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A Beautiful Vulnerability: Why it’s Worth the Try

Wearing your heart on your sleeves, especially if you’re not used to doing so is never an easy process. How many times did you feel dreadful to tell a partner or parent how much you needed their support? Or maybe you avoided an issue with your S.O because you didn’t like to appear unlovable. Perhaps you bounced on a friend when their emotions felt too overwhelming. Either this fear or shame constitute core vulnerability, an emotional state that is terrifying to you in reaction to which you’ve developed strong defenses Steven Stosny, Ph.D., explains.

Stosny points out that there are two types of core vulnerability 1.) Fear of harm, deprivation or isolation 2.) Shame of failure or loss. People whose core vulnerability is fear will most likely risk shame if they have to, in order to prevent themselves from experiencing their fears; while those whose core vulnerability is shame, will risk harm, deprivation and isolation to at least avoid feeling like a failure.

No matter what your core vulnerability is, the fear of opening up is common and highly influenced by the early connections we had in our lives. Research published on International Journal of Psychological studies suggest that the more stable, predictable and loving relationships one had growing up, the lesser the concerns there will be in letting others in upon reaching adulthood.

Refusal to reveal your authentic self makes you put up a persona of likeability or even selfishness. Hiding what feelings underneath this façade may lead to walking a dark alley alone. As an article in singhealth.com.sg points out, keeping a tight lid on feelings will intensify such and may drive one to deep levels of depression. Here are realistic thoughts why vulnerability is worth the risk:

No one can emotionally hurt you without your consent

Say you always wanted to wear red swimsuit that feels like so you with that Baywatch babe feels, but you never had the nerve to pull it off until now. Then while you’re out soaking at the beach, someone approaches you and comments you look fat.

Even if we assume this is a rude person, she did not harm you. If she approached and told you your hair was on fire, you’d possibly laugh at it. But when she said you look fat, you feel hurt. Why? Because you have your own belief about the idea of fat and you associate it with feelings of unworthiness. But this gal was just holding up a mirror that reflects your system of beliefs.

She gave you a reminder that you equate “fat” with “unworthiness” and you hurt yourself by thinking just that. You wound your feelings by believing that fat means you don’t deserve to wear that red swimsuit. Ever.

Vulnerability is a key to connect with yourself and your relationships

When you allow and accept yourself to be vulnerable, fail, make mistakes and have imperfections, you connect with yourself. It opens the way for you to grow, transform and heal for the better.

The people in your closest relationships exist because you allowed them to see the real you. When you hide or pretend to be likeable, you cut people off from the authentic you. You become invisible to your own tribe.

You reject yourself before anyone has

When you avoid being vulnerable to avoid rejection in the end, remember that you have rejected yourself first before anyone did. And this sound like “I would really love to audition for that singing contest, but I think others are better singers than me so I’ll just pass at it.”

That thing right there is the rejection you hand to yourself. You seek to protect yourself from the idea of rejection and yet you pull the trigger to your own.

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How to Do a Good Job Despite Having a Bad Boss

If you never had an arrogant, authoritative, backstabbing and nagging bad boss, consider yourself lucky. Most people have had at least one that made their working life a living hell.

Resigning from your job might be the best escape plan but in reality, not everyone has the luxury of leaving especially those with pressing financial and familial obligations. Until you find a more suitable opportunity, the only option left at this point is survival. As blogger Jeff Cuellar of Moneysmart.sg would put it, “Don’t quit when things get hard – elevate your “game” to meet challenges.”

But how do we elevate our game? Here are a few good ways to deal with a bad boss:

  1. Be indispensable

If you can (and willing to), master the aspects of your job and make yourself a key employee, then it can work to your advantage. It may lead your boss to see you in a new perspective that can lead to a more agreeable behavior towards you. It can also get you promoted and take you out of your boss’s supervision. Being indispensable at work can present various positive outcomes but most importantly, you will feel the self-satisfaction knowing that you did your very best despite a tough situation.

  1. Stick to who you are and your values

Having a bad boss at work can manifest feelings of powerlessness and resentment, don’t let these change who you are. It’s normal to work on reports to perfection to impress your boss but if you believe what you are asked to do is in conflict with your values and what is right, never buy in.

