Blog Archive

6 Ways to Destress After a Long Day



When you've had a rough day at work, it's hard not to let that edgy, exhausted feeling ruin the rest of your evening. But if you don't find a way to recover from that stress, it will rob you of your leisure time, impact your relationships, ruin your eating habits and disrupt your sleep. Finding a way to de-stress at the end of each day is vital if you want to enjoy your life away from the office. Here are several options that might serve you well.

Meditation

https://c1.staticflickr.com/7/6066/6107353399_f02b40962c.jpg
Image via Flickr by Spirit-Fire
Does meditation really work? Researchers from Johns Hopkins University recently sorted through nearly 19,000 meditation studies and found 47 trials that met their criteria for "well-designed studies." They published their findings in JAMA Internal Medicine, concluding that mindfulness meditation can help ease psychological stresses like anxiety, depression, and pain. Even a few minutes of mindfulness meditation at the end of your workday can help you shift gears and welcome the rest of your day. 

Coloring

Adult coloring books are experiencing a popularity surge at the moment. Coloring is meditative, creative, and nostalgic all at the same time, and there's something wonderfully satisfying about transforming a line drawing into a colorful work of art. If you have a smartphone with a large, high-resolution display, such as the Galaxy S7, with its 5.1-inch Super AMOLED screen, download a free coloring app and you'll be able to take coloring breaks wherever you are.

Journaling

If your workdays are stressful because of serious problems with your boss or co-workers, it may be difficult to escape into meditation or soothe yourself by coloring mandalas. If that's the case, you may want to process each day's events in a journal after work. This approach works best if you can journal before you even leave the office, either at your desk or sitting in your car in the parking garage. Limit your writing time to between five and 10 minutes, or set a goal of filling three pages if that's easier. Once you've written about the day, drive home with some music on and try to let it go until tomorrow.
Not only will your journal give you a chance to express your emotions, it will also help you think through your options and will act as a record of exactly what happened and when. 

Create Some Space

Give yourself a break of 20 or 30 minutes after work to ease into your at-home personality. Turn your phone off completely (this is a good time to put it on the charger) and don't turn on the TV. Listen to music. Make tea. Do yoga. Read. Create some rituals around whatever relaxes you and helps your soul feel nourished. This may sound impossible if you don't live alone, but if you explain to your family that you need time to get in a better mood after work, they'll get used to the idea. Make a point of greeting your partner and/or children with eye contact and hugs before you disappear for a few minutes, so they'll feel validated. They'll quickly learn that the rest of the evening is more fun for everyone if they give you the time and space you need.

Exercise

Exercise helps burn off feelings of anger and stress that accumulate during the day. A 10-minute walk after work is enough to make you feel rejuvenated, especially if you can walk in a natural setting. If you have access to a wooded area, take advantage of the Japanese concept of "forest bathing." Forest bathers spend time under a forest canopy to improve their overall sense of well-being, lower stress, and boost their mood and ability to focus. 

Hydrotherapy

Many people swear by the power of water to relieve stress. Some unwind under a long hot shower, some soak their feet, and others take a bath. Add some lavender scent or Epsom salts to the water to enhance the relaxation factor. If you are lucky enough to have access to a swimming pool or hot tub, see if that works for you. 
You may not be able to avoid stress in your job, but you don't have to let workday stress destroy your personal time. Use these techniques to leave stress behind and enjoy your life away from the office.

Inspiration: Chose the Best

Image result for Do your best

If you have a Choice,
Then choose the Best.
If you have No choice
Then
Do your Best..

12 Things That Happened To The Kids Growing Up In The Digital Age…


Kids growing up now have great fun and learning experiences with new technology such as iPods, iPads, cell phones, skype, and podcasts. But, alarmingly, they are missing out on a whole range of learning, social interaction, physical activities, and emotional intelligence skills. Let me tell you what has happened to these kids. You cannot say you were not warned!

1. Kids are not playing outside anymore

More and more children are playing inside and are attached to their devices, computers, and video games. The UK government has got alarmed about the drop in the numbers of kids playing normal childhood games in the open air.
They have invested over £300 million to encourage teachers to do more sport in schools. They also want more kids to play games like hide-and-seek and hopscotch. The benefits are enormous as kids will be healthier, happier and less prone to obesity.
At the moment, about 33% of boys are not getting the recommended daily hour of exercise. The Play England site has loads of ideas on how to reconnect children with nature.

