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8 Things We Can Learn from Canadians

8 Things We Can Learn from Canadians

We can learn a lot from other countries. How to embrace the outdoor café from the French. How to deal with rain from the English. But what about one of our closest neighbors, the Canadians? As it turns out, there’s a lot we can learn from them, too. Here are eight things we can learn from our Canadian friends to the North.

1. How to laugh about anything.

Canadians, as a general rule, have a great sense of humor. Ellen Page, Cobie Smulders, Will Arnett, Nathan Fillion, and Michael J. Fox are just some of the funny people that Canada has so generously donated to make the rest of the world laugh. What more could you ask for?

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2. How to be cold, constantly.

Canada is a cold, cold place. The record low temperature in Toronto in January was -24 degrees Fahrenheit. To me, that seems like a temperature at which you couldn’t even sustain life, let alone keep on with your daily routine. However, in a country that is often very close to zero degrees, its people continue living their lives. Are they superhuman, or are they just really good at dealing with the cold? The world may never know.

3. How to say sorry.

There is a stereotype about Canadians being constantly apologetic. Apparently, if someone even thinks that they might have breathed your air, they will say sorry more times than you know how to respond to. While many other people won’t apologize even if they run you down on the sidewalk, it is not so in Canada.

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4. How to scarf down poutine.

Poutine is a Canadian specialty. It’s basically a dish of fries covered in gravy and cheese curds, and it is seriously one of the most delicious snacks in the world. When I was in seventh grade, my French teacher taught us about poutine and I thought it sounded disgusting. Several years later, on a trip to Montreal, I had some and it was the most wonderful thing I’ve ever eaten. Really, poutine is amazing. Everyone should move to Canada, eat poutine on a daily basis, and gain thirty pounds. It’s worth it.

5. How to master the quick breakfast eatery.

When in Canada, you will see some of its most common inhabitants: moose, apologetic people, the ever-present maple leaf, and Tim Hortons. Tim Hortons is a chain similar to Dunkin’ Donuts, only with better coffee and better donuts. It’s fast, efficient, delicious, and everywhere. There is a Tim Hortons on practically every corner of every street of every Canadian city, and it’s great. There are some Tim Hortons stores in the US, but visit a Canadian branch for the full experience.

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6. How to show national pride.

Ah, the maple leaf. It’s everywhere, and unlike some other countries’ flags, it’s not annoying. Just a simple red and white background with a red leaf on top. Clean and simple. We could all take a leaf out of their book (pun intended) and show some tasteful pride in our heritage.

7. How to make anything maple.

Maple isn’t just for syrup these days (though real Canadian maple syrup is wonderful, and everyone should experience it — plus they sell it in really cute maple leaf-shaped bottles). The maple candies that come out of Canada are delicious, soft, and are sweet enough to rot your teeth. It’s no wonder Canadians celebrate the maple leaf.

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8. How to get behind one sport.

Hockey, eh? It’s the first thing most people think of when they are asked about a Canadian team. And it’s only fitting that a sport played on ice would be so popular with the cold-loving people up North. While many people follow sports in other countries, it’s not with the same unity that Canadians follow their beloved hockey.

Featured photo credit: Francois Peladeau via flickr.com

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Maggie Heath

Maggie is a passionate writer who blogs about communication and lifestyle on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on July 3, 2020

30 Small Habits To Lead A More Peaceful Life

30 Small Habits To Lead A More Peaceful Life

In today’s world, true peace must come from within us and our own actions. Here are 30 small things you can do on a regular basis to increase your overall sense of harmony, peace, and well-being:

1. Don’t go to every fight you’re invited to

Particularly when you’re around those who thrive on chaos, be willing to decline the invitation to join in on the drama.

2. Focus on your breath

Throughout the day, stop to take a few deep breaths. Keep stress at bay with techniques such as “square breathing.” Breathe in for four counts, hold for four counts, then out for four counts, and hold again for four counts. Repeat this cycle four times.

