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10 Things You’ve Forgotten About the 1990s

10 Things You’ve Forgotten About the 1990s

Over 25 years have passed since the 1990s came and went, but, with a haze of well-timed nostalgia, what was it about that decade that made it so special? Join me, as we go back to a time of cloned sheep, Rollerblades and the fear of the millennium bug. So what were the 1990s for you? For me, there were…

1. Some of the best films, ever!

The phrase, “I’m having an old friend for dinner…” would never be the same after 1991 when Hannibal Lecter gave it a much darker meaning at the end of The Silence of the Lambs. Of course this was the decade of , still regarded by many as one of Disney’s greatest moments and Tom Hanks gormless Forrest Gump – “Run, Forrest! Run!” And if you didn’t well up when Leonardo DiCaprio’s Jack Dawson sunk beneath the sea to join the fated Titanic in 1997 you were either not there, or made of stone. And, let’s not forget Pulp Fiction (just what was in the briefcase?) or 1999’s Fight Club, but I am not allowed to talk about that…

John Travolta in Pulp Fiction

    John Travolta from Pulp Fiction

    2. Also, some of the best TV, ever!

    It was not just the big screen that was wowing us in the ’90s. How about spooky Fox Mulder in The X Files, which hit our screens in 1993? We wanted to believe and knew that the truth was out there. Or how about Sarah Michelle Gellar in Buffy the Vampire Slayer? A young Will Smith became a trendsetter as the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and animated fans were able to welcome Peter Griffin, Brian the dog and evil baby Stewie (of course with an English accent) in Family Guy. South Park was just generally rude – ‘Oh my God, they killed Kenny!’

    X Files

      X-Files Promotion

      Of course, there was only one show that got everyone talking when The Rembrandts ‘I’ll Be There for You’ heralded Friends. The story of  Rachel, Phoebe, Joey, Chandler, Ross and Monica had us glued to our sofas for almost 10 years.

      However, sometimes the adverts were better than the shows. Back in the 1990s there were some crazy commercials; bright colours, mad graphics and far too many jump cuts, like this classic example.

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      Swipe Mate

        Shutterstock: 90s Nostalgia Adverts

        Just for a bit of semi-nostagic fun, have a look at modern products given a 90s commercial make-over – it’s just like you’re back there on the sofa!

        3. It was when we first ‘went online’

        Retro Computer

          Retro Computer

          In an age when you sound massively old if you say ‘you remember the time before the Internet’ it was 1991 when many of us got our first view of the World Wide Web with America Online (AOL).

          A dial-up service (ask your parents about the pain of waiting for an image to load line by line!) was the Internet provider for over 10 million people during the ’90s.

          4. We played the most amazing games

          Today mobile gaming is something we take for granted, but back then mobile gaming was limited to a pack of cards (Top Trumps if you were very lucky!). The Nintendo Game Boy changed that with its interchangeable game cartridges with classics like Tetris and Super Mario Land. Although it was released in 1989, it truly led a revolution in gaming through the ’90s.

          Nintendo Game Boy

            Nintendo Game Boy

            More traditional games of the era included ‘Elefun’ a battery powered elephant that blew ‘butterflies’ in the air for you to catch in nets. More likely, it blew paper butterflies all over your room, most of which would never be seen again. Hours of fun for all the family!

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            An eclectic trend of the ’90s were Pogs, which consisted of milk caps that you could lose at the hand of a skilled player wielding a metal ‘slammer’. You had to build a stack of caps which players would take turns to throw their slammer on the stack, if you were playing ‘for keeps’ you would retain any that landed face up. This usually promoted tantrums from players who were losing their cherished caps and calls from schools stating that this was a form of gambling and should be outlawed at all costs.

            5. It was all about the music

            If you find yourself singing ‘One time’ out loud whenever you hear ‘Killing Me Softly’ by The Fugees on the radio, you are truly a child of the ’90s. Or how about ‘Flat Eric’ rocking it out to ‘Flat Beat’ by Mr Oizo trying to sell you jeans.