  1. See things through your boss’s eyes

Putting yourself in your boss’s shoes may not be the best advice you need when you are clouded with his unfavorable behavior towards you, but understanding the place of others can actually change your perspective. Go into the factors of what fears, motivators and hopes that drive their behavior. Your boss’s boss may have brought a multitude of pressures from many sources. The more you understand the reason that your boss is experiencing, the more you’ll be able to get the bigger picture. Empathy can be a powerful tool than merely focusing on our own emotions.

  1. Never fight alone

When battling a tough situation, we always go back to the good old saying that “no man is an island.” Many life survivors triumph over life because they have strong bond with the people around them and that is no exception to demoralized employees. Connecting to your colleagues inside and outside the office is scientifically proven by experts to help you reduce boss-induced stress. Other ways of building social relationships with colleagues can also be in the form of appreciating them and celebrating small/big victories—this positive karma will surely find its way back to you.

At the end of it all, it is you who is in control of your own career and it can be in many forms—that includes dealing with a bad boss. And it doesn’t have to be a painful one.

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7 Essential Mobile Apps for Productive College Students

College life can take a while to get used to. With new environment and new people around you, it can take a while to adjust and be comfortable again. It can even be challenging to divide your time, complete a project or even organize your notes at some point.

However, with technology, everything becomes so much easier. From managing your time to purchasing school necessities, we’ve listed five essential mobile apps you would want to have on your device for easier and better college life.

1. Mint
Worried about getting out of budget? Download Mint for free to help you with your money matters. View your accounts—savings, credit cards and checking—and automatically add and categorize your expenses all in one mobile application.

2. Amazon
Whether you lack retail options or just classic form of laziness, it is not always convenient to shop near the school pampus. Use Amazon to browse and shop for your necessities in a convenient and quick way.

3. Quizlet
This is an amazing mobile app for everything, from flashcards to image- or audio-based reviewers. Even better, it allows you to access a database of flashcard sets that cover whatever you may be studying; or do your classmates a favour by sharing a set of reviewers with them.

4. iStudiez Pro
Having trouble remembering deadlines of projects or schedule of your next quiz? This application allows you to input all your activities in the calendar, so you will not miss another deadline again. Moreover, the app can track your school performance by allowing you to enter your grades in every class.

5. Calculator++
Perhaps, you don’t have the budget to get yourself a new scientific calculator, or maybe you just left it at home. This application comes in handy with graphing capabilities and trigonometry functions.

6. NoRedInk
This app is extremely helpful for students and even teachers who want to improve their English language skills. The third-party app allows you to improve your grammar by taking quizzes. Unlike other kinds of tests that usually come in multiple choice formats, NoRedInk will require you to manually edit and write down words and sentence, so your grammar, spelling, punctuation and other grammatical aspects will be improved.

7. Notability
If you want to skip the pen-and-paper route for taking down notes, try Notability app for your iPad. This app is perfect for taking down notes, recording, typing and PDF annotation. You can customize the look of your notes with a variety of paper styles and pen colours, as well as add links and photos to it.

College can be rough, expensive and stressful, but it can be the other way around if you have everything you need with you all the time. Load up your mobile device with these apps to help you stay on track.

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7 Bizarre Food-and-Drink Laws Around the World

Most food and drink laws are understandable. However, there’s still a few that draw attention because of their oddness. Here, we’ve compiled some of the world’s strangest food-drink laws, from ultra-specific to straight-up non-sense regulations.

1. Be Careful How You Crush Your Beer Cans
Next time you’re in Australia, keep in mind that crushing a can of beer with your breasts, should you wish to do so, can put you behind bars. This is not a joke. In fact, a female bartender in Australia was arrested and fined for exhibiting her crushing talent with her cleavage.

2. Don’t Feed the Birds
Sitting at the park and tossing bread crumbs to the birds gathered at your feet seem like a pleasurable pastime when in the city. Try this in San Francisco and you’ll likely be fined. Yes, you heard that right. It’s illegal to feed the pigeons in the park, along the sidewalks or on the streets of the city.

3. You Have to Eat Your Fried Chicken Only With Your Hands
Want to ask for a fork and a knife for your fried chicken in Gainesville, Georgia? Hold up for a minute. Do you know that the city ordinance forbids diners to eat their fried chicken with the use of anything, except their hands? Now you know.

4. No Ketchup For Kids
In 2011, France banned the use of ketchup in schools. They give so much importance to their French recipes that they want to ensure that the kids will be able to master them and pass them down to the next generation.

5. Watermelons are Banned
There’s just no better way to refresh from the hot summer weather than biting into a juicy slice of watermelon, but don’t expect that kind of refreshing experience in Rio Claro, Brazil. Watermelons are banned in the city, and it’s seem difficult to figure out the official reason of this local regulation.

