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4 Tips to be More Sociable

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There are just those kind of people who seem to find it a breeze when they interact with other people. There are also those who break a sweat even if all they have to do is smile and wave to someone they see in the corridor.
Simply put, there are just those who are more sociable than others.

But humans are highly sociable beings so it is a must for us to oblige and give in to this impulse. However we do it, is up to us.

Here are some tips to help you become more sociable:

1. Slowly but surely
The first step to becoming more sociable is the willingness to do so. Once you’re past that, you have to keep in mind that this is no magic trick and it won’t happen overnight. It’s a process that can sometimes be painstakingly progressive as the days creep by. But the good news is, it can happen. It’s just a matter of when. A generous amount of patience also plays a key for this crucial step. Make sure you give yourself breathing room to grow, and not imposing rigid rules as to how your progress should be.

2. Learn the ropes
Ask around if you encounter social butterflies in different events or contexts. Make them spill how they achieve that comfortable banter with people around them with as little effort as possible. Learn the basic etiquette when it comes to dealing and interacting with other people. There’s a variety of social cues that could do you wonders once you get hold of them. However, make sure you don’t overdo this step. It’s an ugly scene when people notice you’re too by the book when interacting with them.

3. Get outside of your head
The most common mistake people make when interacting with other people is that they’re too stuck inside their heads to actually be in the conversation. They get too self-conscious and get too caught up with forming what to reply instead of actually listening. They think of the impression that the other person has of them, instead of just being in the moment. Once you learn to get out of your head and be in the here and now, you’ll find that you’re less nervous and could actually react appropriately to the person you’re talking to.

4. Accept and love yourself
There’s a reason all these pep talk lines are in most of our songs. They actually do you a whole lot of good when you accept yourself as you are and actually like who you see in the mirror no matter how imperfect you think you are. People are just people and if you make mistakes, so do they. Humans are universally the same so just go ahead and talk to them regardless of their background and prestige. At the end of the day, you’re both just humans having an exchange of ideas.

7 Foods That Will Give You More Brainpower

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The brain is the command center of the body. Having a healthy mind also means having a healthy body. What the mind conceives, the body portrays. Positive thinkers also have a healthy disposition in life. Whether you are going to take an examination or simply want to stay alert for your next meeting, you need to be conscious of your diet, as both have a correlation.

There is no known single food for the brain alone to be able to protect ourselves from getting dementia in the future or other medical conditions for that matter. Healthy and balanced diet includes brain-boosting foods that may help making your memory keen and your concentration and focus sharp.

1. Broccoli
Broccoli has been known to contain high glucosinolates compounds that slows the breakdown of the neurotransmitters and acetylcholine that our central nervous system needs to properly perform and to maintain a sharp memory. Broccoli is best source of vitamin K which is responsible for enhancing our cognitive function and improve brainpower. Low acetylcholine levels have also been associated with developing Alzheimer’s disease.

2. Nuts
Nuts are good source of vitamin E. vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin that plays a role as an anti-oxidant in the body. It protects the heart, eyes and more. It helps the elderly prevent cognitive decline. Natural sources of vitamin E includes leafy vegetables, asparagus, olives, seeds, eggs, brown rice and whole grains.

3. Eggs
Eggs is best source for vitamin B – B6, B12 and folic acid which helps reduce the levels of homocysteine compound in the blood that may contribute to stroke, cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease. High doses of vitamin B6, B12 and folic acid are needed especially for the elderly helps to deter brain shrinkage. Good sources of vitamin B6, B12 and folic acid are eggs fish, chicken and leafy vegetables.

4. Tomatoes
Tomatoes are best source of lycopene, a powerful antioxidant. It helps protect against the kind of free radical damage to cells that contribute to the developing of dementia, particularly Alzheimer’s disease.

5. Blueberries
Different blue or violet berries are good source of anti-oxidants. It helps in delaying short-term memory loss. You may want to check berries available in the market that contain the same protective compounds called anthocyanins.

