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Five Awe-Inspiring Documentaries You Must Watch

Five Awe-Inspiring Documentaries You Must Watch

It can be argued effectively that documentaries have become one of the leading genres in the film industry. The sheer quality of these films highlights this, with the category getting an increasingly prominent role at the Academy Awards. It’s now big business, and the dramatic impact a documentary can deliver rivals even the most bombastic Hollywood blockbuster.

Here are five documentaries you simply have to watch—each is a mix of extreme emotional and life-affirming grit; poignant, explosive, ridiculous, brilliant, and downright life changing. Add them to your DVD collection today!

Stranded: I’ve come from a plane that crashed on the mountains

    In October 1972 an amateur rugby team’s plane crash landed into a remote region of the Andes cordillera. Hopelessly trapped in the freezing conditions, the survivors began a brutal, two month fight for survival. Resorting to eating the bodies of their dead friends (preserved in the freezing temperatures), it was ultimately three brave young men who decided to attempt the arduous trek out of the mountains. Their first obstacle? An 18,000 ft mountain.

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    Nominated for the 2008 Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival, Stranded is the tale of the 1972 Andes Plane Crash as told by the 16 survivors. It’s as emotional and mesmerising as a film can be.

    Read More on IMDB: Stranded: I’ve come from a plane that crashed on the mountains

    Jason Becker: Not Dead Yet

      20 year old Jason Becker was, by the early ‘90s, rapidly becoming a rock star. His natural gift for the guitar was wowing America and superstardom beckoned. He had placed all other elements of his life on hold in dedication to music; a commitment which made the diagnosis of the debilitating Lou Gehrig’s disease even more tragic. Doctors informed him he had only a few years to live.

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      22 years later, Becker is confined to a wheelchair; he can’t speak, or move, and is cared for by his family 24/7. He communicates through his eyes thanks to an ingenious letter board system created by his father, and despite these terrible limitations his sense of humour, and lust for life, remains undiminished. He is very much alive, and he’s still composing music!

      Read More on IMDB: Jason Becker: Not Dead Yet

      Man on Wire

        In 1974, diminutive Frenchman Philippe Petit defied death by performing a high-wire walk between the World Trade Centre buildings in New York. This exhilarating Oscar-winning documentary follows Petit’s mission: from the plan’s inception to its lofty completion, how he pulled it off is laid bare. You are left to marvel at Petit’s otherwordly skills, whilst questioning his nerve to even consider such an undertaking.

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        Understandably poignant throughout, Petit’s enthusiastic dialogue, and the remarkable accompanying pictures show you what it’s like to be on top of the world!

        Read More on IMDB: Man on Wire

        Grizzly Man
        grizzly_man

          In a remote Alaskan peninsula, Timothy Treadwell found small fame in America as the man who dared to live with wild grizzly bears for 13 consecutive summers. Believing himself to have an affinity with the animals—a state of mind which saw him self-impose a public image of an eco warrior—he took to filming the bears in their natural habitat. The result is an intimate portrayal of nature in action, but throughout the beautiful scenes there lurks the knowledge of Treadwell’s fate. In October 2003 his daring came to a horrifying end.

          Werner Herzog’s award-winning film displays the harsh reality of nature colliding with human endeavour.

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          Read More on IMDB: Grizzly Man

          Senna

            Ayrton Senna’s genius as a racing driver is undisputed; in Formula One he amassed three World Drivers Championships, 41 victories, 65 pole positions, and the respect of the world. Adored in his native Brazil, the handsome, intelligent Senna was a superstar in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, but his difficulties with the political nature of the sport, and his morally dubious dealings with his competitors (chiefly arch-rival Alain Prost), made him a controversial figure.

            Senna is candid, poignant, and thrilling, but what this documentary truly displays is how one person can make a huge difference.

            Read More on IMDB: Senna

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            Last Updated on January 15, 2019

            8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

            8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

            In life, we all need to be conscientious of what we are doing. You don’t need to live a life of stress if you don’t want to. You can achieve peace and happiness in life by carefully building mindfulness exercises into your life’s routine.

            Exercising mindfulness isn’t rocket science and as importantly, you can do it. It will, however, take a few tries to get into the groove of things but once you get it, it is like riding a bike, you will never lose it.

            Trust me. It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. In this article, I will share with you 8 mindfulness exercises that will help you to boost your energy, vitality and live a more peaceful and happier life.

            Why Is It Hard to Live A Peaceful And Happy Life?

            Our Habitat Has Become Too Technological

            The world has accepted the idea that technology is often the cure for all evil. We have accepted, as a society, that everything technological will make us live a better life without fully investigating the many side effects that modernity brings.

            There are a number of technological side effects that have a tremendous impact on your life that the media rarely tells you about.[1] Some of them include self-harm, economic inequality, having less sex, and even suicide. The global community is becoming less happy because of technology.

            How can anybody live a peaceful and happy life when they are depressed? Technology advancements, ladies and gents, is a major reason for why we are living a poor life because it has infiltrated our lives too much.

            According to my research, Americans spend an average of 8 hours a day looking at the computer screen — The average screen time spent on smartphones alone is about 20 hours per week. That’s a lot! No wonder why living a happy and peaceful life is so difficult these days.

            Too Many People Don’t Want to Unplug

            Americans check their phones an average of 80 times during vacation.[2] Some admit to checking their smartphones 300 times every single day. In countries like Brazil, India and China, the situation is no different.

            The reality is that people are constantly plugged into technological devices and this behavior is literally making people all over the globe fight an inner war with themselves, which consequently makes them very sad. As we know, war is the enemy of peace which won’t make anybody happy.

            Listen carefully:

            We have a global anxiety epidemic because people don’t want to unplug from their smartphones and most people aren’t doing anything to fix it. It is a sad state of affairs but very real. This obsession with technology is turning us into perishable robots who live terrible lives.

