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5 Easy Ways to Practice Mindfulness

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Easy Ways to Practice Mindfulness

Practicing mindfulness is a great way to diminish stress, which is a constant for just about everyone. But many people find it difficult to focus on the present, which is something that mindfulness expert Jon Kabat-Zinn (an MIT graduate who has been involved with the practice for over 45 years) says is essential. He says mindfulness is about thinking “Oh yeah, brand new day and I’m still alive!” and going about the day with awareness.

So, how can you—in this multi-tasking world of ours—practice mindfulness? Here are five easy ways to find inner peace and be alone with your thoughts.

1. Start slow, grasp the true essence of mindfulness

First, get rid of the assumption that you must be some kind of Zen master or assume a certain position when the moon and your astrological sign are in synch. Practicing mindfulness is nothing like that. It is simply about focusing on one thing at a time, free of the distracting thoughts that typically plague your mind. Kabat-Zinn says, “When you’re walking, just walk. When you’re eating, just eat. Not in front of the TV, not with the newspaper.”

So, take time for self-reflection and ask yourself: am I texting while “watching” television? Am I scrolling through Facebook while I have my mom on speakerphone? If you are, you aren’t honing in on thing at a time. By physically removing all that clutters and distracts you from the one main thing that you are attempting to do, you can devote all of your thoughts to moments as they occur (rather than living in anticipation of what’s coming next or considering what happened in the past).

2. Take a simple walk

Walking is a great way to clear the mind, especially if you refrain from listening to music or using your phone. Enjoy the scenery. Look all around, even up at the sky or at the pavement beneath your feet. Think only of what you are doing, not about what you need to add to the grocery list or your child’s upcoming school project. Take everything in, allowing yourself to embrace what you otherwise don’t (when you’re caught up in the inner rumblings of your mind).

Walking need not involve hitting the gym or being active for an hour. Buddhist author and teacher John Ciancosi explains that such focus can be accomplished while walking in short bursts of time, even from just the car to the office: “If you can learn to establish awareness during walking meditation—when you are physically moving with your eyes open—then it won’t be difficult to arouse that same wakeful quality during other activities… and your meditation will begin to permeate your entire life.”

So try going for a walk, whether it’s a short stroll up and down your street, around your workplace or in a local park.

Must Read: 5 Mistakes to Avoid During Walking Exercise

3. Sit

That’s right, sit. How easy is that? Kabat-Zinn says “Sit down and take a minute to just be here. Stop, breathe, and feel. Let the past be over and done with, and let what has not yet happened to be off in the future.” He notes you may feel as though you’ve been sitting a long time when in fact you’ve only been sitting for a few minutes, but this is normal. He says, “This practice is about feeling where you are right now. Just give yourself three minutes to feel your body and mind. The goal isn’t to have any particular experience, but rather to check in on how it really is to be you.”

4. Observe your immediate surroundings

Eden Kozlowski (founder and CEO of Just Be, LLC) wrote about mindfulness as it pertains to truckers. How can they, she wondered, practice mindfulness when they are always on the road? You can take some tips from her suggestions for truckers by observing life around you wherever you are. “You don’t need incense, an exotic location or to be transported to some elevated state of being. Your truck can be your sanctuary,” she explains.

So, if you’re a trucker, notice the scenery as you drive. If you’re in an office all day, look at the plant on your desk and observe details such as new growth or the intricate designs in the leaves. You’ll find yourself achieving a state of relaxation by being more mindful of the everyday surroundings you probably rarely notice in the first place.

5. Shower

Resist the urge to use shower time as an opportunity to ponder some family conflict or rehearse a presentation. Instead, focus on your shower and nothing more. Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D. even wrote a brief post titled, “Turn on Your Shower and Reduce Your Stress Today.” She says that showers are an easy way to engage in mindfulness. “Habitual rumination on regrets into the past will sap your energy and open the doors for a barrage of self-judgment that will keep you from living the life you want,” she cautions.

So, she encourages shower mindfulness, rhetorically asking, “What would happen if instead of thinking about all the plans you had to catch up on while you were in the shower, you took a pause, and then brought your nose to the smell of the soap…and again, just exploring the scent of it with your nose…?”