2. Kids are not learning through face-to-face interaction

How does a baby learn to express and judge emotion? How do they start to learn language? They do it by watching their parents' facial expressions and they begin to become social creatures, acquiring essential skills which will be vital when they start playgroups and schools. But guess what is happening? The parents are increasingly absorbed in their electronic devices and cannot be bothered to even look, smile or coo at their own children! Watch parents in a café and you will see what I mean.
The alarm was raised by several paediatricians. One of these, Dr. Jenny Radesky, actually carried out a study of 55 groups of parents while they were eating at fast food joints. She and her researchers spent a whole summer doing this. She does not claim that the study has been done scientifically but has just observed what is going on. Needless to say, she is urging parents to put away their smartphones and give their children some attention. It will be vital for their development.

3. Parent-kid relationships are negatively affected

The digital parents are opting out of parenting and this is unfair to the children. The use of devices was also having a very bad effect on the way the parents actually interacted with their kids. There was a lot of negative, harsh interaction when it actually took place. It also made parents more cranky.
This is mentioned by Dr. Wendy Sue Swanson of Seattle Children's Hospital in her blog. She recommends that making boundaries for use of digital devices is very important, so that real parenting can be done. She also says that both kids and parents should take digital breaks together.

4. Kids' reading ability may be affected

There is not much research on this. But one initial study done by the Schugars of West Chester University suggests that the kids reading comprehension could be negatively affected. Their study showed that the kids who read paper books were better at comprehension than those who were using only ebooks. Kids on ebooks were inclined to skip the text and concentrate on all the interactive visual features such as popups. The best solution would be to encourage kids to read more paper books.

5. Kids have never played board games

Kids are online most of the time. Figures show that this has jumped by 38% since 2009. Whatever happened to those board games? Look at all the benefits a child gets, when you play together:
  • Child learns vocabulary, counting, math, reading
  • You can bond with him or her
  • Child learns about turn-taking, winning and losing
  • She or he can gain confidence, builds self esteem
  • Satisfies competitive urges
  • Increases attention span and focus
  • Helps concentration
While many games and apps on smartphones are also good at building some learning skills, they can never replace the human interaction.

6. Kids do not know what real friendship means

When we grew up, we had friends, real friends. Virtual friends did not exist. Look at today's teems who can count up to a few hundred friends on Facebook. The problem is that they have never seen most of them and they only know them very superficially through a virtual friend of a friend. Staying connected is great and today's teens send an average of 3,000 texts a month.
But it seems that the concept of friendship and intimacy is being irrevocably changed and this will impact relationships later on. Studies at UCLA show that digital bonding is considerably less than real face-to-face interaction.

7. Kids are losing their creativity

Trevor Baylis, the famous inventor of the wind up radio, fears that children are not getting the hands on experience that he got when he was a boy. This is affecting their creativity. He learned about putting things together by playing with a Meccano set or by building model aeroplanes and so on. Few kids now never get their hands on games like this. Everything is done for them.

8. Kids are not learning empathy

Being tolerant, caring and controlling your emotions are life skills that will serve you well. But the digital era kids are not learning any of these skills at all. You cannot empathize with a device, at least, not yet! The best way is to play with other kids and to learn about sharing, turn-taking and giving. No, I don't think there's an app for that yet!

9. Kids' scores in math and reading are not increasing

Look at what is going on in the Kyrene School District. They have invested over $33 million on updating classroom technology. Students get to create Facebook pages based on Shakespearian characters. Some choose song tracts and rapper tunes to match the mood of a character in a play or novel. It is all innovative and very exciting. The only problem is that the test scores in math and reading in this school district have remained just the same as in 2005 when there was no high tec in the schools.

10. Kids are getting no input on values and attitudes

The lack of real social interaction with parents and peers means that there is less and less time spent on teaching core values such as tolerance, kindness, honesty, diligence and respect. The devices are great for some learning activities but the parent-child relationship is becoming tenuous.

11. Kids are losing sleep

Dr. Kimberley Young, Director of the Center for Internet Addiction Recovery, has warned that children may lose track of time while they are online. This has serious consequences for doing household tasks and chores. It also affects their mood and they become irritable when they are forced to switch off. One of the most serious aspects is loss of sleep because this impacts on schoolwork the following day.

12. Kids need supervision

Parents should be on the alert for any sort of online addiction. They themselves have to set the example and make sure that there is a balance between more traditional games and online activities. A happy balance can be achieved with these tips:
  • Use Skype together to bond with grandparents
  • Play video games together
  • Negotiate digital break times where both parents and kids switch off all devices
  • Encourage outdoor activities when possible
Digital media is here to stay. They are great learning and entertainment tools but they need to be used with caution and not at the expense of real face-to-face interaction.

Featured photo credit: mzacha via morguefile.com

 

Today's Inspiration: Possible Impossible

You do not need to know precisely what is happening, or exactly where it is all going. What you need is to recognize the possibilities and challenges offered by the present moment, and to embrace them with courage, faith and hope. 
If we all did the things we are really capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves. So many things are possible as long as you don't know they are impossible.