6. Fish
Omega-3 fats are found in the fish. EPA and DHA good sources are salmon, trout, mackerel and sardines. Essential fatty acids are also found in flaxseeds or linseed, soya beans, pumpkin seeds and walnuts. Low DHA levels may lead to increased risk of acquiring dementia, Alzheimer’s disease and memory loss. While having a sufficient level of these compound will help manage stress and help develop the serotonin in the brain which is the happy hormones.

7. Whole grains
Whole grains is the best source for glucose in our blood to the brain. This gives us energy to work, concentrate and focus. You can have this from brown wholegrain cereals, granary bread, rice and pasta.

5 Struggles Every Extrovert Secretly Deals With

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When people talk about extroverts, usually we hear something like “they’re outgoing persons, their life must always be fun and easy.” False. Extroverts may not seem as complex or delicate, but they have a whole different category of struggles that they have to constantly deal with, too. These five are all too real for most (if not all) extroverts out there.

1. Using the terms “extrovert” and “outgoing” interchangeably.
Although there are outgoing extroverts, having an extroverted personality doesn’t always mean that you’re a super outgoing person. While introverts find it recharging to be alone, extroverts find energy around people. However, once an extrovert has found friends to be around, they do not feel the need to go out and make new friends, since they already found a group to get their energy from.

2. People instantly assume you love to be in huge crowds.
Yes, they’re comfortable with having people around, but extroverts don’t always want to be thrown in a rave-like environment. Most of the time, they get their dose of people-time from their group of close friends, not in a rave party or in a concert.

3. Extroverts always perceived as confident individuals.
Having an extroverted personality doesn’t mean you have an abundance of confidence. Sure, it isn’t a big deal to be around people for extroverts, but that doesn’t imply that they are 100 percent confident in their actions and in themselves. I, myself, am an introvert, but there have been several times when I felt small, shy and unsure of myself.

4. The friendliness often gets mistaken for flirting.
Just because an extrovert smiles, engages conversation and talks playfully doesn’t mean they are romantically interested to the person they’re conversing with. Being an extrovert simply means that the person enjoys the company of others—they can appear confident and are comfortable striking up a conversation with anyone regardless of how little or how much they know them.

5. People assume you are always happy.
Generally, extroverts are cheerful human beings, but that doesn’t mean their emotions only range from slightly happy to very happy. They are still human beings—they have emotions. Just like anyone, they also experience the full range of emotions.

So, if you know (or encounter) someone with an extroverted personality, remember these before saying (or thinking) any stereotypical things about them. Being an introvert has its own struggles as well, so embrace your uniqueness and just follow what your heart desires.

Decoding Food Nutritional Labels

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Grocery shopping on Saturdays, meal-prepping on Sundays and always keeping healthy snacks on hand when out and about—this is what we’re supposed to do to keep ourselves healthy and fit. But let’s be honest, the convenience of packaged snacks and the temptation of instant satisfaction of vending machines are just so irresistible, especially during the busy hours of the day. That’s okay though, as long as you do a little reading.

It helps a lot to read the nutritional facts. However, it’s not necessarily the first thing to mind. Yep, you heard that right. Before you start searching for the caloric, protein, fiber and sugar content of your treat, know first where these things came from by reading the ingredients list. Here are the reasons why we suggest reading that short list first before anything else.

1. It helps identify right away whether the food contains something you want to avoid.
If there is a specific ingredient you want to steer clear of, perhaps because of allergic reaction, reading the ingredients list is the best way to go. Sure, there are label certifications that state that the food is gluten-free or has no GMOs, but there’s no verification whether the food is free from peanuts or herbs and spices, which may cause allergic reaction to some.

Reading the ingredients list help a lot in avoiding the food components you don’t like or have intolerance to. Also, it makes it easier to avoid straight up unhealthy elements like trans fats.

2. It makes you think outside of the “calorie” box.
The nutrition facts section gives you a quick evaluation whether the food is healthy or not. If it is low in calories and meets your needs for fiber and protein, it’s likely that the food is healthy enough. However, it doesn’t let you know how healthy the food is.