Resist the “more is more” mindset and instead focus on these easy ways to practice mindfulness, all of which you can do from the comfort of your own home and personal space.

Sources:
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/mindfulness-anderson-cooper-60-minutes/
http://www.pbs.org/thisemotionallife/blogs/practicing-mindfulness
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/eden-kozlowski/why-truckers-need-meditation_b_7204732.html
http://blogs.psychcentral.com/mindfulness/2009/02/turn-on-the-shower-and-reduce-your-stress-today/

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Gift Ideas For The Man Who Loves To Hunt

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Is there a man in your life who loves to hunt? If you’re buying a gift for his birthday or some other special occasion you could consider buying something which helps him to get even more enjoyment from his favorite pastime. Here, we bring you some of the best gift ideas for keen hunters to help inspire you.

A Hunting Backpack

Every hunter needs a good quality backpack to help them get their equipment from A to B without any problems. The best backpacks for hunters are ones which can be twisted around to access items on the go.

A Kevlar Retractable Cord Phone Cover

If the man in your life is always losing his phone when out hunting it’s time to give him a phone case with a Kevlar retractable cord. It’s perfect for use on the move since its retractable and can be attached onto his pants or belt. He can just drop it once he’s finished using it and it retracts instantly into the right place so he won’t accidentally drop it in the mud.

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A Survival Kit

Every good hunter needs a good survival kit. Choose one which is small and compact, lightweight and easy to carry in a backpack or even in a pocket but which contains all the essentials just in case of an emergency. Items like waterproof matches, a fishing line and hooks, a whistle and a sewing kit are ideal for survival in the wilderness.

A GPS Dog Tracking Collar

Does the hunter in your life take his four legged friend with him on his hunts? A GPS dog tracking collar is an ideal gift. Sometimes dogs may be scared by a gunshot, run off chasing a creature or just wander off to check out something they’re curious about. With a dog tracking collar and inclusive monitor, he’ll easily see where his pet is.

Forearm Ammo Sleeve

If he’s always struggling to access his ammo on the hunt an ammo sleeve which straps right onto his forearm will make sure he can instantly access his ammo whenever he needs it. Capable of holding multiple shotgun shells and made from a high quality material it’ll adjust to fit forearms of all shapes and sizes.

A Backpack Cooler

If he’s out on the hunt all day, he’s going to need a way to carry his drinks and food. A backpack cooler is the best option. Wearing it on his back he can take his cans anywhere he wants to go with ease and convenience. Make sure you choose one which is waterproof and mildew resistant.

A Hunting Scope

Choose an extreme hunting scope with a super powerful lens so that he can see his prey long before shooting at it. When you’re choosing the right one for you make sure you choose one which is also waterproof since it can get pretty wet out there in hunting conditions!

A Tactical Knife With A Flashlight Built In

If the man in your life loves to hunt at night he’s going to love receiving a tactical knife which also comes with an inbuilt flashlight. It’s pretty difficult to hold your flashlight steady while you’re also holding your knife but this handy tool will eliminate the problem.

A Deer Boning Knife

It’s no good him bringing his prey home if he can’t prepare it and cook it! A deer boning knife is the perfect gift for the man who wants to do it all. It’s a must-have in any kitchen if there are hunters in the house.

A Folding Multi-Tool And Shovel

There’s always a need for a good multi-tool out on the hunt and one which also includes a folding shovel is even better value for money. One that folds up into as small a size as possible is the best option since it will fit perfectly into his backpack when he’s heading out on the hunt.

Are you inspired? If you’re looking for the perfect gift for a man who’s a hunter, you’re sure to find something in our list of suggestions that will be ideal for the guy in your life. Happy shopping and happy hunting for him!

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6 Amazing DuPont Products That Shaped Modern Living

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“Nylon,” “Lycra,” and “Teflon” are brand names with high recall all over the world. You’d be hard-pressed to find a household, work site, or commercial establishment that doesn’t benefit from the material construction of at least one of these products. But what’s the story behind these well-known biotech products? Who’s responsible for the manufacturing wave that’s synonymous with the cutting-edge industrial developments of the 21st century?

