without cutting corners.

Say goodbye to creditors

You can resolve all your lines of credits at one go with one large sum. You’ll be able to give your business freedom to grow and expand into new dimensions. You will not have to attend to creditor calls and you can even pay off all your credit card bills with the sanctioned amount. Consolidation loan has the power to free up your revolving credit lines.

Payments are more anticipated

getting out of debt

You can coalesce many short-term loans into one loan with smaller payment amounts. You can also consolidate loans with variable interest rates under one loan amount that you can pay for a longer time period with a much lower, fixed interest rate. As a result, you can chalk out a definite plan and budget for the coming year in your business.

See Also: 5 Ways Business Investment Loans Can Help Your Start-Up

When dealing with consolidation loans, you will have to know how to negotiate for the best deals and better benefits. You need to find the right companies that offer the right kind of loans that your business needs to thrive.

There are currently two types of business consolidation loans that are available:

1. Secured debt consolidation loans

These are loans that come with usually low interest rates and low monthly payments as well. Secured loans mean that you will be pledging some form of tangible property against the loan. In that case, the lending party has more security about repayment.

It is not uncommon for a lending party to take possession of deposit accounts, business assets, and business equipment in case of missed payments. However, secured loans are better in terms of comparatively longer payment terms and low rates.

2. Unsecured debt consolidation loans

Since these do not require you to pledge any tangible property, they usually demand a high personal credit score. You will experience higher interest rates and monthly payments when you opt for unsecured consolidation loans.

You can usually get these unsecured loans from private lenders and alternative sources. Even P2P lending can help you out with unsecured loans. However, it is a little harder to get as compared to secured loans since it demands a squeaky clean business credit and personal credit.

Small business debt consolidation loan is quite a wonderful way to keep your business thriving in days of dire distress. This will not eat away into your credit score and you will still be qualified for more loans. Many businesses go bankrupt simply because they cannot figure out the right time to apply for a business consolidation loan.

Business consolidation loan is not bad for business, provided that you choose the right consolidating companies for the loans. The right company should be able give you added services, including debt counselling and debt management. Getting out of debt will not be a monumental challenge if you have the right company to help you out.

See Also: 4 Ways to Start Building Great Credit

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3 Theories To Help You Find The Meaning Behind Your Dreams

Dreaming is considered as a different, unique, and very complex process of thoughts. Ever since the beginning of our time, people wondered what dreams are and why we experience them at night. Some ancient civilizations even believed that dreams convey messages of wisdom from their gods. A few centuries later, Sigmund Freud came along and famously […]

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Dreaming is considered as a different, unique, and very complex process of thoughts. Ever since the beginning of our time, people wondered what dreams are and why we experience them at night.

Some ancient civilizations even believed that dreams convey messages of wisdom from their gods. A few centuries later, Sigmund Freud came along and famously theorized that dreams are a “royal road to our unconscious”. Today, modern dream theories suggest that dreams are not as complex and important as people once believed.

To give you an idea, below are the 3 most popular theories that can help you interpret your dreams.

The Freudian Theory on Dreams

the freudian theory on dreams

Sigmund Freud is the father of psychoanalysis whose accomplishments are being dismissed today by modern science at a fast pace. Despite this rejection, he is still popular for his theory on dreams.

While Freud lacked understanding and knowledge of the REM and the NREM sleep cycles, he believed that the meaning of each dream is wish-fulfillment. Freud began this argument by analyzing children’s dreams.

According to Freud, dreams serve a very important function in giving us clues of how our unconscious mind works. He believed that this was crucial for our waking life. Freud also believed that all dreams are of sexual or aggressive nature. Therefore, our brain does not allow us to experience such thoughts and emotions while awake and so represses them.

Since Freud provided so many theories, ideas, and thoughts on dreams, I need to sum all up as shortly as possible. He believed that dreams are a way of realizing our repressed desires. If you think that this theory can be true, you should get Freud’s book entitlled “The Interpretation of Dreams” to learn more.

The Jungian Theory on Dreams

the jungian theory on dreams

Being a student of the famous Sigmund Freud has certainly helped Carl Gustav Jung to become a successful and reputable psychiatrist on his own. Like Freud, Jung also believed in the existence of the unconscious. However, he didn’t agree with his mentor that all dreams are of sexual nature.

Having different views and theories on dreams caused Jung and Freud to take separate ways. Jung presented four theories on dreams. His most popular idea is that most dreams have a compensatory function. They express those aspects of our personality we don’t adequately develop in our waking life.