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            The era of anxiety is here to stay. There is little doubt about it. We can, however, fight back with the best remedy of all — We call it mindfulness!

            Thank God there is an antidote to this whole technological madness. Without further ado, let’s go straight to the mindful exercises.

            8 Mindfulness Exercises to Start Practicing

            There are tons of mindfulness exercises available for you to engage with out there.[3] In the paragraphs below, I will include the best ones I’ve personally tried or have seen my close friends and family members try.

            Are you ready for it? Let’s go!

            1. Pray Daily

            You should pray on a daily basis. Why is that you may ask — Well, because science has told us to do so.

            When people pray, they feel peaceful, almost eliminating anxiety. Worries become secondary, and often gives people energy and hope to cope with the difficulties of life.

            Prayer can make you more confident and focused. Prayer also helps you with self-control, helps to control pain, and can protect you against illnesses and disorders like cancer and high blood pressure. At least, this is what researchers from Harvard Medical School have said.[4]

            Pray. You won’t regret it.[5]

            2. Pay Attention to Your Inner Thoughts

            A lot of people allow themselves to be influenced by their negative thoughts. Be different and resist believing in them. It is a bad habit that can lead to unhappiness.

            By the way, if you do feel this way, chances are high that somebody other than you put these thoughts into your head.

            Here is my secret to combat this cancer — look at things objectively. I bet that if you look at things as they are, you will realize that most if not all of your negative thoughts are only inside of your head.

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            If you pay close attention, you will quickly realize that these voices aren’t worth your time. Believe me — Ignoring them and looking at things with objectivity is often the best course of action.

            This article can guide you to beat negative thoughts:

            How to Stop Automatic Negative Thoughts When You’re Overwhelmed

            3. Smile Often

            Smiling will slow down your heart. It will also relax your body because when you smile, your body releases endorphins which in itself has a number of positive benefits for you as a person.

            Smile often! You may want to smile early in the morning, during the day, and late in the evening. It is amazing what happens to you when you decide to smile instead of being grumpy.

            Surrender your problems to a nice smile. You will notice two things. First, most people just don’t which makes them live a miserable life. Second, if you decide to smile often, you will eventually smile unconsciously which is the ideal.

            The moment that you smile unconsciously, you then know that you are truly happy.

            4. Organize Your Working Desk

            A messy desk will make you less productive and can agitate and overstimulate you. You don’t want that.

            When you clear your desk, you engage in deep inner-thinking and your systematic decision making ends up becoming therapeutic.

            Most people realize that they are most creative when their creative space is clean and organized. The former often makes people more aware of what they are doing which lends to less stress and more productivity.

            Organizing your desk will also make you more energetic and focused because order often decreases chaos which is a condition that often slows down daily progress.

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            5. Celebrate Your Friend’s Victories

            I love this mindful exercise. One of the best ways to live a happy and peaceful life is to celebrate the victories of others. When you do that, you automatically make your friends in a better mood which makes you in a better mood, as well.

            Happiness is contagious! We might as well celebrate others as much as we can. If you find out that your peer has won an award, celebrate with him! If your friend is the recipient of a local charity award, celebrate with her!

            What is also awesome is that when you celebrate with others, they often celebrate with you in return. This, ladies and gentleman, will make you feel fantastic. You can’t go wrong with this one, period.

            6. Listen to Your Spouse/Partner

            God put someone in your life for a reason. You might as well listen to him or her.

            I listen to my wife everyday. In fact, I often ask the following question to her, “Amanda, what are your thoughts about…” or “What am I missing about…” It is shocking what I hear back from her. Without her having much context and perspective, by the art of observation in my own nonverbal behavior and the behavior of others, she accurately gives me incredible insights which helps me out with living my life to the fullest.

            I’m a firm believer that spouses are supposed to engage in interpersonal communication every day. I most definitely do and will continue doing it. You should do the same.

            7. Give Yourself a Break from Technology

            You can’t be in total equilibrium if your computerized devices control your life. You must get away from technology on a daily basis.[6]

            How do you do that? This is my formula:

            First, go to my website (find my website here in my profile) and take the smartphone control test. It is only ten questions but this test will place you somewhere in the human robot cycle continuum.

            If your score is between 25-30, take a break from the computer (or smartphone, pad, laptop/desktop) every twenty minutes and stop being on a computerized device after 8:00pm.

            If you score between 30-35, still take a break every 20 minutes but stop being on these devices at 5:00pm.

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            If you score more than 35, you need to take action immediately.

            Limit computer use as much as possible throughout the day. Give yourself as many breaks from the computer as possible. Are you ready for the challenge?

            8. Go Exercise

            Go exercise at least three times a week. I don’t care if you need to workout early in the morning, late in the evening, on the weekends or during work days. Working out is absolutely imperative for you to live happy and peaceful life.

            The stresses of the modern world are too much for you to neglect this important mindfulness exercise. When you go to the gym, you burn calories, focus on activities one step at a time, your mind relaxes, anxiety decreases, you sweat and often think about topics unrelated to your work place among many other benefits.

            You must exercise at least three hours each week for optimum results. Why? Just take a look at all the benefits of regular exercising:

            12 Benefits of Regular Exercise You Should Know

            The Bottom Line

            It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. Now that our habitat has become too technological and many people just don’t want to unplug, engaging in daily prayer, celebrate your friends’ victories, and listening to your spouse are among the best ways to be mindful about what you are doing and how you are living.

            It is possible to live a happy and peaceful life. It only depends on you.

            Go exercise! Take a break from technology and invest in you! Life is too short for distractions.

            More Resources About Mindfulness

            Featured photo credit: Lesly Juarez via unsplash.com

            Reference

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