Just because a pre-packed food contains a certain amount of macronutrients doesn’t automatically mean it provides the most nutritional bang for your money. For instance, a slice of white bread and a slice of sprouted grain bread both delivers 100 calorie. But the former is made with refined grains, which causes your sugar level to spike and crash; while the latter is made with whole grains that provides essential nutrients like B vitamins and fiber. See the difference?

3. It makes the food transparent in your naked eye.
A wholesome label (e.g. low fat!) or a health-inspired picture (e.g. a fit woman eating a bowl of cereals) might suggest that the food is healthy, but it is in the ingredients list you’ll know the truth.

This section will not only tell what the product is made of; it’ll also give you clues how much of what ingredient is in there. Ingredients are listed by quantity, with the top three ingredients making up typically 75 to 80 percent of the food. If you see nuts and fruits near the top of the ingredients list, you know you’re doing the right choice.

The back (and side) labels of your pre-packed treats are jam-packed with useful information, so make sure to make good use out of it. Next time you’re going grocery shopping, make the ingredients label of every food you’re getting your first stop.

How to Choose the Best Catering for Your Wedding

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You may be lucky if the venue you’re thinking of also provides a catering service, but chances are that you’ll be adding it on your priority list anyway. Planning and choosing your wedding catering is exhaustive and will likely take up the biggest portion of your budget, after all, so it’s important that you know how to feed your guests.
If you’re having a hard time figuring this out, then read on to find out more about finding the perfect wedding catering service for you.

1. Do your research beforehand.
Go to different catering services so you can compare and contrast what each one has to offer and where you think you’ll get the best deal. Just be sure to tell them your expected headcount so that all your guests will be accommodated without having to wait too long.

Another thing that you want to keep in mind when comparing catering services is whether they provide alcohol. If that option is available, make sure that the catering company is licensed to do so.

Lastly, read their reviews and ask around about the quality of that particular caterer’s service. Even the little things such as the wait staff’s quality of service can make or break a wedding.

2. Have a budget and stick to it.
Know exactly how much you’re willing to spend before you begin to approach the caterer of your choice. It allows the company that you want to approach to be able to work around it in order to cater to your needs within the set budget.

Think about what is and isn’t included in the catering package, such as linens and tableware, as this could vary from one caterer to another.

3. Ask the venue’s management for suggestions or requirements.
If the venue for your reception also provides catering, then you don’t need to worry too much at all. They may even work with different catering services and have a list that you can choose from, but that doesn’t mean that you can only choose from their roster.

If you insist on bringing your preferred catering service to the venue, be sure to ask if the venue’s management has any special requirements.

4. Arrange for taste-tests.
Though most catering services won’t allow you to sample their dishes until after you’ve signed or given a down payment for their services, you can go for a sample if they host dinners or serve at bridal expos. You can also look up their schedule of events to see which ones you can attend.

4 Common Wedding Day Fears and How to Get Over Them

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Your special day is coming up, but despite months of preparing for every scenario, you still can’t help but feel like something will go terribly wrong in one way or another. But don’t worry – you’re not alone in your plight.
Here are 4 common fears every couple encounters at some point when looking forward to or getting ready for their special day, with helpful tips on how you can ease them before walking to that altar.

1. The ceremony and/or reception might disappoint the guests.
Every couple wants their guests to enjoy the festivities that they spent a long time carefully planning, but no matter how much planning you put into it – from the wedding decor, to the menu, to even the venue – you can’t possibly please everyone.

Instead, focus on the few elements of the wedding that you personally enjoy yourself. Unless your parents are the ones paying for it, you should have more or less complete control over the preparations.

2. A guest/family member will start a scene.
Speak with that particular person beforehand on the issue if you know that he/she has had a history of bad behavior. And just in case you’re really convinced that push will come to shove, assign your bridesmaids/groomsmen on both crowd and damage control.

3. Things don’t go on schedule (i.e., some things go on too long, while others are over too quickly).
Let’s be honest – it’ll actually be a miracle if everything in your wedding turns out perfect. It’s normal to worry about these things, such as the caterers being late, the wedding planner not showing up on time, or that there are too few or too many guests.