            Madonna

              Madonna

              Of course, one of the pivotal hits of the ’90s was Madonna with ‘Vogue.’ Yeah, we all ‘Vogued’ in the school yard. If you were one of the cool kids you may have been more into the Seattle grunge scene with Nirvana and ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’.

              6. But, what we ‘really, really want(ed)’…

              The Spice Girls

                Spice Girls

                Forget boy bands, the 90’s was the time of ‘Girl Power’ in the form of The Spice Girls who hit the scene with their Billboard hit ‘Wannabe’, I am sure we all still want to ‘zig a zig ahh…’ whatever that really meant.

                It was a time of manufactured empowerment, but we didn’t mind as the discussions of the plus points of Sporty, Ginger, Baby or Scary and Posh Spice kept us amused around water coolers. Of course, the less said about Spice Girls The Movie the better, you either loved it or agreed with the critics. At least it won a Golden Raspberry for ‘Worst Actress’ – praise indeed!

                7. It was all about the gadgets

                If the ’80s were about mobile music with the ubiquitous Sony Walkman, then the 90’s were all about bringing it up to date. No more cassettes. With the Discman, you could use your shiny new CDs. Of course, the downside of them skipping constantly (despite the promised shock protection) meant we had to take care when we jogged.

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                One of the must-have bits of tech was a Tamagotchi, a pocket sized digital pet that required your near-constant attention feeding, disciplining and cleaning up after your digital friend. Of course if you neglected it, you would find it would die. However, unlike the family hamster, you could bring it back by pressing the A and C buttons. If only real life were that simple!

                Tamagotchi

                  Tamagotchi

                  8. Of course, the best dressed people were all wearing…

                  Ripped Jeans

                    Ripped Jeans

                    Don your ripped jeans, a G-Shock watch and a Hypercolor T-shirt and you were ready to go out on the town. Of course your parents may well bemoan the state of your torn and worn denim (You paid good money for those?) or in my case sew them up, ‘good as new’ without you knowing! (Thanks, but no thanks mum!)

                    The Hypercolor T-shirt changed colour as it warmed up. Cue inappropriate hand prints and unfortunate patches under your arms!

                    9. ‘You Gotta Catch Them All’, the first time round

                    Pokémon was created, initially as a game before becoming a TV show a series of movies and trading cards. Most of us took on the role of Pokémon trainers trying to capture every possible character and battling our friends. It would be over 20 years before Pokémon Go was even imagined, but we were already hooked!

                    Pokemon

                      Pokemon Trading Cards

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                      10. If you were important you had a pager

                      Well, it was likely you were a god! Whereas cell phones were available in the ’80s, a $4,000+ price tag put them out of reach of most of us. By contrast, in 1994, there were over 61 million pagers in use.

                      A pager sent short text and numeric messages. You had to ring an operator who would send the message to the pager. So, we became adept at creating codes we could use. A typical coded message between me and my girlfriend of the day may have gone like this:

                      07734143607477406911
                      HelloI love youI miss youBest friends foreverHugs and KissesCall me now!

                      Sadly the response I got was:

                      1134 2 09 – Go to hell… (You had to turn your pager upside down to get that one).

                      Pager Code

                        It was a relief when the first affordable cell phones appeared in the late ’90s. Who can forget the almost bulletproof Nokia 6110 or the Star Trek-like Motorola StarTAC.

                        Nokia Cell Phone

                          Nokia Phone

                          While we are reminiscing about cell phones, let’s have a moment to remember Nokia, the everlasting phones with the massively addictive ‘Snake’ game. Happy days!

                          It’s all nostalgia

                          More than 25 years may have passed, but we can still hanker after the nostalgia, feeling old-fashioned about a ‘better age’ that feels like it was only yesterday. Damn, now we are starting to sound like our parents! Please, let me go back.

