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11 Apps to Kill Boredom While Upgrading Yourself at the Same Time

11 Apps to Kill Boredom While Upgrading Yourself at the Same Time

You are waiting at the doctor’s office, or even for your bus. There’s nothing to do but stare at the people around you – all waiting. You’re boredom antsy and start to fidget. Before you cave in to that gnawing sense of boredom, grab your phone and check out some of these cool apps. They’ll not only alleviate some of that boredom, but also stretch your brain in the process.

Luminosity – Brain Training

    4.5 star, 4+ app by Lumos Labs Inc. Challenging your brain against the clock with match, odd one out, spatial awareness and memory type fun games. Makes you think fast and gain agility in your quest to beat the timer. Free version only allows you to play three games a day, which isn’t so bad in retrospect, if you tend to get addicted to playing on your phone! In-app purchases available.

    Elevate – Brain Training and Games

      This 4+, 4.5 star rated app by Elevate Inc., for Apple & Android, offers beat the clock games in math, reading comprehension, speed reading, memory and writing. You’ll need audio for some sections of this game. The free version again offers only three games a day, and if any game offered seems too daunting after a long day at the office, they will switch it out for another choice. They do offer a pro-version of this game for a fee.

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      Powerful Brain- Brain Teasers, Funny Jokes and How Things Work

        5 star, 4+ rated app by Lin Haun for iPhones. 300 brain teasers and clever jokes for kids and adults to kickstart your brain. Good for chilling, having a laugh and learning all in one. Available for on iTunes.

        Clockwork Brain Training- Memory & Attention Game

          This 4+ star app created by Total Eclipse P.C. was voted one of the best 500 apps in the world by the Sunday Times, this Victorian Steam Punk styled app runs you through fun and challenging games to expand your memory, reasoning, attention, language & dexterity skills. Free version and also ad-free paid version available. Available for Apple, Android & download.

          Knowledge Trainer – Warm Up Edition

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            Good for Trivial Pursuit fans, this 4+, 4.5 star rated app by the binary family tests your knowledge of events, people, places, sports, science, history, and more. You never know what information lurks in the back of your brain until you play a game like this! When you get the answer right, you move on. Like it? Upgrade to the paid version. Available for download or through iTunes.

            Block! Hexa Puzzle

              Created by BitMango, this 4+ , 4.5 star rated app is a puzzle game. Complete the given shape with the hex a-blocks provided to reach the next level. Compatible with for Apple products and Android. Relax with a puzzle while stretching your brain.

              MindSnacks

                Rated 4+ and created by Mindsnacks, in this award winning app, you can learn a new language like Italian, French, Portuguese or even Chinese, or brush up on your own through a series of fun, interactive games like keeping a penguin on ice, popping balloons and stopping birds from flying away. Race the clock to the finish and climb to the next level. In-app purchases allow you to unlock higher levels and more games. 7 languages, kids vocabulary and SAT words.

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                Flow Free

                  This puzzle game will keep you entertained and expand your mind as you attempt to connect matching pipe colors to make a flow and solve the challenging puzzles. Created by Big Duck Games LLC, this 4+ rated game has received 4.5 star reviews. Free Flow is available for Apple and Android products.

                  Sudoku

                    5 star rated app by Finger Arts is everybody’s favorite challenging number puzzle at the touch of the screen. Thousands of puzzles. Integrated system allows you to rank and compare your scores with friends or strangers. Good for flexing those brain muscles. Did we mention that it’s free? Available for Apple, Android and download.

                    Can You Escape

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                      If you like Escape Rooms, this puzzle teasing game created by Kaarel Kirsipuu is for you. Just like in the escape rooms, you must solve a puzzle to make it into the next room and so on until you can break out. In app purchases to open new rooms. Escape Room received a 4.5 star rating and rated 4+. Kaarel Kirsipuu has also created several more Escape Room games and even Escape the Titanic, for Escape Room fans.

                      Move the Block Slide Puzzle

                        From the makers of Roll the Ball and Word Crush, two more brain stretching-worthy apps, BitMango has also created Move the Block Slide Puzzle, a game where you have to get the red block to the end by sliding the other blocks. A 4+ rated game and brain teaser. Available for Apple and Android products.