Guide: How to Use the 'F' Keys on Your Keyboard!

F Keys

Guide: How to Use the 'F' Keys on Your Keyboard!

Have you ever wondered what those twelve, mysterious 'F' keys at the top of your computer keyboard do?  Most of us ignore them but they actually have a number of uses that can help you enjoy a quicker and more efficient computer experience. Known more properly as the 'Function Keys', some are more useful than others and many of them have different functions depending on the programs you are using. Our simple guide gives you all the information you need about the uses of the 'F' keys so that they are a mystery no more!
F Keys
F Keys
• Nearly every program uses F1 as a Help Key. So if you are on the internet for example and press F1, your browser will automatically bring up a help page. If you are in Microsoft Word and press F1 you will be taken to the extensive help section.
F Keys
• On your Windows Desktop, pressing F2 allows you to quickly rename a file or folder. So if you want to give a more specific name to your 'Photos' folder for example, click on it once using your mouse (not twice as that will open the folder), then press F2.  The name of the folder will be highlighted so you can type over it.
• If you are in Microsoft Word, press F2 along with the 'ALT' and 'CTRL' keys on your keyboard to open a new document quickly and easily.
• Also in Microsoft Word, CTRL + F2 opens the 'Print Preview Screen' to give fast access to your printer options.
F Keys
• F3 opens a 'search' feature in nearly all programs including Windows, Google Chrome and Internet Explorer.  This search feature helps you find a key word in a text easily so you can move straight to the section of a document or web page that you need to see.
• In Microsoft Word, press SHIFT + F3 to change the first letter of a word to Upper Case.  Press it again to make the entire word UPPER CASE.  Press it a third time to return the word to its original lower case.
F Keys
• If you are using Internet Explorer, pressing F4 will open the address bar so that you can quickly type in a new web address.
• If you are in Microsoft Word, press F4 to repeat your last action.
• Press ALT + F4 together to close the program you are using, such as your internet browser, Microsoft Word or your Photos Folder.
F Keys
• If you are browsing the internet, press F5 to refresh or reload the page you are looking at.
• If you are using Microsoft Word, this opens the useful 'Find and Replace' function. This allows you to automatically replace one word with another throughout a text without having to go through each one-by-one.
 
F Keys

• F6 will move your cursor to the address bar in nearly all Internet Browsers including Internet Explorer, Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox.  This allows to type in a new web address and move to another web page efficiently and quickly.
• In Microsoft Word, press CTRL + SHIFT + F6 together to open a new document while keeping the document you are currently working on in a separate window.
• On your laptop, pressing F6 can reduce your volume (this works on many laptops, but not all laptops).

F Keys

• This key is not used by most internet browsers, but in Microsoft Word and other programs it will bring up your Spell Checker and Grammar Checker.
• Press SHIFT + F7 in Microsoft Word to run a thesaurus on a word you have highlighted so you can check for a word which has a similar meaning.
• On your laptop, pressing F7 can increase your volume (this works on many laptops, but not on all laptops).

F Keys

• This key's main use is to access Safe Mode when your computer is starting up.  Safe Mode is used when you have a problem with your PC, allowing you to open it with a limited program.  We recommend you seek help with using safe mode unless you are experienced with fixing computer problems.

F Keys

• Pressing F9 has no function in internet browsers but it will refresh your document in Microsoft Word.
• If you use Microsoft Outlook as your email inbox, pressing F9 will immediately trigger an email you have sent, without the usual time delay.
• On your laptop, pressing F9 can reduce your screen's brightness (this works on many laptops, but not all laptops).

F Keys

• Press F10 to activate the menu bar in your internet browser or program like Microsoft Word.  In newer versions of Microsoft Word, this also brings up a display of some handy shortcuts to menu options such as 'File' and 'Edit'.
• Press SHIFT + F10 as an alternative to right clicking your mouse on a file or internet link.  On your internet browser, this brings up a series of easily clickable options, such as 'reload' and 'go back to previous web page'.
• On your laptop, pressing F10 can increase your screen's brightness (this works on many laptops, but not all laptops).

F Keys

• Press F11 to enter and exit full screen mode on your Internet Browser. Really useful if you are watching a video!

F Keys

• Press F12 to open the 'Save As' option when using Microsoft Word.
• Press CTRL and F12 together to open a new document when using Microsoft Word.
• Press SHIFT and F12 together to automatically save a document in Microsoft Word.
• Press CTRL + SHIFT + F12 together to immediately print a document in Microsoft Word.