                          Featured photo credit: Shutterstock via shutterstock.com

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                          Last Updated on January 17, 2019

                          8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

                          8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

                          In life, we all need to be conscientious of what we are doing. You don’t need to live a life of stress if you don’t want to. You can achieve peace and happiness in life by carefully building mindfulness exercises into your life’s routine.

                          Exercising mindfulness isn’t rocket science and as importantly, you can do it. It will, however, take a few tries to get into the groove of things but once you get it, it is like riding a bike, you will never lose it.

                          Trust me. It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. In this article, I will share with you 8 mindfulness exercises that will help you to boost your energy, vitality and live a more peaceful and happier life.

                          Why Is It Hard to Live A Peaceful And Happy Life?

                          Our Habitat Has Become Too Technological

                          The world has accepted the idea that technology is often the cure for all evil. We have accepted, as a society, that everything technological will make us live a better life without fully investigating the many side effects that modernity brings.

                          There are a number of technological side effects that have a tremendous impact on your life that the media rarely tells you about.[1] Some of them include self-harm, economic inequality, having less sex, and even suicide. The global community is becoming less happy because of technology.

                          How can anybody live a peaceful and happy life when they are depressed? Technology advancements, ladies and gents, is a major reason for why we are living a poor life because it has infiltrated our lives too much.

                          According to my research, Americans spend an average of 8 hours a day looking at the computer screen — The average screen time spent on smartphones alone is about 20 hours per week. That’s a lot! No wonder why living a happy and peaceful life is so difficult these days.

                          Too Many People Don’t Want to Unplug

                          Americans check their phones an average of 80 times during vacation.[2] Some admit to checking their smartphones 300 times every single day. In countries like Brazil, India and China, the situation is no different.

                          The reality is that people are constantly plugged into technological devices and this behavior is literally making people all over the globe fight an inner war with themselves, which consequently makes them very sad. As we know, war is the enemy of peace which won’t make anybody happy.

                          Listen carefully:

                          We have a global anxiety epidemic because people don’t want to unplug from their smartphones and most people aren’t doing anything to fix it. It is a sad state of affairs but very real. This obsession with technology is turning us into perishable robots who live terrible lives.

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                          The era of anxiety is here to stay. There is little doubt about it. We can, however, fight back with the best remedy of all — We call it mindfulness!

                          Thank God there is an antidote to this whole technological madness. Without further ado, let’s go straight to the mindful exercises.

                          8 Mindfulness Exercises to Start Practicing

                          There are tons of mindfulness exercises available for you to engage with out there.[3] In the paragraphs below, I will include the best ones I’ve personally tried or have seen my close friends and family members try.

                          Are you ready for it? Let’s go!

                          1. Pray Daily

                          You should pray on a daily basis. Why is that you may ask — Well, because science has told us to do so.

                          When people pray, they feel peaceful, almost eliminating anxiety. Worries become secondary, and often gives people energy and hope to cope with the difficulties of life.

                          Prayer can make you more confident and focused. Prayer also helps you with self-control, helps to control pain, and can protect you against illnesses and disorders like cancer and high blood pressure. At least, this is what researchers from Harvard Medical School have said.[4]

                          Pray. You won’t regret it.[5]

                          2. Pay Attention to Your Inner Thoughts

                          A lot of people allow themselves to be influenced by their negative thoughts. Be different and resist believing in them. It is a bad habit that can lead to unhappiness.

                          By the way, if you do feel this way, chances are high that somebody other than you put these thoughts into your head.

                          Here is my secret to combat this cancer — look at things objectively. I bet that if you look at things as they are, you will realize that most if not all of your negative thoughts are only inside of your head.

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                          If you pay close attention, you will quickly realize that these voices aren’t worth your time. Believe me — Ignoring them and looking at things with objectivity is often the best course of action.

                          This article can guide you to beat negative thoughts:

                          How to Stop Automatic Negative Thoughts When You’re Overwhelmed

                          3. Smile Often

                          Smiling will slow down your heart. It will also relax your body because when you smile, your body releases endorphins which in itself has a number of positive benefits for you as a person.