6. Snack In the Right Place
Planning to get some gelato to cool you off while strolling around town? Well, you’re about to break the laws with that plan. It is against Florentine laws to eat and drink nearby churches and public buildings. Better think twice before taking photos with a cone of stracciatella in front of Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore.

7. No Surprise Deliveries Allowed
Surprising a friend with a pizza delivery may seem like a fun idea, but Louisiana bans unauthorized ordering and delivery of goods and services to somebody else’s home without the homeowner’s permission.

Although these laws may be weird, it’s critical that you follow them at all times if you don’t want to end a supposedly fun and relaxing trip in jail.

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These 6 Foods Could be Causing Your Body Odor

You know how sometimes you can just tell that the friend you’re hanging out with had garlic rice for lunch? That is because some food items can leave odors that can make you stink from a distance. Since these foods can cause you unpleasant body odor, it is best to avoid them based on your schedule. For instance, you may want to avoid going to Chipotle on a first date.

1. Cake
Actually, not just cakes, but anything high in sugar can cause you smelling unpleasant down there. Avoid smelling bad in your nether regions by swapping sweet treats with healthier food options, like veggies and low-sugar content fruits.

2. French Fries
Yes, your favorite side dish can cause body odor. French fries and any deep-fried foods stay in your stomach for longer time before they are totally digested. The oil will stay in your body for quite some time, turn rancid and can make you feel gassy—and worse, make you sweat out the scent. If you must eat anything deep-fried, pair it with green veggies to help with the digestion.

3. Asparagus
Have you experienced having asparagus for dinner and then noticed that your pee smells funky afterwards? It’s real and can be really gross. When going out on a dinner date, ditch the asparagus and have a mix of green leafy instead. The smell caused by asparagus isn’t just in your urine, but could also be found on other parts of your body.

4. Spicy Food
Skip the hot peppers: spicy food can make you stink. While it’s great for your metabolism and squashing your cravings, it can also lead to body odor due to the gases release through your skin’s pores. Plus, the stink can last for hours.

5. Red Meat
Slowing down on your red meat consumption isn’t just excellent for your health, but also for your scent. Red meat is naturally more difficult to digest, meaning it linger in your digestive system longer. When it does, it will interact with your body’s natural bacteria, causing your sweat to stink. No need to skip meat altogether, though. Just lessen your consumption and go for healthier alternatives like chicken and white meat.

6. Alcohol
Ever wonder why you smell weird after a night of booze with friends? That is because alcohol easily slips into the bloodstream, releasing a weird tangy smell wafting from you when you’ve had too much alcohol. During a night out, make sure to drink lots of water while also pacing your liquor intake to dilute the alcohol.

There’s no need to completely cut off any of these foods—moderation is key; or at least, avoid them on days that smelling fresh matters a lot.

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5 Must-Haves to Improve Your Travel Selfies

Taking great photos of your vacations does not mean you need to buy an expensive outfit while sporting death-defying poses. A breathtaking backdrop and that beautiful smile of yours, when shot with the right camera and in the proper lighting, is more than enough to come up with Instagram-worthy selfies.

Here are some more things you can add to your arsenal to level up your travel photos.

1. A smartphone
The first thing you need for taking shareable photos of yourself is a phone with great quality front camera. A good front camera features high megapixel that enable you to capture detailed shots, a sensor that auto balances the light and a great lens that makes images look like they’re in real life. Of course, also take consideration of your other needs. There are so many smartphones to choose from that are customized to fit different budget and lifestyle.

2. The right OOTD
It’s not like you need to dress to impress. However, you need to dress in something you feel comfortable in. It will show in the photos if you’re unhappy of uncomfortable with how you look like and if your confident or not with what you are wearing. To ensure you always look great in photos, wear clothes that flatters your body shape.

3. A brilliant blush-highlighter combo
To achieve that goddess glow, the right amount of blush and highlighter will do the trick—no need to wear a full face of make-up. Try the drunken-blush technique to give your skin a sun-kissed glow. Start by sweeping blush where you know you’ll turn red when you’re out in the sun for hours. Add highlighter to the high points of your cheeks, and voila! A youthful glow for mesmerizing selfies.

