Relax And Get A Break – Walking In Nature Changes Your Brain

The Hipsbear is a lifestyle blog and comes up with topics about how to get in touch with the opposite other, make money or do sports. Today I want to provide a more serious topic, as it becomes important to me the last months. If you work hard, party hard and play hard, you have to give your mind a break.

 

Relaxation

There is nothing better for relaxation than taking a walk in nature. Not only it soothes the mind but also improves the brain processes, which is very important for us because we live in crowded cities, often deprived of spacious green spaces.

There is an avalanche of scientific evidence that supports many positive effects of visiting green spaces. Our mother nature apparently has amazing rejuvenating abilities that we people often disregard or cannot really appreciate. For example, it was proved that short breaks like walks in nature can really rejuvenate the brain and improve cognitive functioning. I am proud to say that I am one of those people who appreciate and use the power of nature for my own well-being, so let’s make sure you join the club.

For many people, it is unclear how a visit to a green space such as forest or a park can improve brain functioning. Does nature experience actually change our brain and emotional health? Let me walk you through.

 

Science has the answers

I will explain all the evidence that the science has provided so far. Before I got all scientific, I want to say that I was really impressed with the findings myself because I never thought nature could have such a strong effect even though I regularly spend time in green spaces. Well, I’m not moving closer to a park (for now) but I wouldn’t say no to the opportunity to take advantage of the positive effects of nature on mental health.

One of the recent prominent studies that illustrate the impact of nature on brain used a group of participants and compared their neural activity. The participants were divided into two groups; the first one spent 90 minutes in nature while the second one spent this time in usual urban settings. The results were astonishing.

The participants who spent quality time in nature showed much less neural activity in the brain areas generally associated with mental illnesses. Moreover, they demonstrated better solving times when given different math problems. On the other hand, the participants who were asked to walk in urban settings showed higher levels of neural activity, which supported the claims of healthcare organizations about rising levels of mental illness in the urbanized world.

According to this great article on LSE Cities, an international research center that studies urbanization, social stress is the most important factor for the increased risk of mental illness in urban areas. It causes many people to experience anxiety and disturbance of chronobiological rhythms. That’s a bad combination because it can literally make you go crazy!

In addition to social stress, let’s not forget all that noise and pollution. Have many time have you dreamt about leaving the city for a few days to get your share of silence and create an inner calm? Exactly. I know I dreamed about it so many times until the point when my desire to find some inner calm persuaded me to spend weekends outside the city. Believe me, the difference between the experiences is so great! Those guys who have estate outside the urban areas will totally understand me.

 

Let’s get back to science

Another study that I wanted to discuss with you was done by psychologists named David Strayer and Ruth Atchley. They also aimed to determine the impact of nature immersion on cognition but focused on creativity and ability to solve complex problems. The participants in this study were tasked with spending 4 days in nature without access to any technology (I bet they did not use people who couldn’t survive without their iPhones, otherwise the study would have failed).

The results were as impressive as in the study reviewed by me above. The disconnection with the technology improved the performance on a creativity and complex problem-solving task by a full 50 percent in the group who hiked in nature! Clearly, they possessed a significant cognitive advantage over the control group because the natural setting was emotionally positive and low-arousing. It does not require the same attention and focus as the technology does and helps to relax and enjoy the experience. Now, that’s what I call a relaxation of the mind!

If you need a lot of creative power in your work, you should think green as well! A study found that green color can help you to get your creative juices going. It assessed whether this particular color facilitated creativity and found that even a brief glimpse contributed to a better creative performance. The researchers actually used an awesome exercise to achieve their goal: they asked the participants to come up with uses for a tin can. Almost all participants who saw green before engaging in the exercise produced more imaginative and interesting solutions compared to those who were not exposed to the color.

