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5 Neat Ways to Choose an Engagement Ring Without Breaking the Bank

5 Neat Ways to Choose an Engagement Ring Without Breaking the Bank

An engagement ring is a status symbol that every guy desires to present to his fiancé when he pops the ultimate question. Harmless as this ring is, its cost implication could be devastating on both the guy and the new home that is to be established. According to the New York times, with an average ring selling for $4000, choosing an engagement with little or no knowledge of how to get an affordable one could affect payment of student loans, mortgages, and even the proper wedding expenses.

Here are five neat ways to choose an awesome engagement ring without breaking the bank:

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1. Set a budget.

Having a budget when choosing an engagement ring for your beloved will guide you to choose wisely within your financial means. You don’t have to break the bank or run into debt in order to secure the commitment of your beloved. Gather enough information about the average prices of engagement rings as well as places to get them at lower prices. Making up your mind on how much to spend on an engagement ring before doing the purchase will keep you from going overboard. The interesting fact is that there is an engagement ring for everybody, irrespective of the amount you are ready to spend. Bear it in mind that an engagement is an occasion for celebration, not to run into a financial mess.

2. Consider buying used rings.

Every now and then, used engagement rings are put up for sale. While some sell their engagement ring in order to overcome the disappointment of a failed relationship, others do so to have an upgrade. If you search where these rings are likely to be sold, you are likely to get a ridiculous 20%-40% discount off regular retail prices. College bulletins, online stores, social media pages like Facebook, and focused blogs like Your Diamond Teacher are veritable sources of information on used engagement rings. Also, visiting neighborhood or indoor yard sales could be a breakthrough in your search for an affordable engagement ring. All you need do is ensure to get the ring appraised, or get a certificate of appraisal for the ring.

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3. Expand your search.

More often than not, the best bargains aren’t found on the first few searches. You must be ready to search far and near in order to get the best bargains. Ask your friends and colleagues about how and where to get an engagement ring without breaking the bank. Ride on the experiences of the people that have walked that road before you. Visiting different jewelry stores to ascertain what they have and compare prices might not be a bad idea. Carry out an online search for a list of jewelry stores and get their prices. Also, a visit to antique stores would help give your search for an awesome engagement ring a new perspective.

4. Deviate from the norm.

The idea of a diamond engagement ring was initiated by De Beers some decades ago, and has since been the toast of all and sundry. That it is a tradition doesn’t mean it can’t be changed. Getting a ring other than diamond shouldn’t be off the table.

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There are several precious gemstones that come cheaper than a diamond. Buying an engagement ring that isn’t a diamond doesn’t reduce the value you place on the occasion itself. Moissanite, White Sapphire, and Cubic Zirconia are precious gemstones that you could choose from. They come cheaper than diamonds and rank high on the scale of hardness, though not as hard as diamonds. While a diamond ranks 10 on the scale of hardness, Moissanite ranks 9.25, and a carat of Moissanite is sold for half the price of diamond. White Sapphire, on the other hand, costs a quarter of diamond, though diamond is about four times harder. Cubic Zirconia is also a much cheaper gem stone that weighs 8.5 on the hardness scale and goes for one-tenth of a diamond.

These are just some of the alternatives to a diamond at your disposal.

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5. Buy a gem-free metal.

Your proposal with an engagement ring is an expression of your deep-seated personal feelings, not a dogmatic cue from popular culture. Therefore, don’t hesitate to get a real gem-free metal that adequately expresses the emotions you feel. Metal-only engagement rings come in different styles and suit the conservative lady who isn’t disposed to much flashiness. Mixed metals, a traditional Irish Claddagh ring that symbolizes loyalty and love, a knotted metal ring, a plain metal ring with an inscription or personal message, or a twisted plain metal ring are a few of the several alternatives to an expensive diamond ring.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via pexels.com

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Last Updated on August 13, 2020

12 Benefits of Meditation That Improve Your Body And Mind

12 Benefits of Meditation That Improve Your Body And Mind

As a mediation teacher, I am constantly confronted with these two questions regarding the benefits of meditation:

1. Why can’t I enjoy the benefits of meditation continuously?

I ask back: Is it maybe because you see mediation as a technique, performance, or some exclusive activity? The answer is: yes!

Or, because your mind is constantly evolving on the past negative attachments and traditional habits? After careful thinking they answer: yes, probably!

Although meditation is very simple and challenging at the same time, in the above mentioned case, it’s not easy to benefit from meditation, especially when approached with the idea that it has to be learned, studied, or applied. Meditation is to be seen as a natural, mental cleansing process that happens on a basis of awareness on a moment-to-moment experience. When that takes place, the benefits of meditation are continuous.

2. What is the purpose of meditation?

The purpose of meditation is to accomplish a level of consciousness for mastering the mind and uniting with the finest, deepest, and subtlest part of yourself as a being.

It is a conscious process of observation of the mind—helping the meditator to understand the structure of its mind and the quality of its content. During this process, countless benefits of a physical, mental, and spiritual/philosophical nature arise for the meditator.

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Meditation as a Fixer and Benefactor

In this article we’ll have a look at the primary and the ultimate benefits of mediation, which improve your body and mind at the same time. For the sake of clarity, readability, and tangible experience, I have separated the benefits into three groups.

You can change just about anything you don’t like about yourself (psychologically, as well as physically) through meditation. However, this is only possible with a specific approach, when your brain allows the benefits of meditation to do their work.

This means not to interrupt the benefit with other thoughts, but to let their effect implement itself in your body and mind. This approach is crucial.

The following exercises will make you feel the benefits of meditation instantly, but the continuity of the benefits of meditation on your body and mind depend on the discipline of your brain, how you manage external stimuli and your thoughts.