Jung believed that dreams are a way of communicating with one’s own unconscious. Unlike Freud, he believed that dreams are not attempts to fulfill wishes from the waking mind. Instead, he considered them as windows to our unconscious mind. To achieve wholeness and solve a problem in the waking life, one must look for guidance in their dreams.

Modern Theory on Dreams

modern theory on dreams

Over the last 50 years, modern science has been gathering evidence but found nothing to support any of the Freudian and Jungian dream theories.

It all started with John Allan Hobson, a famous American psychiatrist and dream researcher, who offered a believable, fact-supported theory (for a change). Hobson described the dreaming brain as a simulation machine that seeks to predict its waking environment. It functions depending on the REM sleep cycles. His basic idea is that our brains are genetically equipped with a neuronal system that generates a “virtual reality” of our waking lives during the REM stage.

Thanks to the many dream studies conducted by researchers from all around the world, now we know that dreams are not unpredictable. No training is required to decipher dreams, because they aren’t encrypted at all, as they were once believed. They also have no meaning.

Nevertheless, they can be useful to help us understand our own psychological state. The feelings we experience in a dream can be viewed as our brain’s attempt to convey information to its conscious self.

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How To Get Your Boss To Agree To Anything You Want

If you could change anything about your job, what would it be? Do you want a savvier office or a bigger holiday allowance? Perhaps you’d like more mentorship or opportunities to develop new skills. Are you thinking about getting a fatter paycheque at the end of each month? Whatever it is that you want, there’s a good chance you […]

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If you could change anything about your job, what would it be?

Do you want a savvier office or a bigger holiday allowance? Perhaps you’d like more mentorship or opportunities to develop new skills. Are you thinking about getting a fatter paycheque at the end of each month?

Whatever it is that you want, there’s a good chance you won’t get it easily- unless you know the best tricks in persuading your boss. If that is the case, here’s a quick guide to help you out.

Understand Their Point of View

Before you ask for anything, work out why you haven’t already been given it. Mapping out your boss’ mindset on this issue is important since it can help you find a way to counter his arguments.

Generally, you know your boss well enough to get a feel of how he thinks, especially when it comes to making big decisions. Despite this, make sure you still ask him. As long as you frame your request in a neutral, non-accusatory manner, he should be happy to answer your questions.

Collect Compelling Counter-Evidence

To get what you want, you need to be able to show your boss both that it’s a good idea and that any concerns your boss may have won’t be a problem. This involves collecting evidence.

If you’re looking for a career or salary boost, you need to prove you deserve it. Hunt down performance reports, output statistics, glowing reviews from clients and so forth. Similarly, if you want support for a new way of working, then find reputable studies and surveys that can back up your idea.

See Also: 5 Tips On How To Negotiate Your Salary

Present It As A Benefit To Them

office presentation

As wonderful and deserving as you undoubtedly are, if the work change you crave only benefits you, it won’t be on top of your boss’ list of priorities.

If you can find a way to present it as a gain for the business, he’s going to be keen to hear you out. Bosses are almost generally keen about enhancing the productivity of their workforce and the monetary gains of their business. If you can argue that your suggestion will create improvements in those areas, you’re likely to be a winner.

Make It Easy To Implement

By this point, you should have built such a persuasive case that your boss is, at least, open to considering the idea. However, managers are busy people and if you let your boss go away without giving it much thought, it’s possible that he’ll find the idea too ambitious.

See Also: 6 Ways to Recognise a Really Bad Manager

To stop this from happening, lay out a quick and easy way to put your idea into practice and volunteer yourself for any of the required legwork. Talk about how the transition from your current position would work and how any predictable problems that are likely to crop up would be surmounted.

Make It Time-Limited And Reversible

One of the reasons why all of us, including managers, are so scared of change is that it can be difficult to correct if anything goes wrong. To encourage your boss to be bold, suggest that you run your idea for a trial period first.

This will give you and your boss enough time to see if the project will work for the business. Trial periods are much easier to agree to. They’re easy to extend, too.

Allowing your boss to backtrack might seem like a risk, but it makes the initial agreement much more likely. As long as you can prove that your idea will work, it’s unlikely that your boss will force you to revert back to your previous position or working condition.

