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7 Small Pieces of Technology That Will Change Your Life

7 Small Pieces of Technology That Will Change Your Life

One of the most influential and life-changing pieces of small technology is the smartphone, but there are many other worthwhile options that you may not be using. Whether you want to lose weight, protect your home or keep a closer eye on your health, you have the ability to turn to a relatively small and inexpensive technological advancement.

Although some people question if technology is driving a wedge between social interactions, the reality is that it can be used to improve our lives in numerous ways. The best part is that this doesn’t require a big budget or even a lot of storage space. Here are just a few of the best small examples.

1. Fitness Tracker

Wearable technology offers much more than merely a statement piece. In fact, for the estimated 20 percent of Americans who wear a fitness tracker, this small piece of technology offers many important statistics to help them get into the best possible shape. Long gone are the days when it was hard to keep track of vitals such as pulse rate, blood pressure and temperature.

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This could be life-saving for the 29 percent of people living with hypertension because it offers important clues about the impact of physical activity, diet and stress on their blood pressure levels. Additionally, individuals who need help getting active can receive regular reminders from their fitness tracker.

2. Home Monitoring Device

Being able to monitor and change things from afar such as the temperature in your home is a highly useful tool that enables people to save money. It’s also a great way to ensure that your house is safe at all times. Home monitoring systems are typically small and unobtrusive, and they work with your smartphone.

It’s possible to lock your doors and turn your lights on or off without being home. Even better is the ability to monitor for issues that could cause massive damage, including flooding. According to Alder’s flood calculator, a toilet overflowing in a 1,500 square foot home would cause an astounding $1,861 worth of damage in a mere 30 minutes. With a home monitoring device, you’ll be alerted before this type of damage is able to rack up.

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3. Electronic Food Scale

Are you truly aware of how much food you eat on a daily basis? Sadly, 68.8 percent of Americans are currently overweight, even though many of them make a regular attempt to keep their weight under control. One of the biggest problems is the prevalence of large portions, tons of sugar and sodium in the typical American diet. However, you can get this under control by using an electronic food scale to ensure that you stick with reasonable portion sizes. By doing this for every meal, you’ll adjust to consuming less food, and you’ll soon find yourself feeling less hungry throughout the day. As a result, you’ll be able to lose much more weight than you would be exercising daily without making a calorie adjustment. There are even some scales available that have built-in food information and tracking, and it’s possible to get a scale that can sync to your smartphone.

4. Built-In Water Filter

Many modern refrigerators include a built-in water filtration system that offers cleaner, tastier results. Chlorine is typically filtered out, which means you get the benefits of having it sanitize your water without having to smell or taste it. This technology can make a huge difference with the many water problems that have been plaguing the U.S. recently.

Of course, you should always review the user manual of your refrigerator to determine what type of water filtration system it uses and what contaminants are filtered out. That way, you won’t inadvertently keep drinking a contaminant that could be removed with further filtration. For example, the CDC has indicated that reverse osmosis systems are best for removing certain parasites, but that will require you to install one of these systems in addition to using the refrigerator’s filter.

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5. MP3 Player

You may be asking yourself, “How will an MP3 player change my life?” We all know that MP3 players have made it more convenient to carry a large library of music, so that’s far from breaking news. However, are you aware of the impact that music can have on your mental health? Studies have shown that listening to enjoyable music can reduce your stress levels by a staggering 61 percent. When you consider the fact that and could literally kill you, it makes sense to invest in any small technology that will reduce stress and improve your overall quality of life.

6. Blood Glucose Monitor

Are you diabetic, pre-diabetic or have a family history of diabetes? If so, a blood glucose monitor is a piece of small technology that you should definitely own. These monitors have been available for several years, but the technology behind them keeps improving. As a result, combining a blood glucose monitor with a wearable fitness tracker will provide you with one of the best defenses against the damage that can be caused by living with dangerously high blood sugar. In other words, this one small piece of tech could actually save your life.

7. Solar Powered Keychain Battery Charger

Power outages in the U.S. have been increasing since 2000. It’s also necessary to pay attention to the damage that global climate change is causing and take steps to correct the problem. Fortunately, a solar powered keychain battery charger gives you the ability to keep items charged without electricity while also helping the environment. These portable chargers double as a keyring and typically come with a built-in flashlight. Simply expose the charger to the sun’s rays in order to charge it up, then use it to charge you smartphone or anything else that is powered via a USB cord.

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Technology, in general, has dramatically altered the lives of almost everyone on the planet. Due to this, even the most elderly members of society are learning to use and embrace many modern pieces of tech. By adding items such as a home monitoring device, a fitness tracker and a solar powered keychain battery charger to your life, you can boost your health, improve your quality of life and become more self-reliant.

Featured photo credit: Intel Free Press via flic.kr

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Holly Chavez

Writer, Entrepreneur, Small Business Owner

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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