3. Get organized and purge old items

A cluttered space often creates a cluttered spirit. Take the time to get rid of anything you haven’t used in a year and invest in organizational systems that help you sustain a level of neatness.

4. Stop yourself from being judgmental

Whenever you are tempted to have an opinion about someone else’s life, check your intentions. Judging others creates and promotes negative energy.

5. Say ‘thank you’ early and often

Start and end each day with an attitude of gratitude. Look for opportunities in your daily routine and interactions to express appreciation.

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6. Smile more

Even if you have to “fake it until you make it,” there are many scientific benefits of smiling and laughing. Also, pay attention to your facial expression when you are doing neutral activities such as driving and walking. Turn that frown upside down!

7. Don’t worry about the future

As difficult as this sounds, there is a direct connection between staying in the present and living a more peaceful life. You cannot control the future. As the old proverb goes, “Worry is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but it won’t get you anywhere.” Practice gently bringing your thoughts back to the present.

8. Eat real food

The closer the food is to the state from which it came from the earth, the better you will feel in eating it. Choose foods that grew from a plant over food that was made in a plant.

9. Choose being happy over being right

Too often, we sacrifice inner peace in order to make a point. It’s rarely worth it.

10. Keep technology out of the bedroom

Many studies, such as one conducted by Brigham and Women’s Hospital, have connected blue light of electronic devices before bed to adverse sleep and overall health. To make matters worse, many people report that they cannot resist checking email and social media when their cell phone is in reach of their bed, regardless of the time.

11. Make use of filtering features on social media

You may not want to “unfriend” someone completely, however you can choose whether you want to follow their posts and/or the sources of information that they share.

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12. Get comfortable with silence

When you picture someone who is the ultimate state of peace, typically they aren’t talking.

13. Listen to understand, not to respond

So often in conversations, we use our ears to give us cues about when it is our turn to say what we want to say. Practice active listening, ask questions, process, then speak.

14. Put your troubles in a bubble

Whenever you start to feel anxious, visualize the situation being wrapped in a bubble and then picture that sphere floating away.

15. Speak more slowly

Often a lack of peace manifests itself in fast or clipped speech. Take a breath, slow down, and let your thoughtful consideration drive your words.

16. Don’t procrastinate

Nothing adds stress to our lives like waiting until the last minute.

17. Buy a coloring book

Mandala coloring books for adults are becoming more popular because of their connection to creating inner peace.

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18. Prioritize yourself

You are the only person who you are guaranteed to live with 24 hours a day for the rest of your life.

19. Forgive others

Holding a grudge is hurting you exponentially more than anyone else. Let it go.

20. Check your expectations

Presumption often leads to drama. Remember the old saying, “Expectations are premeditated resentments.”

21. Engage in active play

Let your inner child come out and have some fun. Jump, dance, play, and pretend!

22. Stop criticizing yourself

The world is a hard enough place with more than enough critics. Your life is not served well by being one of them.

23. Focus your energy and attention on what you want

Thoughts, words, and actions all create energy. Energy attracts like energy. Put out what you want to get back.

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24. Assign yourself “complaint free” days.

Make a conscious decision not to complain about anything for a whole day. It might be harder than you think and the awareness will stick with you.

25. Surround yourself with people you truly enjoy being in the company of

Personalities tend to be contagious, and not everyone’s is worth catching. Be judicious in your choices.

26. Manage your money

Financial concerns rank top on the list of what causes people stress. Take the time each month to do a budget, calculate what you actually spend and sanity check that against the money you have coming in.

27. Stop trying to control everything

Not only is your inner control freak sabotaging your sense of peace, it is also likely getting in the way of external relationships as well.

28. Practice affirmations

Repeat positive phrases that depict the life and qualities you want to attract. It may not come naturally to you, but it works.

29. Get up before sunrise

Personally witnessing the dawn brings a unique sense of awe and appreciation for life.

30. Be yourself

Nothing creates more inner discord than trying to be something other than who we really are. Authenticity breeds happiness.

Featured photo credit: man watching sunrise via stokpic.com

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