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Top Visual Trends of 2016

Top Visual Trends of 2016

The year 2016 was unpredictable even when we thought we had it figured out. Looking into the New Year, people will be a tad cautious of making predictions, but there are trends that we can expect to make a statement in the New Year.

Wrong political predictions marked 2016. First, there was Brexit, and then there was the U.S. presidential election. Never has the world been so wrong. The news from Syria did not get any better, as the civil war entered its fifth year. We lost a few stars too, among them Prince and George Michael. It was an unsettling year, but that hasn’t stopped the world from hoping for better things ahead.

In light of this, 2017 is likely to be an interesting year from all angles. The world will be watching as new leadership takes over. That aside, we seem to have reached a point of self-awareness as far as the environment is concerned. Collectively, we are only becoming aware of the consequences of years of wrongful living.

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Suddenly, the world seems to have a strong desire to make the Earth green again. You have probably heard talk of recycling and up-cycling now more than ever. There is a talk of using cleaner fuel, and countries such as the Netherlands are becoming case studies of what it means to rally behind a greener Earth.

Nutrition wise, 2016 has seen a continued advocacy for healthier lifestyles. More people are aware of their sedentary lifestyles and seem eager to ditch them for active pastimes (we could credit celebrities for this). This trend is likely to continue in 2017 as health groups continue to push the world towards wiser choices. Fitness has never been more fashionable.

In the fashion and style arena, we are likely to see a return to originality. This concept is a follow-up on what we have seen in 2016. People are keen to return to their roots. We have seen an increased interest in natural hair, nude faces, and a burst of colors. The fashion industry is likely to get even more colorful and bold, as we see people expressing themselves fearlessly. Self-awareness has captured the world and no one wants to be left behind.

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Technology is not expected to take a break. Actually, we expect some incredible breakthroughs that will make everyday activities easier. At this rate, no one would be surprised if this technology-hungry generation came up with AI technology that runs personal errands. Oh, wait, Mark Zuckerberg already unleashed Jarvis for his home! There is so much in store for the coming year that it can make you antsy with anticipation. Unlike other years, no one can accurately predict how it is going to be, which is part of the charm.

Unfiltered Feed

If you have paid attention to photography in 2016, photographers have been retreating to shooting on raw. There is this originality that only comes out on imperfections. The new generation seems interested in cutting out the noise and focusing on only one aspect in the midst of chaos. This method of shooting brings out a creative edge that forces you to stop and take note. We can expect more of this unfiltered work of art in 2017.

Additionally, Getty Images predicts that imagery will be directed on what they call New Naivety. New Naivety uncovers what we previously fought hard to cover. It exposes the imperfections such as chubbiness and freckles. The younger generation is finding ways of expressing themselves with unbridled freedom, which has big business following suit.

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Branding

Although 2016 has seen the rise of social media from just a social link-up to a place where companies can push their names, there is still no measurable evidence that the traffic driven by likes, followings, and comments translates to sales. Since this type of ROI cannot be measured without a doubt (yet), brand loyalty remains the driving force that gives a definite return. To this end, companies are going to continue their marketing agenda to keep and expand their share of the market.

Branding is more likely to take a visual route than before. We are likely to have colorful packaging with bold lettering that goes beyond how to use the product. As awareness rises, food containers will loudly proclaim what is inside, and there is a high possibility of it being organic.

More brands will show distaste for animal cruelty by showing it on proudly on their labels such as Too Faced and Hourglass. They even carry a vegan line for inclusion. The idea, in 2017, will be to brand the products in such a way that consumers can tell from the get-go what they are buying. Custom brushes and Pantone swatches are some of the tools that will be at the top of the list of programs for graphic artists in 2017.

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Color Me Bright

We are swimming in an outburst of color. Photography has come of age and is no longer afraid of breaking the rules. We see image-makers playing with unimaginable combinations to bring out what something ought to be, and not necessarily what the world would expect it to look like.

This burst of boldness is creating an interesting angle at branding and arousing interest. In 2017, we expect to see more of this color scheme, and a campaign that does not conform to the conventional palette.

Fashion Freedom

The world is embracing different body types. In 2016, we saw an influx of self-assured plus size women in magazines, especially the 2016 edition of Sports Illustrated that featured Ashley Graham. Even though she is not an exceptionally big woman, it is good to see the top-rated magazine feature someone who is not a size zero.

In 2017 we will see the continued trend of women boldly showing off their curves. The world is advocating for better diets and active lifestyles to fight obesity. However, a platform is quickly coming up for people with ‘less than perfect’ bodies (have in mind that the average American woman is size 16) to embrace the present as they work for the future. Brands dealing in apparel for full-figured women such as Wacoal and Spanx will get bolder with louder colors and designs that are more daring.

In conclusion, we found that if 2016 was ambitious, then the world hasn’t seen anything yet. The year 2017 will bring even more disruptive events that will change the way we look toward the future.

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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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