However, once the contracts have been signed, the RSVPs have come in, and the venue has already been decorated, there is little that you can do but trust that things will go fine.

4. The wedding photos might turn out to be awful.
If there is one part in your life that will be extensively documented, whether you’re the bride or the groom, it will be your wedding. It’s okay to have faith in your photographer – they’re experts, after all.

If you’ve already seen your photographer’s portfolio (which you should have during the screening process), you should have complete confidence in their abilities and eye in looking for the best shots to take. It’s also not a bad idea to send a list of “must-take” shots.

5 Electrical Problems at Home

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How do you know if you need to call a licensed electrician in Singapore? Here are the five common electrical problems that need professional electrical services.

Burnt Out Bulbs
Replacing light bulbs should be easy for anyone even without any experience with electrical works, but if your bulbs frequently burn out even with regular replacement, then there might be problems with the connection or the circuit. This needs the attention of a good electrician in Singapore who will inspect any possible loose connection, damage to the circuit or the poor insulation. This is a fire hazard and must be addressed as soon as possible.

Light Switches Don’t Work
If one of the light switches stop functioning, it is time to have it replaced by a licensed electrician in Singapore. Just make sure that you choose only quality products when it comes to your electrical works, because substandard materials can cost you more expensive electrical repairs. Sometimes faulty switches in old apartments or homes in Singapore may be caused by removal of the fixtures or a problem in the outlet or circuit. Before moving into a new home, make sure to call a lineman to install power point.

Dead Outlets
There are do-it-yourself manuals and videos for simple electrical projects, but you should not tinker with something you have no experience of. Adding more outlets for your gadgets and appliances is one of them. A dead outlet can result from poor connections and failure to understand how the circuit is supposed to work. If you haven’t touched the outlets, however, it could mean that there is an excessive heat buildup and the wires must have melted. If this is the case, call the nearest electrician services company in Singapore such as for a professional inspection.

Frequently Tripping Breakers
If your breakers work, that is not necessarily a bad thing because it is a method to prevent the circuit from overloading. However, if this happens more often than usual, it could mean that you need to upgrade your electrical works because it is not meeting your needs. This is common in old apartments that have not yet upgraded their electrical service. Contact the nearest electrician services company in Singapore for an assessment and checkup.

High Electric Bills
Sudden sags and dips in power not only damage the circuits and wiring but can also affect your electric bill. Sometimes there are no visible signs of problems with the electrical connections, but you should be aware of how much energy your appliances and gadgets need to get an estimate of the correct monthly electric bill. Identify which appliances use a lot of power and switch to cost-effective models recommended by your electrician and make sure that the wirings and circuits get regularly inspected.

How to Keep Going On Despite Difficulties

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There are times when we find ourselves in rather sticky situations whether we like them or not. Sadly the only thing that pops into our head is, “Is it over yet?” How are we supposed to deal with this type of distaste? Now, life is meant to be enjoyed but then again, we can’t really be expected to enjoy every single step of the way. Life has ups and downs. Everyone looks up to the ups, but not a lot of people actually talk about dealing with the downs.

What do you do when you are at a distaste with your current situation? Hopefully these following tips would help you cope:

1. Look at Problems from a “Bird’s Eye View”
Sometimes the cause of our anxiety isn’t the actual problem itself. Sometimes the cause of our anxiety is how close we are towards the problem. The smaller our vision, the more cluttered things seem. Learn to zoom out and look at things from a more objective point of view. It’s normal to feel a certain emotion with every type of situation but do not let that emotion cloud your actual view of the situation.

2. When Tired, Take a Rest, But Don’t Give Up
Instead of learning how to quit, learn how to rest. Rest is vital in development and recuperation of strength. If you are drained, learn how to rest instead of just giving up. Let’s face it, everyone gets tired. This is a trait most CEOs know how to carry out really well. Most successful CEOs know when to rest. Instead of letting worry and doubt cloud your head, learn how to rest. Besides, worry and doubt are very counter-productive.

