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6 Life Lessons We Can Learn From Taylor Swift’s Songs

6 Life Lessons We Can Learn From Taylor Swift’s Songs

Since late 2006, Taylor Swift has released five albums every two years. She has written, both as a co-author and solo, every single song on each of them.

If you remember T-Swift from back in her country days, you remember why you loved her old music so much. While her pop is catchy and her lyrics are still on fleek, they don’t teach us quite the same classic life lessons they did circa 2008.

We’re strumming back to pre-1989 (the album, not the year) to dig up some of the most valuable lessons Taylor’s song lyrics have engraved in our country-loving hearts. We’ll get back to shaking it off, but first, we need to talk about love, dreaming big and bashing the haters (with a bit more of a twang to it).

“Fifteen”

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    Do you remember being 15? Well, T-Swift does, and she has an important lesson to teach our lovesick selves about boys.

    There is more to high school — and life — than finding your soul mate. Obviously, when someone says, “I love you,” you’re sold. Your dreams aren’t going to write you off the second someone better comes along, though. Chase those dreams. They won’t break your heart quite as easily.

    “Mean”

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      Whether it’s the head cheerleader or your new boss, at some point you’re going to come face-to-face with the meanest of the mean. They don’t respect you or even consider that you have feelings behind that brave face you put on. Taylor’s solution was obviously to write a song about it, but picturing yourself as the big-time CEO with all your haters working underneath you is just as satisfying.

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      “Ours”

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        Ah, office life. If you haven’t been there yet, you’ll get there eventually. It’s basically like high school with a paycheck (still not worth it). Cubicle-bound Taylor has a camo-clad hottie waiting at the end of the longest nine-to-five workday ever, so forget all those judgmental elevator passengers. You might only have a cat to come home to, but you can’t please everyone, no matter how hard you try.

        Be strong, until you can leave the office world behind.

        “Begin Again”

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          People probably let you down way more often than you’re willing to admit. After a while, it’s all you can do not to throw in the nice shoes and red lipstick and make peace with being single for the rest of forever. You probably won’t ever forget the ones who hurt you, but you can’t let them keep you from all the better people out there waiting for you.

          The past is in the past. Learn from it, strap on those heels and start over.

          “Back to December”

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            We’ve all said and done things we wish we hadn’t said or done. There’s always going to be that moment, or maybe even an entire month, our minds always creep back to when we’re sitting alone lost in our thoughts. Taylor’s here to remind us, though, that no matter how much you might wish you could go back and fix what you broke, you just can’t. The only way to put it behind you is to forgive yourself and move on.

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            “Love Story”

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              Your Romeo (or Juliet) is out there somewhere. If you still haven’t found them yet, it’s probably because you’ve been standing in front of your window waiting for them to show up. Stop that. If you want a fairytale ending, you have to make your own voice heard. What you want is important, and nobody else has the right to tell you what that should be. You decide your own happy ending.

              See? It’s not all about love. Just like Taylor herself, you’re your own person. You have to chase your own dreams and make do with what you have. That’s what her songs teach us, if you listen closely. There are life lessons to be found in a lot of music, old and new. T-Swift’s lyrics speak to our struggles even still. And they always will.

              Featured photo credit: Eva Rinaldi via flickr.com

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              Last Updated on October 16, 2018

              The Ultimate Guide to Help You Sleep Through the Night Tonight

              The Ultimate Guide to Help You Sleep Through the Night Tonight

              It’s well past midnight and you’ve got to get up in less than six hours. You toss and turn all night. Before you know it, another hour passes by and you start panicking.

              If I don’t get to sleep in the next 30 minutes, I’m going to be exhausted tomorrow!”

              One thing is for sure, you’re not alone. Over 70M+ Americans have stated that they don’t get the proper sleep they need at night.[1] So what could possibly be causing this insomnia epidemic?

              Throughout my entrepreneurial journey of building my language learning company, I have experimented and researched dozens of best sleep practices. Some have flopped but a few have dramatically improved the quality of my life and work.

              In this article, I’ll look into the reason why you’re sleep deprived and how to sleep through the night tonight.

              Why you can’t sleep through the night

              The first step to improving anything is getting to the bottom of the root problem. Different studies have shown the reasons why most people cannot sleep well at night.[2] Here are the main ones that the average person faces:

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              Stress

              If you’ve ever stayed up at night worrying about something, know that it’s a major sleep inhibitor. When you’re feeling stress, your mind and body becomes more activated, making it incredibly difficult to fall asleep. Even when you do manage to sleep, it won’t be deep enough to help you feel rested the next day.

              Exposure to blue light before sleep time

              We’re exposed to harmful blue light on a daily basis through the use of our digital screens. If you’ve never heard of blue light, it’s part of the visible light spectrum that suppresses melatonin, our sleep hormones. Other harmful effects include digital eye strains and macular cellular damage.