Play Devil’s Advocate

work proposal

No matter how persuasive your argument is, your boss is still likely to throw some criticism at your idea to check its value. Avoid getting caught off-guard by assessing your own idea first. Finding the holes in your proposal can give you the opportunity to prepare either a solution to a potential problem or a convincing reason why the benefits still outweigh the cons.

It can actually be an effective technique to bring up some of these negatives while talking to your boss. It’ll show that you’ve seriously considered all angles and analysed the proposal thoroughly

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Top 5 Uncommon Jobs In The US And How To Get Them

When I was in high school, my careers adviser said I should become a mailman. In the end, I have been everything — from a riding instructor, librarian, salesman at Toys R Us, to a children’s entertainer. I even became an ice cream alchemist. To be honest, I’m still not quite decided on what I want […]

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When I was in high school, my careers adviser said I should become a mailman. In the end, I have been everything — from a riding instructor, librarian, salesman at Toys R Us, to a children’s entertainer. I even became an ice cream alchemist.

To be honest, I’m still not quite decided on what I want to do when I grow up. I’m 45 years old and I still think growing up is over rated!

I saw an infographic from Graduation Source about some of the leading careers and how to achieve them. This made me want to investigate more. Here are, in my opinion, the five top uncommon jobs in the US and what you need to do to get them.

Flavorologist

flavorologist
Via yogurt-land.com

Love food and have a perfect sense of taste? Maybe you could become a flavorologist, a professional employed to taste and assess food. If this interests you, you can follow the footsteps of John Harrison, a Master Ice Cream Taster for Edy’s Grand Ice Cream.

John ensures that each batch of their delicious ice cream is up to scratch. He spends time working in the lab to create new and exciting flavors. His working day involves up to five hours of tasting up to twenty flavors of ice cream. His work is so important that the company have his valuable taste buds insured for $1 million.

Flavorologists or food scientists who work for major food manufacturers can earn up to $60,000 per year, according to Payscale data.

Of course, it is not all lovely foods like ice cream. Spare a thought for Philip Wells, a professional dog food taster for natural dog food manufacturer Lily’s Kitchen. Phillip says that the worst part of the job is not the taste but the deadlines.

Snoozeahologist (Professional Sleeper)

professional sleeper
Via womansday.com

If you find it hard to resist your bed, then the role of a professional sleeper is an option for you. There are a number of medical schools who require people to sleep for medical trials and it can let you earn over $10,000. The only downside is that you have to be wired up to a range of medical devices to track your sleep patterns.

If you find the wires uncomfortable, there are some hotels who hire people to sleep. Take, for example, the Hotel Finn in Helsinki. They advertised for a dynamic individual who would spend time sleeping in each of its 35 rooms.

As the hotel stated, “This person will share their thoughts, adventures and experiences of living in the best spot of summery Helsinki.”  It may seem simple, but the successful candidate must know how to speak English, Finnish and Russian.

Figures on Simply Hired suggest that a professional sleeper could earn on average of $61,586 per year. It’s not a bad figure for a job that requires its worker to rest.

Movie Star

movie star

If the idea of being in the big screen attracts you, then you should consider getting into one of the major acting programs today. One good example is the Julliard or Yale School of Drama.

Apart from developing your skills, you should also consider moving to one of the major cities where the film industry is booming, such as New York, Los Angeles or Chicago. Even the big stars have to live near the industry if they want to have work regularly.

Additionally, you will need to join SAG-Aftra, the union which represents professional actors. Without this, you will not be able to work on union projects. You’ll need a portfolio, too.

Ensure you look for as many opportunities as you can. This may include attending open casting sessions, trying out for a supporting role or working behind the scenes.

The average salary of SAG-Aftra union members is around $53,423. With luck, you could earn more than this rate, like Jackie Chan who earned over $61 million last year.

Anesthesiologist

anesthesiologist

A survey by the United States Department of Labour has shown that over half the professionals in the top paid jobs in the US are in the healthcare industry. Anesthesiologists take the top spot with the highest salary averaging over $246,000 per year.

Anesthesiologists are medical doctors who are responsible for the safety of patients before, during and after surgery. Before they receive their license to practice, they need to take a long educational program which can last up to twelve years.

This includes a four-year undergraduate degree, followed by at least four years at medical school and then a four-year anesthesiology residency program. This can be followed by an additional fellowship year or specialist training.

There are over thirty thousand anesthesiologists in the United States. Over the next five years, the numbers can increase by as much as 18%. If the job sounds appealing to you, study hard today. It might be your career in the next coming years.