 

What this means for you

Clearly, visits to nature are awesome and can make the day exciting and positive. As you now know, nature has much more effects on the brain as you previously thought and this means great things for you! First, it can improve the mood and keep you happy and positive for the entire day. Second, regular walks in nature can actually reduce your risk of developing a mental disease caused by a comprehensive effect of stressors encountered in urban settings. Third, it can spark your creativity and help you to come up with more imaginative solutions. Fourth, nature experience can help you to improve problem solving skills.

 

Ready to head outdoors?

Let me recommend you my method of taking advantage of positive effects of nature even if you live in the city. The most convenient form clearly is a walk in the park but you can take it one level further and go hiking! It is also extremely affordable and suitable for everyone, so you can take your girlfriend or a friend with you as well. In terms of equipment, you need just a pair of good running shoes, a bottle of water, and suitable clothing.

Even if you have the opportunity to spend a significant amount of time outside of the city and enjoy nature, visiting the park for walking or hiking will only benefit your well-being and health. Do not hesitate and begin to improve your health today!

 

What do you think? How do handle the massive overload of work and sports?

How To Start Wingsuit Flying

If you’re anything like me you’ve got a real thirst for adventure and love to feel adrenaline coursing through your veins by doing extreme sports. If Danger is also your middle name then you will want to join me in this sport, but it’s not for the faint of heart!

 

I’m talking about wingsuit flying, it’s the extreme sport right now.

 

What is wingsuit flying?

Wingsuit flying is a little bit like skydiving in a way, but you wear a specially made suit for it. Skydiving is so yesterday’s news anyhow. The suits can be called wingsuits, squirrel suits or birdman suits – they really do make you look a bit like a superhero as the name suggests. The suit has wings on the arms and legs and it’s really aerodynamic. Parts of it inflate and allow the wearer to cover impressive flying distances. And the person can control their speed, lift and direction too, so they aren’t totally at the mercy of the elements. Practice makes perfect and a good wingsuiter can achieve speeds of up to 220mph. That’s pretty damn fast by anyone’s standard!

 

Starting wingsuit flying

Wingsuiting isn’t just the kind of thing where you can turn up and have a go. It’s a complicated discipline and a lot could go wrong if you don’t know what you’re doing. So you start wingsuiting by doing something which isn’t wingsuiting. You will need to do a bit of skydiving first – a lot of skydiving actually. As it is a very similar discipline you’ll need to build up quite a wealth of skydiving experience – the more the better.

 

You’ll need to find a static line (RAPS) or accelerated freefall course (AFF). You will have a whopping two days of training on the ground before any actual jumping takes place. You need to be fit. Regular workouts to keep your body in great shape are a must as wingsuiting is incredibly physically demanding.

 

Now you’ll finally be able to complete your first beginner jump.18 solo jumps later and you’ll be legally qualified as a skydiver and you’ll be able to do it at any skydiving centre, anywhere in the world.

 

I know, it’s a lot of effort and you still haven’t so much as tried on a wingsuit. Have patience, my friend, you’re almost there.

Almost.

 

Your skydiving skills will need some honing. You can expect to do another 200+ jumps. You’ll be an expert before long! And that’s the plan. To minimise the risk of wingsuit flying you need to be at one with the conditions, knowing every possible eventuality you could experience.

 

Another preparation you can make is taking up BASE jumping, the extreme sportsman’s extreme sport. Be careful though. Do it off a bridge over water to start. It’s all about getting a feel for the freefall, not about being a daredevil. And you want to live to do your first wingsuit flight. There are qualified BASE jumping instructors who can help you get started and minimise the risk of an accident.

 

And now you’re finally ready to start.

 

How much does wingsuit flying cost?

Are you sitting down? You’re really going to need to while I tell you this.

 

Beginner’s skydiving – $1800

Additional jumps – $6000

Parachute – $3000

Additional equipment – $750

Wingsuit – $1200

Wingsuit course – $750

 

The prices are only an estimated, but that comes to a grand total of $13500 and that’s before you make regular jumps. It’s a pretty hair-raising amount of cash to part with, but that’s the price of cool. You are going to have the most interesting and dangerous hobby of everyone you know and you’re going to be the centre of every party you ever go to. In that case it’s money well spent.