                        So next time you find yourself getting bored, download one of these apps to entertain you while exercising your mind.

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                        Sally White

                        writer, artist & blogger

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                        Last Updated on October 30, 2019

                        How the Stages of Change Model Helps You Change Your Habits

                        How the Stages of Change Model Helps You Change Your Habits

                        Change is tough, there’s no doubt about it. Old habits are hard to shift, and adopting a new lifestyle can feel like an uphill battle!

                        In this article, you will learn about a simple yet powerful model:

                        Stages of change model, that explains the science behind personal transformation.

                        You’ll discover how and why some changes stick whereas others don’t last, and how long it takes to build new habits.

                        What is the Stages of Change Model?

                        Developed by researchers J.O. Prochaska and Carlo C. DiClemente over 30 years ago[1] and outlined in their book Changing For Good, the Stages of Change Model, also known as the Transtheoretical Model, was formed as a result of the authors’ research with smokers.

                        Prochaska and DiClemente were originally interested in the question of why some smokers were able to quit on their own, whereas others required professional help. Their key conclusion was that smokers (or anyone else with a bad habit) quits only when they are ready to do so.

                        Here’s an illustration done by cartoonist and illustrator Simon Kneebone about the different stages a smoker experiences when they try to quit smoking:

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                          The Stages of Change Model looks at how these conscious decisions are made. It emphasizes that change isn’t easy. People can spend a long time stuck in a stage, and some may never reach their goals.[2]

                          The model has been applied in the treatment of smoking, alcoholism, and drugs. It is also a useful way of thinking about any bad habit. Social workers, therapists, and psychologists draw on the model to understand their patients’ behaviors, and to explain the change process to the patients themselves.

                          The key advantages to the model is that it is simple to understand, is backed by extensive research, and can be applied in many situations.

                          The Stages of Change Model is a well-established psychological model that outlines six stages of personal change:

                          1. Precontemplation
                          2. Contemplation
                          3. Determination
                          4. Action
                          5. Maintenance
                          6. Termination

                          How are these stages relevant to changing habits?

                          To help you visualize the stages of change and how each progresses to the next one, please take a look at this wheel:[3]

                            Let’s look at the six stages of change,[4] together with an example that will show you how the model works in practice:

                            Stage 1: Precontemplation

                            At this stage, an individual does not plan to make any positive changes in the next six months. This may because they are in denial about their problem, feel too overwhelmed to deal with it, or are too discouraged after multiple failed attempts to change.

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                            For example, someone may be aware that they need to start exercising, but cannot find the motivation to do so. They might keep thinking about the last time they tried (and failed) to work out regularly. Only when they start to realize the advantages of making a change will they progress to the next stage.

                            Stage 2: Contemplation

                            At this stage, the individual starts to consider the advantages of changing. They start to acknowledge that altering their habits would probably benefit them, but they spend a lot of time thinking about the downside of doing so. This stage can last for a long time – possibly a year or more.

                            You can think of this as the procrastinating stage. For example, an individual begins to seriously consider the benefits of regular exercise, but feels resistant when they think about the time and effort involved. When the person starts putting together a concrete plan for change, they move to the next stage.

                            The key to moving from this stage to the next is the transformation of an abstract idea to a belief (e.g. from “Exercise is a good, sensible thing to do” to “I personally value exercise and need to do it.)[5]

                            Stage 3: Preparation

                            At this point, the person starts to put a plan in place. This stage is brief, lasting a few weeks. For example, they may book a session with a personal trainer and enrol on a nutrition course.

                            Someone who drinks to excess may make an appointment with a drug and alcohol counsellor; someone with a tendency to overwork themselves might start planning ways to devise a more realistic schedule.

                            Stage 4: Action

                            When they have decided on a plan, the individual must then put it into action. This stage typically lasts for several months. In our example, the person would begin attending the gym regularly and overhauling their diet.

                            Stage 4 is the stage at which the person’s desire for change becomes noticeable to family and friends. However, in truth, the change process began a long time ago. If someone you know seems to have suddenly changed their habits, it’s probably not so sudden after all! They will have progressed through Stages 1-3 first – you probably just didn’t know about it.