Astronaut

astronaut

The stars and sky don’t fascinate everyone. Furthermore, not everyone has the desire to leave the planet to explore.

This is what makes Clayton C. Anderson different from most people. Clayton was an astronaut and previous resident of the international space station for 152 days. In his book, “An Ordinary Spaceman”, he explains that when he started as an astronaut candidate, he earned $90,000. When he retired, he was on a salary of $150,000.

Despite the digits, being an astronaut is not always about the money. As British astronaut Tim Peake said of space travel, “Living and working on board the International Space Station is the best place you could be as a professional.”

So, how do you become an astronaut? NASA’s basic requirements involve:

  • Receiving a bachelor’s degree from a university accredited for mathematics, engineering or physical science. In addition to this, you’ll need a three-year professional experience or at least 1,000 hours of being a pilot in charge of a jet aircraft.
  • Being physically fit. Applicants must have a distance visual acuity of 20/200 correctable to 20/20 for both eyes and a blood pressure reading of 140/90 (to be taken while in sitting position).
  • Having a height of 58.5 inches to 76 inches.

Applying as an astronaut isn’t as easy as being able to pass these requirements. Once you pass the primary assessment, you’ll need to go through a rigorous selection process and training program. After that, you’ll need to go through a week-long interview process.

If, and only if, you pass all of these, you will have to undertake a 2-year program which involves training and evaluation. This includes spending time in a zero-g simulator known as ‘vomit comet’. It’s a plane that climbs high before taking a free-fall. Unfortunately, not all people can pass this test without feeling ill.

The chances of being an astronaut are somewhat slim. At the time of writing, there are no astronaut jobs being advertised on the NASA job site and the last intake was in 2015.

However, if you persevere, you could still join the 536 people who have been in space. Study hard and give the astronaut selection office a call at 281-483-5907 and ask them if you can fly into space!

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Web Design Strategy: How To Give New Life To Your Site

There is much more to web designing than just plain aesthetics. For your website to be successful, you also have to make sure your content is as attractive as your site’s design. Your customers would not be visiting your site to admire and be awestruck by its visual appearance. They are paying your site a visit to learn […]

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There is much more to web designing than just plain aesthetics. For your website to be successful, you also have to make sure your content is as attractive as your site’s design.

Your customers would not be visiting your site to admire and be awestruck by its visual appearance. They are paying your site a visit to learn and gain something from it.

In case you are wondering, here are some of the best web design strategies you can use in boosting your site’s view.

Pay Attention To Conversions

web design

Conversion involves the transition of a casual visitor to a paying visitor. For this to happen, you have to consider every part of your site’s design.

Here are some design tips from the professionals:

• Images must always be fascinating, of high-quality, and truly unique.
• Color scheme must be vibrant and eye-catching.
• Text must be used for messaging and for delivering instructions, descriptions, and labels.
• Navigation must be smooth throughout your website.

These are just a few of the elements that can help you get successful conversions. Fundamentally speaking, every part and element of your site’s design is an integral factor that can boost customer conversion.

To get started, you should get in touch with a professional web designer and talk about your website’s objectives. You should discuss precisely what modifications can help you attain your goals.

Allow Some White Space

A good website design should cleverly utilize white space. It should be deliberately and purposely designed all around images, call-to-action buttons and texts.

Spacing is a crucial part of web design, too. Web designers must avoid the use of excessive spaces, particularly on their homepage. Do not treat your homepage as a newspaper because people aren’t used to reading website content the way they are used to reading printed materials.

Keep in mind that there should be adequate spacing between the various elements of your page. This ensures an enjoyable reading experience. Moreover, they help put emphasis on the most important parts. Good sense and use of timing and effective spacing are vital in this context.

Focus Should Be On Typography

typography and fonts

Amazing pictures and awesome videos may get a lot of admiration online but the web is basically all about text. You should pay a lot more attention to your website’s typography. In addition to having a wide range of fonts, you should also know how to utilize them.

Web designers must possess sound typography skills for creating successful website designs. They must know how to choose the perfect font color, size and weight. They should also be aware of how the right spacing can make their design a lot more impressive.

Conclusion

You must always aim to make a long lasting impression to your site’s visitors. Obviously, you wouldn’t want visitors to easily forget your site. One way you can achieve this is by infusing an element or a touch of fun into their experience.

A website could be both professional and fun. Just make sure that you won’t get carried away while creating your design.

See Also: The Essential Elements of Modern Web Design

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