4. A tripod
For solo travelers, a tripod is a must-have accessory. Without it, how can you shot yourself showcasing your beautiful destination? Yes, you can ask someone to take photos of you, but you can’t always guarantee they get the right angle. But if you have a tripod, you can simply mount your camera wherever you like and click a shutter or use a timer to snap the photo when you’re ready.

5. A wireless remote
As mentioned, you can use your phone’s timer to auto-snap photos. But another accessory you can use to accurately control your camera is a wireless remote or shutter. Instead of rushing to your spot, you can take your time adjusting yourself and experimenting on poses before finally capturing the image.

Above all, the best accessory is yourself. Be confident and enjoy the moment. Genuine feelings and emotions will always shine through in the photos.

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How to Grow and Care for Air Plants for Your Home

Indoor gardens are a great way to spruce up your home and keep fresh air circulating in your HDB flat or condo unit all day long. However, maintaining an indoor garden can take some practice, skill, and most importantly, patience.
So when you don’t have the time, or if you simply don’t have the green thumb for keeping indoor plants growing and healthy, air plants are the best option for you.

This is because air plants are epiphytes, meaning that they don’t need soil to grow, and attach themselves instead to trees and rocks. And because they’re also native to tropical climates, which means they’re right at home with Singapore’s humid climate.

Taking Care of Air Plants
Even though they’re relatively low-maintenance, air plants still need to be taken care of at least once a week. Here’s what you need to do to keep your air plants growing healthily:

• Watch for thirst – To know whether your plants are thirsty, look for the curvature of their leaves. If they’re a little too dry, they will start to curl. It’s usually best to fully submerge them once a week in a large container, and let them soak overnight.

• Air dry – Allow the air plants to dry out fully by shaking out excess water and placing in a well-lit area for about four hours. However, be sure to take the plants indoors after this, as any longer will cause them to wilt.

• Filter the light – Air plants have adapted to hanging from trees underneath thick canopies, so they tend to do best with only a few hours of bright, indirect sunlight in a day. Even with indirect sunlight, they shouldn’t be baking all day.

• Mind the climate – Air conditioners aren’t good for air plants, either – if it’s too cold, they’ll start to wilt. Try opening your windows instead or using an electric fan if you want to keep cool.

• Add in fertilizer – While air plants don’t require as much moisture to grow, it certainly doesn’t hurt to add a little bit of liquid fertilizer when you’re soaking in water once a week. Be careful not to apply too much – only a few drops will do.

On Styling Your Air Plants
Because they are naturally suited to attaching their roots, air plants look great suspended as architectural elements or inside their own dedicated terrariums.

You can even attach them to all kinds of things, such as large rocks, or pieces of driftwood, as long as air is circulating through their leaves regularly. When you do choose to place your air plants in a glass jar or container, choose one with as wide an opening as possible.

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Tips to Maintain an Excellent Eyesight

Because of the importance and widespread use of smartphones and computers today, many of us fail to notice their effects on our eyesight. The importance of seeing well is already obvious. But if we take our eyesight for granted, it can lead to a lot of problems later in our life. So, here are some of the things you can do to keep your eyes sharp and clear.

The concern with electronic devices…
As mentioned early, electronic devices have become a staple in our everyday lives. But they can have negative effects on our eyesight.

Take regular breaks
If you have to look at your computer for long periods of time at work, make it a habit to take regular breaks. Take your eyes off the screen for just a minute or two to avoid strain. It will also help if you look at objects that are colored differently from your computer screen. If you keep staring at your phone or computer screens, it might eventually cause headaches and blurry vision.

Adjust your phone’s brightness
Adjust the screens brightness to match with the environment. If you’re in a dark or dimly lit room, don’t turn the brightness up. A lot of people like to do this for some reason but it really does your eyes more harm than good. The same case if you’re outdoors. If your screen brightness is too low, you’ll have to squint and you might strain your eyes from all the effort.

Everyday things you can do…

Drink a lot of water
Being well-hydrated has a lot of benefits. It has positive effects on our skin, organs, and even our eyes. One way having enough water can benefit our eyesight is that it allows our eyes to clean itself better when we are blinking. It can also help us avoid having dry eyes which can be annoying to deal with.

Have the right amount of sleep
Sleep is important simply because it gives the eyes much needed rest. You’re awake for most of the day and your everyday activities might affect your eyesight if they are not allowed to rest. Sleep also allows the blood vessels to replenish and flow to the eyes more efficiently. That way, we become less prone to any eye problems in the future.

