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5 Ways To Stay Positive During Holiday Madness

5 Ways To Stay Positive During Holiday Madness

With Christmas around the corner and the holiday season looming large, it’s not uncommon for some of us to feel like the Grinch who hates Christmas for it’s a maddening time indeed. From skyrocketing expenses to that dreaded annual lunch with the family, one-too-many parties and those pounds that keep piling on – for some of us, the holiday season is not the time to be jolly and what you need to realize that it’s okay. Here are five way to keep positive during the holiday madness with the firm remembrance in mind – this too shall pass!

Gifts Are Not About One-Upmanship

With the whole world seemingly in malls trying to buy the best of the best when it comes to Christmas gifts; it’s natural to feel the pressure to give the best gifts ever this holiday season. Try and remember what it’s all about – material worth isn’t supposed to color the holiday season green!

The best gifts are not about how expensive they are, rather how thoughtful they are. Put a little care behind the gifts you choose and gift something someone really needs. Or make some DIY gifts if you like – friends and family would really appreciate the love and care you have put behind making something from scratch. It could be that famed brownie recipe of yours, or some lovely knitting that only can do. A gift from the heart would mean far more than just another gift hurriedly picked off laden market shelves.

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Happy Photos Do Not Equal Happy Families

There’s always going to be that one family who sends you picture-perfect family portraits for holiday greetings year after year – and if this is a year that you or your family are in turmoil – those happy, smiling faces have the power to wound. Don’t let it hurt, and remind yourself not to be jealous. No family is perfect or problem free. What they might have is a gem of a photographer. Or an excellent stylist…

A photo does not capture the essence of a family or the troubles brewing in it – it’s just the best foot forward by someone keeping up appearances.

Don’t Let Your Weight Weigh You Down

Christmas and the holiday season mean indulgence. The patisseries overflow with goodies, as does your grandma’s kitchen. And sometimes, those muffins you indulged in do leave you with a muffin top!

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Dress to please yourself, its cold outside and so layer up in lovely sweaters, ponchos, shawls and coats. Think the 70s, sparkly oversized sweaters with solid yoga pants paired up with stunning heels can make you look gorgeous in a laidback way. And no one will notice those unsightly pounds you have been worried about. There’s always time to jog and slog post the holidays!

Alone Should Not Equal to Lonely

Feeling depressed because everyone has somebody for the holiday season, except you? Well, think of it this way – it’s better to be alone in an empty room, than being lonely amidst a group of people.

Don’t stay alone at home with dark thoughts; go to that office get-together or that building party. Go out and meet people and you might just find a special someone to make the holidays all the more magical. Or stay alone at home, if that’s what you would like to do.

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Overwhelmed? It’s Okay to Say No

We are all not made to be social butterflies. Some of us love the general hubbub of the holiday madness, but some of the more introverted lot start to feel overwhelmed at the invitations and the counter-invitations.

The holidays are a time to be thankful for what we are, have and can freely give. If all the partying and the eating are making you tired in mind, body or soul – it’s time to take a step back. Go for a walk, or volunteer at the shelter, or simply give away what you can spare to charity – helping others will make you feel good about yourself.

This holiday season; remember to do what you most want to do to celebrate the end of a year. It’s your yearend too; breathe in 2017 in peace and joy.

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Featured photo credit: LevelUpMovement via blog.levelupmovement.com

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Rima Pundir

Health, Wellness & Productivity Writer

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Last Updated on June 20, 2019

Science Says Guitar Players’ Brains Are Different From Others’

Science Says Guitar Players’ Brains Are Different From Others’

There’s nothing quite like picking up a guitar and strumming out some chords. Listening to someone playing the guitar can be mesmerising, it can evoke emotion and a good guitar riff can bring out the best of a song. Many guitar players find a soothing, meditative quality to playing, along with the essence of creating music or busting out an acoustic version of their favourite song. But how does playing the guitar affect the brain?

More and more scientific studies have been looking into how people who play the guitar have different brain functions compared to those who don’t. What they found was quite astonishing and backed up what many guitarists may instinctively know deep down.

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Guitar Players’ Brains Can Synchronise

You didn’t read that wrong! Yes, a 2012 study[1] was conducted in Berlin that looked at the brains of guitar players. The researchers took 12 pairs of players and got them to play the same piece of music while having their brains scanned.

During the experiment, they found something extraordinary happening to each pair of participants – their brains were synchronising with each other. So what does this mean? Well, the neural networks found in the areas of the brain associated with social cognition and music production were most activated when the participants were playing their instruments. In other words, their ability to connect with each other while playing music was exceptionally strong.

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Guitar Players Have a Higher Intuition

Intuition is described as “the ability to understand something instinctively, without the need for conscious reasoning” and this is exactly what’s happening when two people are playing the guitar together.

The ability to synchronise their brains with each other, stems from this developed intuitive talent indicating that guitar players have a definite spiritual dexterity to them. Not only do their brains synchronise with another player, but they can also even anticipate what is to come before and after a set of chords without consciously knowing. This explains witnessing a certain ‘chemistry’ between players in a band and why many bands include brothers who may have an even stronger connection.

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This phenomenon is actually thought to be down to the way guitarists learn how to play – while many musicians learn through reading sheet music, guitar players learn more from listening to others play and feeling their way through the chords. This also shows guitarists have exceptional improvisational skills[2] and quick thinking.

Guitar Players Use More of Their Creative, Unconscious Brain

The same study carried out a different experiment, this time while solo guitarists were shredding. They found that experienced guitar players were found to deactivate the conscious part of their brain extremely easily meaning they were able to activate the unconscious, creative and less practical way of thinking more efficiently.

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This particular area of the brain – the right temporoparietal junction – typically deactivates with ‘long term goal orientation’ in order to stop distractions to get goals accomplished. This was in contrast to the non-guitarists who were unable to shut off the conscious part of their brain which meant they were consciously thinking more about what they were playing.

This isn’t to say that this unconscious way of playing can’t be learnt. Since the brain’s plasticity allows new connections to be made depending on repeated practice, the guitar player’s brain can be developed over time but it’s something about playing the guitar in particular that allows this magic to happen.

Conclusion

While we all know musicians have very quick and creative brains, it seems guitar players have that extra special something. Call it heightened intuition or even a spiritual element – either way, it’s proven that guitarists are an exceptional breed unto themselves!

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Featured photo credit: Lechon Kirb via unsplash.com

Reference

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