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4 Ways To Use Technology To Draw Closer To Your Significant Other

4 Ways To Use Technology To Draw Closer To Your Significant Other

Anytime technology and relationships are brought up in the same sentence, it’s usually a statement denouncing our gadget obsessed generation as antisocial. While it is true that between our smart phones, tablets and computers, we are changing the way we communicate, this needn’t always be for the worse. Here are four great ways to use technology to improve your relationships, especially with your significant other.

1. Install Avocado, an app built for couples

avocado
    Avocado

    is a web and mobile app (available for Android and iOS) that was developed by two former Google employees. Avocado allows couples to privately share messages, photos, shopping lists and cute doodles. In addition, you can easily send your current location to your significant other and be automatically notified when their phone’s battery level is low.

    According to the app’s developers, “whether you’re in the same room or continents away, this couples app helps you and your boo stay connected anytime, anywhere. And just like home, it’s a private space for the two of you to share a life.”

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    Avocado password protects and encrypts your data, keeping all your shared sweet nothings safe and sound.

    2. Set up a shared budget

    budget

      In many relationships, money issues are the most common source of conflict and tension. Many of these issues are entirely avoidable if both parties communicate openly about financial decisions. One easy way to accomplish this is with a shared budget. While there are an abundance of budget options available, here are two that will likely fit most couples needs.

      The first is a simple and free solution, a Google spreadsheet. With this option, you are free to build your budget as you see fit. If you are willing to learn a little bit about basic spreadsheet formulas, you can easily automate the totaling of your line items and see exactly how much is remaining in each one of your budget categories. Your spreadsheet can be shared between you and your partner, with your changes updated in real time and stored securely in the cloud, accessible via Google Drive in both the browser and on your smart phones.

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      If a spreadsheet seems too basic for your needs and you would prefer something with more powerful budgeting features, check out YNAB, short for You Need A Budget. YNAB is a full featured desktop budgeting app which, through its cloud sync feature, allows each member of your family to add transactions to the ledger from their mobile apps. YNAB is $60 to purchase, which may seem a little steep, but, with its laundry list of advanced budgeting features, is well worth the price.

      3. Share your calendar

      calendar

        Make sure that you and your significant other are always on the same page when it comes to your schedule by setting up a shared calendar. The easiest way to do this is through Google Calendar‘s powerful sharing feature, which allows you to set up to 75 different people as collaborators, each with customizable levels of access. Simply go to the calendar that you want to share, or create a new “family” calendar and click the down arrow next to the calendar’s name and select Share This Calendar and type in the email address of whomever you would like to share it with. As simple as that, you now have a family calendar, stored in the cloud, that can be accessed from the browser and on your mobile phones.

        4. Start a couple’s blog

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        journal

          Every couple has a story to tell, why not tell yours together on a couple’s blog. Free blogging platforms like WordPress and Blogger make it possible for couples to chronicle their romance, publicly or privately. Starting a blog will simultaneously bring you closer together and allow you to build a record of your time together that you can look back on fondly if the relationship progresses…. or delete in anger if things go south, but you can cross that bridge when you get to it.

           

          Technology is fantastic when it comes to improving your communication and sharing data, but don’t forget to pull your face out of your phone every once in a while and spend some low-tech quality time together with your significant other.

           

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          Featured photo credit: pedrosimoes7 via flickr.com

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          Last Updated on May 27, 2019

          How to Think Positive and Eliminate Negative Thoughts

          How to Think Positive and Eliminate Negative Thoughts

          In a world that is full of external factors that we cannot control, it is becoming more and more important to at least control ourselves.

          Thinking positively can have a tremendous effect on our lives. By eliminating negative thoughts, we’re able to at least influence the part of our lives that we can control: our own mindset.

          In this article, you will learn how to think positive and ditch the negative thoughts. Before we dive into the step-by-step guide on how to do so, I’d like to share with you how I learned to thinking positive the hard way…

          How I Learned to Think Positive

          At the start of 2019, I was quite stressed at work with multiple tight deadlines. I was constantly worried and the stress was affecting my ability to sleep. Numerous nights in a row, I would experience insomnia, where I had a staring contest with the ceiling because my mind would simply not stop thinking about all the stressful things I had to deal with.

          I eventually got up and wrote everything down. Every single thought that rushed through my head, I wrote it down in detail. This allowed me to do a couple of things:

          • It made everything relatable
          • It showed me that every obstacle that was on my mind was not that big on its own. I was only stressed because these obstacles were big in numbers, while independently, these obstacles were just minor things that I could overcome.
          • It allowed me to think positively about these little obstacles and how I was going to conquer them one at a time.
          • Writing down my negative emotions allowed me to wipe them clean from my mind. Think of it as a laptop: after having browsed for a long time, I was able to clear my RAM and start fresh. My mind was finally clear from negative thoughts.

          After doing this, I was finally able to sleep, and the next day, I slowly started to tackle these small obstacles.

          This is just one example of how I manage to think positively and eliminate negative thoughts from dominating my mind.

          Here are other actionable steps you can follow in order to achieve the same thing.

          Step 1: Turn Every Obstacle into Smaller “Challenges”

          In the intro, you read that I was stressed because I was worrying about a big number of small obstacles as opposed to one big devastating obstacle. Writing down my worries allowed me to zoom out and look at the bigger picture.