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                            Stage 5: Maintenance

                            After a few months in the Action stage, the individual will start to think about how they can maintain their changes, and make lifestyle adjustments accordingly. For instance, someone who has adopted the habit of regular workouts and a better diet will be vigilant against old triggers (such as eating junk food during a stressful time at work) and make a conscious decision to protect their new habits.

                            Unless someone actively engages with Stage 5, their new habits are liable to come unstuck. Someone who has stuck to their new habits for many months – perhaps a year or longer – may enter Stage 6.

                            Maintenance can be challenging because it entails coming up with a new set of habits to lock change in place. For instance, someone who is maintaining their new gym-going habit may have to start improving their budgeting skills in order to continue to afford their gym membership.

                            Stage 6: Termination

                            Not many people reach this stage, which is characterized by a complete commitment to the new habit and a certainty that they will never go back to their old ways. For example, someone may find it hard to imagine giving up their gym routine, and feel ill at the thought of eating junk food on a regular basis.

                            However, for the majority of people, it’s normal to stay in the Maintenance period indefinitely. This is because it takes a long time for a new habit to become so automatic and natural that it sticks forever, with little effort. To use another example, an ex-smoker will often find it hard to resist the temptation to have “just one” cigarette even a year or so after quitting. It can take years for them to truly reach the Termination stage, at which point they are no more likely to smoke than a lifelong non-smoker.

                            How long does each stage take?

                            You should be aware that some people remain in the same stage for months or even years at a time. Understanding this model will help you be more patient with yourself when making a change. If you try to force yourself to jump from Contemplation to Maintenance, you’ll just end up frustrated. On the other hand, if you take a moment to assess where you are in the change process, you can adapt your approach.

                            So if you need to make changes quickly and you are finding it hard to progress to the next stage, it’s probably time to get some professional help or adopt a new approach to forming habits.

                            The limitations of this model

                            The model is best applied when you decide in advance precisely what you want to achieve, and know exactly how you will measure it (e.g. number of times per week you go to the gym, or number of cigarettes smoked per day). Although the model has proven useful for many people, it does have limitations.

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                            Require the ability to set a realistic goal

                            For a start, there are no surefire ways of assessing whereabouts in the process you are – you just have to be honest with yourself and use your own judgement. Second, it assumes that you are physically capable of making a change, whereas in fact you might either need to adjust your goals or seek professional help.

                            If your goal isn’t realistic, it doesn’t matter whether you follow the stages – you still won’t get results. You need to decide for yourself whether your aims are reasonable.[6]

                            Difficult to judge your progress

                            The model also assumes that you are able to objectively measure your own successes and failures, which may not always be the case.[7] For instance, let’s suppose that you are trying to get into the habit of counting calories as part of your weight-loss efforts. However, even though you may think that you are recording your intake properly, you might be over or under-estimating.

                            Research shows that most people think they are getting enough exercise and eating well, but in actual fact aren’t as healthy as they believe. The model doesn’t take this possibility into account, meaning that you could believe yourself to be in the Action stage yet aren’t seeing results. Therefore, if you are serious about making changes, it may be best to get some expert advice so that you can be sure the changes you are making really will make a positive difference.

                            Conclusion

                            The Stages Of Change Model can be a wonderful way to understand change in both yourself and others.

                            While there’re some limitations in it, the Stages of Change Model helps to visualize how you go through changes so you know what to expect when you’re trying to change a habit or make some great changes in life.

                            Start by identifying one of your bad habits. Where are you in the process? What could you do next to move forwards?

                            Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

                            Reference

                            [1] Psych Central: Stages Of Change
                            [2] Boston University School Of Public Health: The Transtheoretical Model (Stages Of Change)
                            [3] Empowering Change: Stages of Change
                            [4] Boston University School Of Public Health: The Transtheoretical Model (Stages Of Change)
                            [5] Psychology Today: 5 Steps To Changing Any Behavior
                            [6] The Transtheoretical Model: Limitations Of The Transtheoretical Model
                            [7] Health Education Research: Transtheoretical Model & Stages Of Change: A Critique

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