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6 Popular Gifts Of The 2016 Holiday Season

6 Popular Gifts Of The 2016 Holiday Season

For many, the worst thing about the holiday season is having to pick out presents for others. Sure, it’s not too hard to buy things for those we know well. Things can get a little more frustrating when we have to pick out things for family members we only really see once a year though. With that said and another holiday season done and dusted, let’s sit back and review how everyone else did by taking a look at 6 of the most popular presents of the 2016 festive season.

Google Home

One of the most popular presents among casual music lovers this year, Google Home is the latest product from Google and is a voice activated speaker. With dual microphones and Wi-Fi connection, Google Assistant can understand all of your ‘Okay Google’ commands. Its simple yet sleek design also comes with a customizable base to ensure it fits nicely in whichever room you use it. Priced at only $129, this was a very popular and affordable holiday gift.

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Xbox One S

The newest edition to Microsoft’s gaming series is the Xbox One S. An upgrade from the original Xbox One, the One S is smaller than its predecessor. Classed as the ultimate gaming and entertainment system, the new system upgrades allow it to play 4K videos and displays high dynamic range (HDR) imaging. With a price of $300, it may not have been the most enticing gift to buy for some. Of course, being an Xbox it was still always going to be a popular gift among loved ones and gamers worldwide.

Hatchimals

Hatchimals were one of the hottest items at many of this years toy expos. Naturally, they found their way onto many young girls’ Christmas lists, making them one of the most popular gifts of the season. The big egg that eventually hatches into an animal is speckled with color and comes already charged so the countdown begins as soon as you purchase it. You won’t know when it will hatch or which of the 8 creatures you have inside until it hatches. Although the color splashes on the egg seem to reflect the animal inside, the egg will begin to shake when it’s getting ready to hatch. With a retail price of $60, you may have had to pay a little more to get your hands on one of these, as they sold out in most major stores.

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Light Up Shoes

You may remember Light Up Shoes from the 90s, as something out of ‘Back To The Future’. However, if you were to go by many kids’ holiday gifts this year, it seems that shoes with LED lights on their soles are back in style.

These days though they’re a tad more advanced. With Light Up Shoes being USB rechargeable and having a 6 to 8-hour battery life. They also come with a portable remote so you can control the color and flashing style of the LED lights on the go. It’s fair to say, these sneakers made a pretty flashy and futuristic gift. They weren’t that expensive either with a simple pair costing less than $40.

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Cozmo

Speaking of remote controls, here’s one holiday gift that blew all other remote control toys out of the water. Comzo, the robot toy, is basically a super computer on wheels that’s controllable from an iOS and Android app. Apart from the ability to play games and interact with it, Comzos are also able to learn and explore on its own. It’s basically a personal robot that’s always willing to hang out and play. Costing $179, it may not be as expensive as you’d expect for getting your own robot friend. Which is why it made it under so many Christmas trees.

What popular gifts do you think will make the cut for 2017?

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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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Featured photo credit: Radu Florin via unsplash.com

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