3. Always Keep Yourself Motivated
The root of motivation actually comes from a simple line, “I can do this”. And sometimes that’s all it takes. All those motivational speeches are helpful but at the end of the day, your biggest motivation should be yourself. Allow yourself to be motivated by others but do not rely on them as a source of motivation. Instead, rely on yourself to keep yourself motivated no matter what happens.

4. Every Day You Give Your Best is a Win
Winning by default is still winning. Imagine this, you’re in a competition with some of the best contestants around, the competition gets tiring and one by one your competition starts to quit, isn’t that a sign to keep going? A recent study has shown that intelligence is not always the measure of success, it’s grit. Grit is the trait of champions. Being able to get up after every fall knowing how small that bump would be in the whole picture, now that’s a trait of a true champion.

Developing a Deeper Appreciation for Food

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Food! Let’s say that again, FOOD! What came into your mind? Well, we’re pretty sure it’s that specific dish you’ve been craving for maybe since this morning, yesterday, or maybe even just now as you heard the word, food. Food has a huge power over ourselves as a person. Food is not only a source of nutrition, food has shaped the world in so many ways.

Careers were even built around food and some people even live with the pursuit of finding the best dish around. Food for you may not be that huge of a role, but it is still undeniably very important to you. In fact, food plays a huge factor aside from sustaining our physical aspect. Food even affects us socially.

Going out with friends? Most likely there’s food involved. Sometimes, we tend to forget that there are two portions of food in general. The first one is that food is nutritious and it should be eaten to boost our overall physical condition and appearance. The second one is taste. The appeal to the senses.
Most people tend to look at the latter rather than looking at food as a whole. Food shouldn’t just be about taste, food should also be about nutrition! We all know that eating healthy food is the backbone of success. But then again, why doesn’t it cross our mind when we are hungry? Well, hunger is a direct physical feeling which we notice almost instantly.

It’s easier to notice hunger than notice the fact that we aren’t in physical shape anymore. Hunger can easily be quenched but to improve our body’s physical state? Well, that takes a whole lot of discipline. In fact, we it actually takes more than a year to reprogram your body into a very positive physical state.

Cleansing your body of the toxins we intake from unhealthy food might be a bit bizarre at first since you aren’t used to eating food for the function rather than the taste. Later on you’ll realize that it may be hard, but it’s definitely possible. Our pallet is something we can actually train. In fact, we can condition our pallet into preferring healthier foods rather than foods that don’t really do us any good.

How do we do this? By discipline! Every habit comes from repetition and it is repetition you have to focus on. Consistency may not sound like such a fun word, but consistency is one of the only words that actually get things done. After all, who said eating healthy food isn’t yummy?

Types of Cosmetic Surgery

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Cosmetic surgery has become popular in recent years. It’s not only the entertainers who avail of these procedures but even ordinary people too.

What is cosmetic surgery?
Cosmetic surgery is a type of plastic surgery. Its purpose is to improve or change the person’s appearance. These procedures can be done on almost any part of the body. The confusion between cosmetic and plastic surgery may have arisen from the practice of some plastic surgeons to focus solely on cosmetic surgery. Both aim to improve the person’s appearance, but plastic surgery’s purpose is to repair defects so that the person can function and appear normally. Cosmetic surgery on the other hand is done to enhance appearance even if there are no physical defects. Cosmetic surgery is done not just by plastic surgeons but other practitioners too.

Common plastic surgery procedures include the following: burn repair, breast reconstruction, congenital defect repair such as for the cleft palate, hand surgery, scar revision and lower extremity reconstruction.

What are the common procedures?
Cosmetic surgery is divided into several types based on the part of the body where the procedure is done.

1. Breast Surgery
Perhaps the most common procedure and the one that popularized cosmetic surgery is breast surgery. The following are the most common procedures: breast augmentation, breast reduction, breast lift and fat transfer breast augmentation.

2. Body Contouring
Body contouring is shaping the body usually after fat reduction procedures. These include body lift to improve the tone and shape, arm lift or brachioplasty, thigh lift, buttock or gluteal augmentation and tummy tuck or abdominoplasty.