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          As a result, I observed my problems as single challenges that I could overcome.

          When you’re currently surrounded with negativity – whether that’s because of a stressful project or problems in a relationship – you should try to dissect that challenge into different sub-challenges.

          For example, if you have to deliver a huge presentation at work on Friday, try to think of this big task as multiple smaller tasks:

          • Find sources to support your presentation
          • Think of interesting anecdotes, introductions or examples
          • Create a general outline of your presentation
          • Complete the first 5 slides
          • Add a small video or puzzle to your presentation
          • Finish the presentation
          • Think of a keyword for each slide to remember what you have to say
          • Practice the presentation in order to finish it within 30 minutes
          • Deliver a great presentation

          While this example may not be relevant to you, the message is all the same. You can tackle pretty much any obstacle – no matter how big it may seem – as long as you take it one step at the time.

          That’s how you can eliminate negative thoughts such as “I can never do that” or “I’ll never be good enough” or “I’ll never reach that goal” from controlling your actions.

          Take it one step at the time and pretty much any goal becomes manageable.

          Step 2: Realize That Positive Thoughts Can Be a Choice

          Happiness is determined as follows:[1]

          • 50% is determined by genetics
          • 10% is determined by external factors
          • 40% is determined by your own outlook

          This determination has been studied by numerous researchers, and while the details differ, the results all share the same observation:

          Your happiness can be influenced by your own thoughts.

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          Even though there are things in life that we cannot control, we can still often control how we react to these things.

          In that sense, we might not get to control 100% of our happiness but we can still influence a big chunk of it.

          I believe we can learn to influence the 40% of our happiness that is determined by our own personal outlook. Happiness is a choice, and you can learn to recognize these situations on your own.[2]

          How does this help you to think positive and eliminate negative thoughts?

          Well, because this shows you that it pays off to learn how to think positively in difficult situations.

          By developing this skill, you can really increase happiness in your life. It is definitely not always easy, but you can change a bad day into a good one just by focusing on the positives instead of the negatives.

          This is the reason why I love this quote of Winston Churchill:

          A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity whereas an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.

          Step 3: Spend Time with the People That Have a Positive Influence on Your Life and Be Grateful for Them

          Almost everybody has a small circle of people that they trust and love, whether that’s a partner, family or friends. These people have a positive influence on your life.

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          I want you to focus on spending more time with these people. When you’re surrounded by negativity, you are more likely to postpone activities that require you to be outgoing. You’d rather be lazy and watch Netflix all day than to go outside and meet up with your friend.

          You must try to break out of your comfort zone and spend more time with the people who actually have a positive influence on your happiness. These people can act as a support net for the moments when you’re feeling down. This might sound intimidating and scary, but it’s a step that should not be underestimated.

          Even when you don’t feel comfortable sharing your challenges with these people, there’s another thing you can actively do to initiate positive thoughts; and that’s to be grateful that these people are in your life:

          • Be grateful that you have parents who support you, no matter what you do.
          • Be grateful for the friends with whom you can laugh your ass off.
          • Be grateful that you have a healthy and loving partner.
          • Be grateful that you have a kid that looks up to you and thinks you are the best.

          Being grateful might sound like a rather pointless thing to do. Why would being grateful help you in thinking more positively and eliminating negative thoughts?

          Well, the answer is simple.

          Being grateful forces you to think of the good things that you already have in your life. This allows you to face your issues with optimism, instead of negativity. People that actively practice gratitude are much better able to deal with toxic emotions.

          So what do you have to do?

          Go out there and meet up with the people you love, and be grateful for having these people in your life.

          To help inspire you to feel more grateful, here’re 60 Things To Be Thankful For In Life.

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          Step 4: Don’t Give up After a Setback

          So you had a bad day last week? Or maybe a terrible week in which you allowed negative thoughts to control your life? Who cares!

          We are only human, so we’re bound to experience a day of negativity every once in a while. It’s important to realize that everybody occasionally experiences negative thoughts in their life. Eternal happiness does not exist. Even the happiest man alive has experienced negativity and sadness on some days.

          What you need to when this inevitably happens to you:

          • Don’t let this set you back.
          • Don’t interpret it as a failure
          • Don’t let it stop you from trying to think positive

          You see, even the most optimistic person experiences negativity on occasion. Sure, we can try to be as positive as possible every day, but we have to accept that negativity is something that we have to deal with from time to time.

          So what if you’re engulfed in negative thoughts today? Screw it and know that tomorrow is a new day and that you can try to work on this again.

          Take a look at this article and learn about Why Negative Emotions Aren’t That Bad (And How to Handle Them).

          Final Thoughts

          In the end, there’s no arguing that we cannot control 100% of our happiness. We can’t stand in front of a mirror, repeat the words “I am thinking happy thoughts only” ninety-nine times and accept to suddenly be happy.

          It doesn’t work like that.

          However, there are a number of things we can do to at least improve our mindset in the situations where we do get to choose how we react to external factors.

          I hope that you have a better idea of what you can do in these situations. Sooner than later, you will influence your own mindset to think positively and to eliminate negative thoughts.

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          Featured photo credit: Lucas Marconnet via unsplash.com

          Reference

          [1] For a State of Happiness: Happiness: it’s not just your genes, stupid!
          [2] Tracking Happiness: How Happiness Can Be A Choice

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