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6 Alternatives to Diamond Jewelry

6 Alternatives to Diamond Jewelry

Every guy out there knows that diamonds are a girl’s best friend. However, he also knows that they’re a bank account’s worst enemy, as well. I won’t go into the whole origin of the diamond engagement ring (because I’d probably never stop complaining), but the Cliff’s Notes version of it is simple: diamonds aren’t really all that rare. The only reason they decimate our wallets is because we’ve been convinced they mean more than they actually do. Alas, I digress.

The point is, if you’ve managed to find a woman who understands the whole diamond debacle and would rather opt for something a bit more out of the ordinary (first of all, congrats! Second of all), here are some of your options:

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1. Lab-created “diamonds”

We are lucky enough to live at a time in which scientists can work wonders in a lab, even when it comes to replicating one of the most beautiful minerals on Earth. Diamond simulants duplicate the physical, chemical, and optical properties of actual diamonds. They are only discernible as “fakes” to trained professionals. Even those who know their minerals may have trouble noticing a difference between a real diamond and a simulant when viewed in passing with the naked eye. Of course, your significant other will always know the truth. You should definitely consult with her before going this route.

2. Moissanite

Moissanite is a silicon carbide compound that is similar in many ways to actual diamonds. Although moissanite has been found to occur naturally, scientists have been able to synthesize it completely (unlike diamonds, which, as stated, has only been replicated). Moissanite is about as durable as diamond, but it can withstand heat to a much greater extent. Not only that, but it also never loses its luster, which makes it ideal as an heirloom to be passed on from generation to generation.

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3. Knot rings

If you’re looking for a ring that symbolizes the notion that two lives have become forever intertwined, a knot ring is the way to go. Although knot rings generally don’t come with gemstones, they can be made with yellow and white gold that weave together, creating a unique piece of jewelry for your significant other to show off. Some knot rings are made so that each piece is free to move independently while remaining connected forever, which is much more meaningful than any diamond ring could ever be.

4. Gemstones

As I said in the intro, we’ve been beaten over the head with the notion that “diamonds are forever” our entire lives. However, you might not know that almost all gemstones have symbolic meaning to them as well. For example, alexandrite symbolizes prosperity and growth, while rubies symbolize peace and tranquility. Put some thought into the jewelry you buy your love, and it will be much more meaningful than simply buying a diamond because it’s a societal norm.

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5. Family heirlooms

I mentioned family heirlooms before, but the importance of a piece of jewelry that has been passed down throughout the ages cannot be overstated. When a ring is passed on to the next generation, the stories behind the ring come with it. All the accomplishments, struggles, hopes, and dreams of the past come alive and combine with an entire new set of stories to be passed on in the coming years. These inspirational stories are certainly more interesting than, “Your father bought this for me at the mall twenty years ago.”

6. Something Actually… Useful

Let me start by saying you should definitely check with your significant other before going this route. However, if you’re just starting out in your journey together, you might want to skip the ring altogether (at least for the time being). Think of everything else you can do with a few thousand dollars that will actually do something for your life as a couple. You could start putting money away for a down payment on a home or a new car, or pay off some of your significant other’s school loans. You could even opt for a more extravaggant vacation than usual, creating memories that will last a lifetime. Rather than spending money on an object that symbolizes your undying love, use that money to do something that will show your undying devotion to the love of your life.

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Featured photo credit: NUBIA AQUA BEACH RESORT HOTEL. / Kakha Kolkhi via farm1.staticflickr.com

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Last Updated on December 9, 2019

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

1. Get Rationally Optimistic

Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

The result: no more mental stress.

2. Unplug

Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

3. Easy on the Caffeine

Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

  • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
  • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
  • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

The result: mental stress will be gone!

So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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