                          Smile often! You may want to smile early in the morning, during the day, and late in the evening. It is amazing what happens to you when you decide to smile instead of being grumpy.

                          Surrender your problems to a nice smile. You will notice two things. First, most people just don’t which makes them live a miserable life. Second, if you decide to smile often, you will eventually smile unconsciously which is the ideal.

                          The moment that you smile unconsciously, you then know that you are truly happy.

                          4. Organize Your Working Desk

                          A messy desk will make you less productive and can agitate and overstimulate you. You don’t want that.

                          When you clear your desk, you engage in deep inner-thinking and your systematic decision making ends up becoming therapeutic.

                          Most people realize that they are most creative when their creative space is clean and organized. The former often makes people more aware of what they are doing which lends to less stress and more productivity.

                          Organizing your desk will also make you more energetic and focused because order often decreases chaos which is a condition that often slows down daily progress.

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                          5. Celebrate Your Friend’s Victories

                          I love this mindful exercise. One of the best ways to live a happy and peaceful life is to celebrate the victories of others. When you do that, you automatically make your friends in a better mood which makes you in a better mood, as well.

                          Happiness is contagious! We might as well celebrate others as much as we can. If you find out that your peer has won an award, celebrate with him! If your friend is the recipient of a local charity award, celebrate with her!

                          What is also awesome is that when you celebrate with others, they often celebrate with you in return. This, ladies and gentleman, will make you feel fantastic. You can’t go wrong with this one, period.

                          6. Listen to Your Spouse/Partner

                          God put someone in your life for a reason. You might as well listen to him or her.

                          I listen to my wife everyday. In fact, I often ask the following question to her, “Amanda, what are your thoughts about…” or “What am I missing about…” It is shocking what I hear back from her. Without her having much context and perspective, by the art of observation in my own nonverbal behavior and the behavior of others, she accurately gives me incredible insights which helps me out with living my life to the fullest.

                          I’m a firm believer that spouses are supposed to engage in interpersonal communication every day. I most definitely do and will continue doing it. You should do the same.

                          7. Give Yourself a Break from Technology

                          You can’t be in total equilibrium if your computerized devices control your life. You must get away from technology on a daily basis.[6]

                          How do you do that? This is my formula:

                          First, take this smartphone control test. It is only ten questions but this test will place you somewhere in the human robot cycle continuum.

                          If your score is between 25-30, take a break from the computer (or smartphone, pad, laptop/desktop) every twenty minutes and stop being on a computerized device after 8:00pm.

                          If you score between 30-35, still take a break every 20 minutes but stop being on these devices at 5:00pm.

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                          If you score more than 35, you need to take action immediately.

                          Limit computer use as much as possible throughout the day. Give yourself as many breaks from the computer as possible. Are you ready for the challenge?

                          8. Go Exercise

                          Go exercise at least three times a week. I don’t care if you need to workout early in the morning, late in the evening, on the weekends or during work days. Working out is absolutely imperative for you to live happy and peaceful life.

                          The stresses of the modern world are too much for you to neglect this important mindfulness exercise. When you go to the gym, you burn calories, focus on activities one step at a time, your mind relaxes, anxiety decreases, you sweat and often think about topics unrelated to your work place among many other benefits.

                          You must exercise at least three hours each week for optimum results. Why? Just take a look at all the benefits of regular exercising:

                          12 Benefits of Regular Exercise You Should Know

                          The Bottom Line

                          It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. Now that our habitat has become too technological and many people just don’t want to unplug, engaging in daily prayer, celebrate your friends’ victories, and listening to your spouse are among the best ways to be mindful about what you are doing and how you are living.

                          It is possible to live a happy and peaceful life. It only depends on you.

                          Go exercise! Take a break from technology and invest in you! Life is too short for distractions.

                          More Resources About Mindfulness

                          Featured photo credit: Lesly Juarez via unsplash.com

                          Reference

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