              While daytime exposure to blue light is not very harmful, night time exposure tricks our brain into thinking it’s daytime. By keeping your brain alert and suppressing melatonin, your mind is unable to shut down and relax before bedtime.

              Eating close to bedtime

              Eating too late can actually be an issue for many people, especially those who are older than 40. The reason is, eating before laying down increases the chances of Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), in which stomach acid backflows into the esophagus.

              Another reason not to eat too late is sleep quality. Even if you manage to sleep right after eating, it’s likely that you’ll wake up tired. Instead of letting your body rest during sleep, it has to digest the food that was entered before bedtime.

              Rule of thumb: eat 3-4 hours before bedtime.

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              Medical conditions

              In some cases, it could be medical conditions that cause your sleep problems. If you can’t relate yourself to the above reasons or any of these common sleep problem causes, you should visit the doctor.

              The vicious sleep cycle

              The biggest danger to repeating the bad habits mentioned above is the negative cycle that it can take you through. A bad night’s sleep can affect not only your energy but your willpower and decision making skills.

              Here’s an example of a bad sleep pattern:

              You get a bad night’s sleep
              –> You feel tired and stressful throughout the day.
              –> You compensate it with unhealthy habits (for example junk food, skipping exercises, watching Netflix etc.)
              –> You can’t sleep well (again) the next night.

                You can imagine what could happen if this cycle repeats over a longer period of time.

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                How to sleep better (throughout the night)

                To help you break the vicious cycle and stop waking up in the middle of the night, I’ll explain to you a list of actionable steps to solve your trouble staying asleep.

                1. Take control over the last 90 minutes of your night

                What you do (or don’t do) before bedtime have significant impact on the quality of your sleep. Many times, it can be the difference between staying up until 4am and sleeping like a baby.

                Here are a few suggestions:

                • Go from light to dark – Darkness stimulates production of the sleep hormone melatonin. Turn off unused light around the house, and think about investing into warm light that you can use in the bedroom before bedtime.
                • Avoid screens (or wear blue light blocking glasses) – Keep the bedroom a technology-free zone as the light from electronic devices can disturb your sleep. If you need to work, wear blue light blocking glasses (also known as computer glasses) throughout or before you sleep to prevent sleep disruption.
                • Find an activity that helps you to wind down  This could be anything that calms you down, and reduces thinking (especially unnecessary stress). Fir example, listening to soothing/good feel music, taking a hot bath, reading or meditating.
                • Keep any electronics you have on the other side of the room or outside the room – One of the most harmful things that can disrupt your sleep is the notifications you get from your smartphones. The simplest way to avoid this is to keep it away from you.
                • Create a bedtime routine – A night routine is a couple of things you do prior to going to bed. By doing these things every night, you’ll have a more restful and high-quality sleep. Learn how to pick up a night routine here: The Ultimate Night Routine Guide to Sleep Better and Wake Up Productive

                2. Eat the right nutrients (and avoid the wrong ones)

                What you eat (not just when we eat) plays a critical role in your sleep quality. If you’re ever in doubt of what to eat to improve your sleep, take the following into consideration:

                • Kiwi – This green fruit may be the ultimate pre-bed snack. When volunteers ate two kiwis an hour before hitting the hay, they slept almost a full extra hour. Kiwis are full of vitamins C and E, serotonin and folate—all of which may help you snooze.
                • Soy foods – Foods made with soy such as tofu, miso and edamame, are rich in isoflavones. These compounds increase the production of serotonin, a brain chemical that influences the body’s sleep-wake cycle.
                • Fiber-rich foods – Eating more fiber could be key for better sleep. Eating fiber was associated with more restorative slow-wave sleep—the more you eat, the better you sleep—per a study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. Fiber prevents blood sugar surges that may lower melatonin. Get a fiber boost from beans, artichokes, bran cereal and quinoa.
                • Salmon – Most fish, especially salmon, halibut and tuna boost vitamin B6, which is needed to make melatonin— a sleep-inducing hormone triggered by darkness.

                3. Adjust your sleep temperature

                Once you’ve gone through the first 2 recommendations, the last step to experiment with is temperature. According to Sleep.org, the ideal temperature for sleep is 60-67 Farenheit. This may be cooler than what most people are used to, but keep in mind that our body temperature changes once we fall asleep.

                Rule of thumb: sleeping in cooler temperature is better for sleep quality than warmer temperature.

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                Find out how to maintain the optimal temperature to sleep better here: How to Sleep Faster with the Best Temperature

                Sleep better form now on

                Congrats on making it to the end of this guide on sleep. If you’re serious about taking the necessary steps in improving your sleep, remember to take it one step at a time.

                I recommend trying just one of the steps mentioned such as taking a hot bath, blocking out blue light at night, or sleeping in cooler temperature. From there, see how it impacts your sleep quality and you can keep doing what works, and throw away what doesn’t.

                As long as you follow these steps cautiously and diligently, I know you’ll see improved results in your sleep!

                Featured photo credit: pixabay via pixabay.com

                Reference

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