The brains behind products like pantyhose, spandex, and non-stick pans are E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company, or what is more commonly known as DuPont. DuPont was founded in 1802 by its namesake ÉleuthèreIrénée du Pont, a French-American chemist who fled his home country at the cusp of the French Revolution.

The enterprising du Pont originally concentrated in the manufacturing of gunpowder and dynamite, but later branched out into paints and plastics. More than two centuries since its inception, “global science company” DuPont is now a world leader in the manufacturing of synthetic polymers.

What are some of DuPont’s biggest brands, and what kind of impact have they made on our day-to-day living? What properties does each material have, and what modern-day applications are they commonly used in? Here’s a list of six interesting examples to get you started.

6 Amazing DuPont Products That Shaped Modern Living

1. Nylon

This silk-like material, made of synthetic thermoplastic polymer, was the first of its kind to become commercially viable. Key nylon products that took off in the late 1930s were the nylon-bristled toothbrush and women’s stockings or pantyhose, which in themselves are commonly referred to as “nylons.” Outside of hosiery, nylon still enjoys considerable popularity among the public. It’s incorporated into parachutes and tents as a silk substitute, as well as in the strings of musical instruments like classical guitars and ukuleles.

2. Tyvek

Released more than fifty years ago in 1967, the synthetic material Tyvek has broadened in its applications. Tyvek is a flash-spun high-density polyethylene fiber that is as lightweight as paper, but it’s also remarkably durable and tear-resistant. The material was first used as a housewrap, but the many uses of Tyvek now include tamper-proof paper wristbands, document envelopes, racing bibs, coverall one-piece garments, and even backpacks.

3. Lycra

Our conceptions of superheroes in costume and athletes in sporting uniform would not be complete without Lycra, a polyether-polyurea copolymer synthetic fiber. Also known as Spandex or elastane, Lycra’s distinguishing characteristics are its resilience to high temperature and its capacity to expand (the word “Spandex” itself being an anagram for “expands”). Lycra first took off in the late 1950s as a material for women’s undergarments, but it has since become a staple for athletic wear and costumery.

4. Teflon

“Teflon” is the brand name that was ascribed to polytetrafluoroethylene, a slippery resin discovered in 1938. Though initially thought to be a commercial failure, Teflon has since risen in industrial use as a non-stick coating for pots and pans—a great advantage to culinary professionals and to home cooks who want to decrease their oil consumption. Interestingly enough, Teflon is also an additive ingredient in products like paint and home furnishings.

5. Kevlar

The durable and heat-resistant Kevlar is synonymous with strength, protection, and valor. This synthetic fiber’s high-tensile strength-to-weight ratio makes it as much as five times stronger than steel. It’s a key component of combat helmets, bulletproof vests, and shoulder and elbow pads for motorcycling apparel. But it can also be found in bike tires, drumheads, sails on racing boats, and even basketball shoes.

6. Neoprene

Neoprene, which is also known as polychloroprene or pc-rubber, is a synthetic rubber that is known for its flexibility across a wide temperature range and its exceptional chemical stability. The first iteration of neoprene was notably foul-smelling, and DuPont undertook significant efforts to address the obstacles in its production as well as generate public demand for it. Thankfully, neoprene has since amassed commercial viability since its debut in the 1930s. Its myriad applications include material for gaskets, corrosion-resistant coating, wetsuits for diving, and laptop sleeves.

In 2017, news broke that DuPont would be merging with fellow industry titan Dow Chemical Company. DuPont is now known as a subsidiary of DowDuPont, and it now partakes in DowDuPont’s dominance as the world’s largest chemical company in terms of sales.

Suffice to say, DuPont is still going strong. As consumers, we’re likely to stay on the receiving end of their productivity for many years to come. And during this time, who knows what other life-changing innovations they have in store for us?

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5 Amazing Benefits of Encouraging Your Child to Play Outdoors

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It’s plain to see that kids don’t play outside as much as they used to.

With so many popular high-tech toys and so much kids television and video available to stream, you’re more likely to see your kids sprawled on a sofa than playing outdoors in the backyard or neighborhood park. In fact, research in the Connected Kids report suggests that kids are typically spending a huge 6.5 hours per day in front of a digital screen, a figure that has doubled in a generation.