3. Fat Reduction
These are procedures which aim to reduce fat in certain areas of the body. They include liposuction, liposuction-laser or ultrasound assisted, and the nonsurgical fat reduction which is a minimally invasive procedure.

4. Facial and Neck Cosmetic Surgery
Procedures are done on the skin, ears, eyes, nose, mouth and chin. Some examples are facelift and thermage for the skin, ear reshaping, eyelid lift and eyelash transplantation, rhinoplasty for the nose, lip fillers and malar augmentation for the mouth, and genioplasty for the chin.

5. Facial Rejuventation
This can be a category on its own because of the range of procedures that have been developed over the years. These are all aimed to reduce the signs of aging caused by sagging facial features. Facial rejuvenation includes eyelid lift, neck lift, brow lift and facelift.

6. Hair Transplantation
For those who are suffering from hair loss, hair transplantation can solve the problem by grafting tiny hair follicles from the back of the patient’s scalp and then transplanting them to the balding areas.

7. Male-Specific Cosmetic Surgery
Even men also find cosmetic surgery more attractive. The most common are hair replacement in the form of surgically-implanted hair and male breast reduction surgery.

8. Minimally Invasive Treatments
Minimally invasive treatments include types of peels, grafts, fillers and laser treatments. Examples are Botox or Botulinum Toxin, dermabrasion, dermal fillers, laser hair removal, spider vein treatments, microdermabrasion, skin rejuvenation and resurfacing, chemical peel, and permanent makeup.

The Benefits of Being A Loner

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Being a loner doesn’t mean you’re weird or socially impaired. It just means you don’t need to put up with other people’s drama. You’re independent and you don’t need a huge circle of friends to get on with life. Here are the other benefits of choosing to be on your own.

You don’t need a lot of people for important events.
That doesn’t mean you don’t want the whole world to know how happy you are. It’s just that you choose to share it only with the people who matter. Loners don’t have a lot of friends but they’re known to form the most enduring of friendships and close family ties. Nothing is wrong with sharing the most important, both happy and sad, moments of your life with your immediate family and a few people who will genuinely share your happiness or grief.

You don’t need shallow friendships.
Meaningful friendship doesn’t come from numbers. Most friendships are based on common interests, delusions and illusions in life. It takes a number of people to sustain the illusion that you’re part of a happy group. Some people use friendship to fill in missing relationships that they cannot experience at home. When the time comes, however, new obligations and opportunities come up and most of these friendships don’t survive.

Your time is your own to enjoy.
Whenever you feel like going out, there is no need to talk and compromise. Even the closest of friends don’t agree on everything or like the same things. If you’re alone, you don’t need to waste time deciding where to eat, where to shop, which movies to watch or which music to listen to. You also have more time to think about life in general. You don’t feel awkward being alone in public places.

You are a good observer and listener.
Observing people can be as insightful as meaningful conversations. Observers can often be good judges of characters. Loners can see a lot of things other less introspective people don’t about themselves. You’re a good listener and can often catch details that others miss. Your powers of observation allows you to see the drama-seeking people you want to stay away from.

You’re not shy, you just take your time.
Being a loner is often equated to being shy as well, but that is not always true. You’re well aware that not everyone can relate to you. It’s not being selfish, but you do admit that some people are unnecessarily making their lives complicated and so you want to stay away as far as possible. That is why most of the great thinkers in history were loners. They were seen as lunatics by some because, but it was during their alone time that they came up with ideas.

You’re independent and strong.
Loners have a tendency to over-think and get lonely sometimes. It’s also difficult to build relationships because you don’t open up easily, but not having to deal with drama means you don’t bring others into your problems too. You don’t depend on anyone for help and if you’re disappointed, you don’t need to bring others down with you.

Reading Fiction: A Way to Happiness and Creativity?

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A lot of people opt to read fiction over other genres of literature. While it is primarily based on the author’s imagination, it allows the readers to be submerged onto the world that was created in between the pages of the book. As a reader, you also somehow become a part of the story that was unfolding with every chapter. You empathize with the characters, and sometimes even view them as friends you never had.