Less Physical, More Psychological

Even though the practice of meditation is more psychological and less physical, the first benefit we’re going to experience is both physical as well as mental.

This benefit happens literally immediately, right at the moment of meditation. It is the essence of mediation basically.

The First Benefit of Meditation

The first benefit of meditation is twofold:

  1. Improving inward attention (sharpening the mind)
  2. Relaxation of the body

Let’s do it right now. This benefit consists of only one step, and it is very simple to perform. It goes like this:

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Sit still and pay attention to your exhalation.

That’s it! Technically, the whole journey into the world of mediation begins here and nowhere else. And right here, you benefit from this step in the following way:

When you pay attention to the flow of your exhalation (gentle, deep, effortless exhalation), your body begins with the process of relaxation instantly (your heart rate slows down, your nervous system calms, and tension in your muscles is relieved).

When the nervous system calms, your mind calms down, and, more specifically, less thoughts are produced by your mind. How, exactly? By applying one of the most valuable mental skills—attention—the mind follows the breathing and has no space and time to generate any other thoughts. Only when the attention goes off the breath, other thoughts are constructed, and the mind is accelerating with thought production again.

Keeping the First Benefit Effective and Ongoing

Here you apply the approach of not letting the relaxation and attention process get interrupted; rather let the effects of these benefits implant in your body and mind as deeply as possible.

This is to say, the instant relaxation and inward attention happen at the same time when you follow the flow of your breath. Repeating this process—creating a constant rhythm out of the breathing and the attention—you create a process of meditation.

Keep your attention on the flow of your breath and see how the calmness of body and mind begin to rule your present moment. The longer you stay connected to your breathing, the stronger you’ll feel the benefit. Start with 3-5 minutes at a time without doing anything else, and increase to 10-20 minutes and onwards.

Can you think of a better, simpler and quicker exercise that can relax the body and improve attention in this way, at this speed?

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This benefit takes you to the second one.

The Second Benefit of Meditation

While still working with the first benefit of mediation, you slowly start to see the second benefit of mediation, which is fourfold. I call it the major value of mediation:

  1. Energy (physical and mental strength)
  2. Observance
  3. Peacefulness (stillness, and space of mind for deeper observation)
  4. Patience

Peacefulness is the source of a blissful life. The energy is the fuel to express that blissfulness. Whatever we want to accomplish in life we need: 1) Physical and mental strength, 2) Observance of that energy, 3) Peacefulness—the calmness and stillness that creates space for freedom of being and creative thinking, and 4) Patience for the process of accomplishment.

You can only get creative in thinking and boosted with physical and mental energy when you get in touch with the deepest levels of yourself—when you harmonize your mental and physiological activities. How do you do that? Let’s try it right now:

This step involves the observation of the two separate movements of your breath. After paying attention on your exhalation, you have prepared your body and mind to really see and feel what true peacefulness and true energy means.

1. Energy

Keep your attention on your inhalation (inhaling gently, deeply and lightly) and feel the new energy (new oxygen) flowing in your body. The inhalation is the symbol for aliveness and vitality. It is the the primary act that connects the baby’s body with the outside world after coming out of the womb[1]. Each inhalation is a new opportunity for your body to revive, regenerate, and renew itself.

2. Observance

The observance comes during the process of meditation, enabling you to see the physiological benefits of introducing new energy to your body. Use that benefit by utilizing its effects, and create deeper observation into yourself. With every single inhalation, this observation will enable you to generate even more energy, mentally and physically.

3. Peacefulness

Keep your attention on your exhalation, and feel how, out of the relaxation, peacefulness is spreading throughout your whole body. The exhalation is the symbol for relaxation and peacefulness. Only through meditation can you realize what absolute peacefulness means.

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4. Patience

The meditation delivers the previous benefits to you immediately and opens up the possibility for many other benefits and great virtues. A specific one to mention, which is essential for reaching the ultimate benefits of meditation, is patience. If you have experienced the aforementioned benefits, it means that you have invested a certain amount of patience into mastering yourself and your mind.

The Ultimate Benefits of Meditation

Patience is a key quality when it comes to the ultimate benefits of meditation.

Since the mind is the tool that reveals everything, mediation is the method for the proper utility of the tool.

The above mentioned benefits of mediation lead to the ultimate benefits of mediation—qualities that depict what makes a human being human. As you dwell in a meditative state of being, the following benefits begin to emanate:

  • Diligence: the persistence for righteous effort to reach an intrinsic value; inner strength.
  • Temperance: to express self-control and show excellence in managing the physio-biological and mental necessities
  • Courage: using righteous effort and braveness to look into the weaknesses of yourself and at the hardship of your life, endure it and patiently overcome the obstacles
  • Loving kindness and Compassion – a capacity to care, understand, and tolerate other people’s state of being, wishing them freedom from suffering.
  • Wisdom: the moment when you feel that mediation gives you the feeling and the knowledge that what you do relating to life and practical affairs is just.
  • Equanimity: that puts you in a state of composure, and you experience an ongoing blissful state of being.

These are the 6 ultimate benefits of meditation that put your body and mind in a state of health and balance.

Final Thoughts

Mediation exists to put order in your mind and awaken the best of you, to reconnect you to your goodness and your inborn intelligent capabilities.

Meditation is the window to your true Self. It gives you a panoramic view of your heart’s greatness. It shows you the true meaning of love, freeing you from the dungeons of ignorance and despair. The power of meditation dismantles the evil that’s trying to cloud the beauty of your heart.

Your heart, body, and soul are the bridge over which the challenges of life frequently carry their heavy load. Meditation is the support of that bridge. Make use of that support.

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Featured photo credit: Mor Shani via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Medline Plus: Changes in the newborn at birth

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