This screen time comes at a cost.

In startling research, Seattle Children’s Research Institute believes that the average 10-year-old is engaged in vigorous outdoor play for as little as 12.6 minutes per day.  At the same time, people are hearing more and more about:

  • Increased childhood obesity rates
  • Poorer child and adolescent mental health
  • Other physical, medical and emotional issues afflicting children today such as low energy levels, diabetes and heart problems as well as boredom and attention deficit disorder

As an adult, tempting your children away from screens and getting them outdoors is one of the most positive things you can do for them. Here’s why:

1. It Will Increase Their Fitness Levels

Vigorous outdoor play, such as running, jumping, sliding, swinging and climbing, gets muscles working and the heart beating faster. There are so many physical benefits to exercise for our kids, including:

  • Lower chances of childhood obesity and related health issues, such as Type 2 Diabetes
  • Improved cardiovascular health
  • Stronger muscles
  • Improved flexibility
  • Higher energy levels for everyday tasks and school life

2. It Will Boost Vitamin D Levels for Healthy Growth

Vitamin D is vital for the human body. It helps regulate calcium levels and is essential for healthy bones. For growing children, good bone health is very important.

Low levels of Vitamin D can be damaging to skeletal health. In extreme cases, a disease like rickets can develop which can result in skeletal deformities and stunted growth. Therefore, ensuring your kids get enough Vitamin D is a must.

But the biggest source of Vitamin D is not diet; the vitamin is absorbed through the skin from sunlight. It is possible that children who rarely play outdoors are not receiving enough vitamin D for healthy bone growth and development.

Encouraging your children to venture outdoors more is a simple solution to this problem, as long as you follow professional advice on how to keep kids’ skin safe from the dangers of too much sun.

3. It Lowers Stress Levels and Boosts Mood Levels

Research from the University of Colorado in 2014 clearly demonstrated that getting kids outdoors had a positive impact on their emotional wellbeing. Playing outside helps children escape from daily routines, including the stresses and pressures of the classroom.

In the study, children found playing outdoors peaceful and enjoyable, with positive benefits to lowering stress levels. It was also found that children could nurture friendships and enjoy forming supportive social groups through their outdoor play, meaning the benefits were long-lasting.

Increased Vitamin D levels from playing outside also helps mood levels by helping to release serotonin, which is sometimes known as the ‘happy hormone’ for its positive impact on mental health.

4. It Gets Kids Closer to Nature

By playing outside, children can pay attention to the diversity and richness of nature, even in their own backyard. Kids can wonder at the tiniest creatures hiding away, and witness the birdlife and wildlife that regularly visit.

By helping your children learn to appreciate all these small things, you are helping to raise a generation that will go on to nurture and protect the planet as best it can.

5. It Boosts Creativity, Independence and Self-Confidence

Encouraging children to play outside, in less confined spaces, can help bring out some really positive personality traits.

Firstly, getting children to play outside in wide open spaces can be a less intimidating experience for them. Compared to busy classrooms or noisy play centers, children have the time and space to be themselves outdoors. They’ll be negotiating different environments, exploring and learning. This is perfect for nurturing self-confidence and independence.

Outdoor play is naturally more unstructured than much indoor play. This allows freedom, the opportunity for creativity, and for their imagination to run wild. Indoors, children are drawn to complex, high-tech toys with a very structured order of play; outdoors, children can entertain themselves with very little for hours at a time. This is ideal for developing the creative part of the brain.

Encourage Your Kids to Venture Out

The benefits of getting kids outdoors speak for themselves.

As a parent, it’s your job to make the outdoors a fun, positive experience that all the family can enjoy.

It starts in your own backyard: investing in some great play equipment and then spending time outdoors with your kids, supervising and playing with them is one of the greatest gifts you can give to your child.

AUTHOR BIO: Michael Davies is the Senior Account Manager at Sandleford, a trusted supplier of letterboxes and home security products and solutions in Australia. The company’s Swing Slide Climb range has grown and grown over the past 4 years, and together with Bunnings Australia, it has become one of the most exciting and innovative suppliers and developers of children’s play equipment in the Australian market.

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