There are reasons why fiction is an appealing read to most audiences. For one, it becomes a creative escape from reality. It can range from mundane to mythical, which involves unicorns, dragon-slaying heroes, and other legendary elements— with the sky as the limit. It allows readers to explore other worlds even if these stories exist only in one’s imagination. Aside from that, there are also other reasons as to why reading fiction can be beneficial for you.

1. It expands our experiences and world view
The thing with fiction is that it allows us to experience adventures and situations which expands beyond the mundane life. Even if it exists only in our minds, we are able to visualize these mythical worlds accordingly. We get to experience other people’s lives (even if they are fictional) and with that, we also enrich the way we view the world.

2. We gain empathy
Since we put ourselves in the shoes of some characters when we read fiction, we grow our capacity for empathy in the process. We begin to understand why these characters have made various decisions in their lives and what pushed them to do so in the first place. A lot of factors come to play in analyzing each character which enables us to understand people better.

3. It makes us appreciate human experiences more
Fiction retells mundane life narratives in such a manner that makes us appreciate them better. Through beautiful, detailed descriptions, it gives depth to the things we usually take for granted and these images intensify the way we experience the world surrounding us.

4. Reading fiction effectively reduces stress
Even if we get carried away by the thrilling events unfolding in fiction books at times, reading fiction is actually an effective way to reduce stress levels. It is on par with other activities such as taking a brisk walk or listening to your favorite playlist. Reading fiction works wonders in easing the body’s stress because it diverts the mind to concentrate on another distraction.

5. Fiction improves our vocabulary and language
Because of the creative nature of fiction, it is not a surprise to find flowery expressions, literary devices, and metaphors embedded in these stories. The more we read them, the more we adapt a vocabulary and form of language which can help us express ourselves better. Learning a greater variety of words also allows us to connect with others more.

Tips on How to Develop a Regular Reading Habit

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Reading can be a very worthwhile activity to spend your off-days and free time with. Setting aside the required book reports we have to submit for school, a good book can actually teach us in ways we could never fathom possible. It can offer us lifelong lessons along with a glimpse beyond our daily mundane lives. While we are swamped with paper works, we can always find a quick escape in reading.

However, reading can be a habit which is hard to get into — especially if you’re not that interested in the book you’re reading or if you are basically forcing yourself through it. The good news is: there are a number of ways to cultivate a regular reading habit. This article will present a few practical tips which can help you become a bibliophile.

1. Allot time in the day for reading
It is understandable how our tight schedule leaves us little to no room for recreational activities. But even if we are swamped with tasks, projects, and other commitments, spending as brief as 15 minutes each day for reading can already pave the way. It is ideal to put it in your schedule so you won’t forget. You can read even on the commute on your way to work, too.

2. Find your quiet, reading place
A quiet place can be very conducive for reading. Find a corner in your house where you can sit comfortably and enjoy reading without any interruptions. To minimize distractions, stay away from the television or computer. Keep distance from your noisy roommates or family members, as well. It is important that you find yourself comfortably in your reading place, hence if you can’t find one peaceful corner in your house then you may create one.

3. Create a reading list
If you don’t know where to start, it is best to conduct a little research on authors or genres you are interested in. Figuring out what you like will increase your chances at devoting time to read. Start by making a list filled with interesting books and short stories, but don’t pressure yourself as you work your way through it. Read at your own preferred pace.

4. Turn it into a pleasurable experience
Reading can turn to be your favorite time of the day especially if you turn it into something pleasurable. For one, you can always accompany yourself with tea or coffee while you read. You can also indulge on sweet treats. Envelope yourself with a blanket while reading to make the experience cozy. Or better yet, read while enjoying a quick stroll at the park or at the beach.

5. Minimize distractions
Sometimes, we are all too busy watching TV or browsing the internet to even read. While cutting back on these activities may seem hard to most people, doing so will give you more time for reading. You can even gain additional hours of reading time from refraining to do these distractions!