​​

Sweet Words and Sweet Actions


The Virtue of Sweetness

Just as eating and serving something sweet makes your taste buds feel sweetness, and for a while after, you remain happy, become sweet-natured yourself so that words filled with sweetness are constantly spoken. Such sweet words make both you and others happy.
Use this method to always sweeten everyone's mouth; constantly maintain sweet vision, sweet words and sweet actions.

 

Tip: Message/Email Sent Mistakenly or Sent Too Soon

Tip of the day
                            

Messaging oops
If you hit "send" too soon; quickly switch the smartphone to airplane mode. After 20 seconds, delivery will fail, so you can delete the text. Then turn off airplane mode and try again. Wireless experts say this works about half the time, and it's especially effective when sending a long text or photos.
                            
 
Internet and Computing :: #6530
By Anonymous from USA.

Story: The Drops of Water

Recently, when I was going to bed after using my bathroom, I started hearing sound of drops of water from the tap in slow successions, but since it was dropping into an empty bucket, I decided to let it be.
 
But, alas! When I woke up the next morning, around 5 am, the bucket was almost full! I was surprised that just drops even in such slow successions could produce that much. I couldn't help it, 'Just drops?!' I questioned rhetorically.
 
But the following night, I made sure that the tap in my bathroom was locked completely and I checked the bucket and saw that it was empty, though wet. Then I went to sleep.
 
I guess you already know what I saw the next morning. The bucket was not wet as I had left it, but it was now dry!
 
Then I realized the importance of a drop and how much difference it can make in all ramifications of one's life compared to a dry tap.
 
Imagine letting the drops be for a year, I would be scooping with drums at the end of the year!
 
  • So, how about that drop of savings?
  • How about that drop of kindness and love everyday?
  • How about a drop of reading useful books today and every day?
  • How about that drop of a verse of the scripture today and every day?
  • How about that drop of prayer today and every day?
  • How about a drop of worship today and every day?
  • How about a drop of step towards your God-given dream today and every day?
  • How about a drop of giving into your heavenly account?
  • What virtue and discipline will you start today in little drops?
 
Never neglect the importance of a drop, for when the harvest time comes, you would have made a big difference.
 
Picture source

Measuring Network Quality

Measuring Network Quality


We give each test result a grade to help you interpret the overall quality. We also show the specific packet loss, ping and jitter values that make up your grade. When we are unable to measure one or more of them you will see a grade of N/A. Certain firewall configurations, Java not being installed or other technical issues can cause this, but it is possible that simply testing again will fix the problem. Feel free to test often, and read on to learn more!
  • A

    An excellent result! Expect all Internet applications to work very well assuming you have sufficient bandwidth. Use Speedtest.net® to see.
    MOS greater than 4.37 (Example - a ping below 50 ms with 0% packet loss)
  • B

    Very good! Your connection should work well for any Internet application. Some online games may not perform optimally.
    MOS between 4.28 and 4.37 (Example - a ping around 90 ms with 0% packet loss)
  • C

    Acceptable. Your VoIP quality will suffer some, and you will have a disadvantage in many online games. Most streaming media will be fine. You should try testing again to another server close to you.
    MOS between 4.00 and 4.27 (Example - a ping around 150 ms with 1% packet loss)
  • D

    Concerning. Most online applications will not perform well but should function in some capacity. Try testing to other servers to verify the result. You might need to contact your ISP for help.
    MOS between 2.50 and 3.99 (Example - a ping around 300 ms with 3% packet loss)
  • F

    Very poor. Real-time Internet application performance will suffer greatly on such a connection. Test to other servers to confirm the result, but definitely talk to your ISP about troubleshooting the issue.
    MOS lower than 2.50 (Example - a ping above 500 ms with 20% packet loss)

Network Quality Components

Packet Loss

Much as it sounds, if you have anything less than complete success in transmitting and receiving "packets" of data then you are experiencing this problem with your Internet connection. It can mean much slower download and upload speeds, poor quality VoIP audio, pauses with streaming media and what seems like time warping in games -- your connection may even come to a total standstill! Packet loss is a metric where anything greater than 0% should cause concern.

Ping

This measurement tells how long it takes a "packet" of data to travel from your computer to a server on the Internet and back. Whenever you experience delayed responses in Internet applications - this would be due to a higher than desired ping. Similar to packet loss, lower is better when it comes to ping. A result below 100 ms should be expected from any decent broadband connection.

Jitter

Once you understand ping, jitter should also make sense. Jitter is merely the variance in measuring successive ping tests. Zero jitter means the results were exactly the same every time, and anything above zero is the amount by which they varied. Like the other quality measurements, a lower jitter value is better. And while some jitter should be expected over the Internet, having it be a small fraction of the ping result is ideal.