Go exercise
Though it doesn’t look like it, having regular exercise can also benefit our eyesight. It doesn’t affect our eyesight directly though. Instead, it has something to do with blood pressure and the like. High blood pressure, for example, can negatively affect our eyes indirectly. High cholesterol could also contribute to certain eye problems. By exercising, we can lower the risk of such diseases which will also help us to protect our eyes.

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Habits of Successful People That You Should Cultivate Too

You might be dreaming of becoming a successful businessman, politician, doctor, or whatever, but you just don’t know where to start. For one, habit change could be the answer. You might be doing things right or doing things that are simply counterproductive. So here are some things that successful people do that you can try too. Who knows, you might become the next biggest entrepreneur in Singapore.

1. Exercise. Successful people know the significance of physical fitness for a prosperous life. Being physically fit means that you’ll have more energy to do your tasks throughout the day and that you’re always in prime condition.

2. Waking up early. Waking up early allows you to get started with things ahead of time. You have time to plan out your day, eat breakfast, take a jog, and many more. Basically, waking up early allows you to psych yourself up so that you’re able to feel good throughout the day.

3. Communicating regularly. Successful people recognize their skills in communication, all the while learning to improve them. They constantly work to develop effective communication skills within the workplace, with their families, and other people in general.

4. Listening well. Aside from communicating well, successful people also understand the significance of listening to others. When you listen to your peers, you’ll be able to learn a lot about them and let them know that you care enough. This simply makes your relationship with others stronger.

5. Facing problems head-on. Successful people are rarely swayed by problems both big and small. They see these problems as stepping stones for improvement. They turn these into opportunities where they can learn and come up with solutions for similar problems they may encounter in the future.

6. Taking responsibility for mistakes. They also not only face problems head-on, but they also own up to their mistakes honestly. They don’t blame others for the problems they face and hold themselves liable if they make a mistake. The ability to do this is one that separates successful people from many others.

7. Knowing money is not the ultimate goal. Money should not be treated as a goal, but as a means towards one. Successful people have learned that money is important to accomplish their visions and is a need to make ends meet, but, it is not exactly the ultimate goal.

8. Paying extra attention to details. There’s a fine line between paying attention to detail and perfectionism. Some may argue that focusing on small details can cost valuable time, but this isn’t necessarily the case. If you pay attention to detail but not obsess over it, your services will look very trustworthy to potential clients and customers.

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The Importance of Warming Up and Doing It Correctly

Whether you go to ActiveSG, The Pit, or any gym for this matter, there will always be that one guy who heads to the weight rack directly and skips out on his warm-up. People like to do this, for some reason, but the importance of warming up cannot be stressed enough. From reducing muscles soreness, injury prevention, muscle and mind preparation, and etc., you simply should not skip your warm-ups.

Better blood circulation and oxygenation
Having a proper warm-up translates to better blood circulation all around the body. This also promotes better blood flow in and out of muscle tissues, particularly for the ones that will be active during a workout. Warming up also improves the delivery of oxygen through the blood, especially if you’re doing light cardio exercises. This facilitates better blood flow and the cleaning out of toxins left in the muscles.

You won’t gain muscles if you’re injured
This probably summarizes it all. The biggest reason why warming up is always recommended is because of injury prevention. When you’re all warmed up, it reduces the risk of you pulling a muscle. Imagine a situation where you skipped your warm up. On that day is your arm day, but because you didn’t warm up you suddenly tear your bicep mid-workout. As a result, you won’t be able to return to the gym for a while. You’ve now wasted time recovering instead of making gains.

Warming up properly
• Avoid static stretching
A common mistake people make is that they assume that stretching in place can be considered a warm-up. This is actually bad because stretching a “cold” muscle will cause its microfibers to tear, hindering your performance and weakening the muscle in the long run. Static stretching is better as a post-workout routine to reduce muscle soreness.

• Start slow
Essentially, it’s called a warm-up because you’re “warming up” the muscles before putting pressure on them. So if your lifting weights, of course you’re not going to lift heavy during your warm-up set. Start slowly from a lighter weight and gradually increase it during your warm up. By the time you get to your workout sets, your muscles will be ready.

• Work on mobility
The warm-up is also a time to practice your form and work on your mobility. As far as muscles are concerned, you can only get a good flex and stretch if your joints are able to hit the maximum range of motion. You won’t be able to achieve that if your joints are still stiff. Not only will this help you with flexible joints and limbs, but it also reduces the risk of injury, which really is the objective here.

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