3 Movies for Melancholic Days

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Movies are truly a wonderful thing. They paint pictures and help us live different lives as either a participant or an observer of another world, life, and story. It is only fair that we have different movies for different moods. Sometimes, we just feel a little melancholic. We can’t help it. Sometimes we just want to watch a gloomy movie. Now, what do we mean when we say gloomy movies? Well, we focus on the perplexed, melancholic, and almost confusing emotions strung out by the film which beg us to sit down to process the actual emotions which we are feeling.

Here are a few good movies you can watch when you’re in a plaintive mood:

1. The Graduate
The Graduate is a brilliant story about a newly-turned man who has just graduated college and finds himself rather clueless as to what to do next. Out of boredom and desperation, he then slowly finds himself in bed with an unusual affair which may not seem that complicated at first, but then his recklessness slowly catches up on him. From the confusing emotions to the almost perfect but slightly distorted perspectives, this movie is a great digest.

2. 500 Days of Summer
500 Days of Summer is a modern movie that hasn’t done so well during it’s launching but over the years has turned into a cult classic. The film makes brilliant use of foreshadowing and time to cause confusion as to who is wrong and who is right. The movie makes such a brilliant use of comparison which allows you to see both the bright side and the gloomy side of the story. Even the final words of the film are ironic but play beautifully as the film screams out that things aren’t what they seem.

3. Dead Poets Society
Dead Poets Society is a rather classic movie with a very linear but beautifully written plot. The climactic lines and somewhat dark but radiant settings beg you to unlock the inner artist or at least the part of you which sought beauty within every word. This movie is truly a classic and will be remembered throughout time.

These three movies are but a few of movies you could watch on a rather gloomy mood. Not only do these movies feed your melancholic cravings, these movies may keep you entertained for days as the perplexed situation might leave a sting of interest at the back of your mind. Sometimes happiness isn’t the only reason why we are moving forward. Sometimes it is through curiosity and appreciation that we take our next couple steps in life. These movies may beg you to sit down and think, but once you’ve stood up again, you’ll see the world in a totally different perspective.

The State of Modern Rap and Hip-Hop

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Rap has been a part of our culture worldwide as the youth listen to songs from all around the world connecting to one another through generational music. It’s safe to say that a certain trend of music usually defines the entire generation and rap and hip-hop have played a huge role in today’s music. Although there have been a lot of trends that have come and gone, hip-hop is still widely appreciated and respected.

Even in Singapore, the youth are very involved in hip-hop music. The older generations on the other hand still have a hard time getting into the modern style of music as they haven’t been used to the genre. Hip-hop and pop music has been going hand-in-hand throughout the 2000s as most of the popular songs turn out to be hip-hop. Amazingly, hip-hop has even managed to top over alternative music which is a common favorite of pop chart ratings.

Among the pop chart ratings, it’s easy to spot a couple of hip-hop tracks along with the mainstream pop songs. Even in hip-hop, there has been a lot of change and arguments as to the modern day hip-hop which we experience nowadays. There’s been a lot of debate going on as to if the new style of rapping which is known as “mumble rap” is actually acceptable.

Well, this debate has been going on and new rappers usually get disrespected because of their unorthodox way of mumbling the lyrics instead of actually verbalizing them. Sometimes as a listener, it becomes a bit hard to differentiate the two because of how music continuously changes and evolves. From one specific structure to another, music is constantly changing even to the point that we aren’t able to differentiate the original genre of our music anymore.

The modern rappers have started a trend of simplifying their lyrics. Instead of a complicated long verse or chorus, they would just talk about things that may seem light and then add a line or two about things that are really deep. Basically the new school rappers do not like talking as much and would rather focus on the things they want to focus on.

Rap is a means of communication and the way the new school rappers rap sort of reflects how our generation talks to each other. Instead of depth, we focus on highlight. Instead of getting connected, we fall into intimacy really quick. Maybe with this analogy, you’ll appreciate modern rappers more. Give it a shot, who knows, you might actually like them. Music is music no matter what language you are speaking. Sometimes you don’t need to understand music, sometimes you just need to appreciate it.

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