 

Taking it to the next level

Once you’ve mastered the basics – and I say basic here loosely because even the easiest aspects of wingsuit flying are complicated – you can take things up several gears.

 

Wingsuit BASE jumping (or BASE flying) is the next logical step to make you stand out from the crowd that little bit more. It’s a new skill and it’ll take a while to master, but yur knowledge will now be immense and with great care you can be doing this as part of your jumping routine. If this doesn’t impress people nothing will!

 

Remember though, it’s a different kettle of fish and you would want to make sure you have plenty of experience with ordinary BASE jumping before attempting it in a wingsuit. It is recommended that you have completed at least 50 BASE jumps before even considering it.

 

Technology is your friend

When wingsuit flying you can track your flight – or someone else can – using GPS. You can then later check on your PC all the statistics such as speed, length of flight and angle of descent. This is all important for reviewing your flight afterwards. You can learn a lot from the statistics gaining valuable experience for future wingsuit flying.

 

And make sure you have a camera! A Gopro on your helmet or even a (carefully) handheld camera if you’re experienced enough will produce some epic footage to show to your friends. They’ll so want to be you!

 

Remember though, there is an element of risk involved in wingsuit flying, way more risk than most other pastimes. There’s not much chance of dying while collecting stamps, but with wingsuiting there is a significantly higher chance. Always make sure you follow safety procedures and never attempt anything too advanced, too quickly. There have been a number of BASE jumping and wingsuit flying fatalities and you don’t want your name adding to that list. You want to live to jump another day.

 

And that’s it for the lecturing! Now go and have fun and get your jump on, dude!

 

If you want to learn a bit more about wingsuit flying and check out some pretty cool videos of it, head over to http://www.wingsuitfly.com/ and take a look.

The Millionaire’s Brain – 8 Differences To Yours

What makes a millionaire different to you? Apart from around a million pieces of paper with presidents or the Queen on them there is definitely a mindset difference. Sure, you could be a millionaire if you wanted to be and the place to start would be to think like one.

 

Focus

How many times have you heard that you need to be focused? You probably don’t know because you weren’t paying as much attention as you should have been. If you want to be rich you’ve got to make that your goal, you need to put all other thoughts aside and think only about making money. That’s not to say that you can become a millionaire by willpower alone because you can’t, but you would need to make everything you do about making money. There can be no distractions. Look over there. Did you just look? Then you failed. Focus!

 

Expectation

The rich expected to become rich and expect to become richer still. It might seem arrogant, but belief is apparently part of the key to success. Experts agree that if you think you’ll fail then you will fail. Rich people have applied the reverse to this – if you think you’ll be a success then you will be a success.

 

Risk

“You have to speculate to accumulate,” or so they say. Gambling is risky, of course. Buying and selling stocks and shares is no less risky than betting on horse racing or football, even with a good amount of knowledge. The rich don’t let the element of risk stop them though. If anything it drives them onwards. And they think nothing of investing or speculating with money which isn’t even theirs. Few people who have got rich from any kind of business bankrolled themselves in the beginning, instead taking business loans from a bank or private investors. You have to dare to take that first leap.

 

Attitude

There is no place for negativity with millionaires. A can do attitude is another key to success. Also a rich person’s attitude to money is a lot different than the way us mere paupers look at it The rich think of money in a more logical way, seeing it as a tool to acquire more money, whereas those at the bottom end of the scale see it as a source of worry. As is often the case, it’s easy to make more money when you’ve already got loads and don’t really need more. The rich look at poverty as a scourge, which might seem harsh. This is a mantra which keeps many millionaires motivated to continue to make money. Money can’t buy you happiness, it has been said, but it sure helps.

 

Logical

As well as a logical approach to money, millionaires have a logical approach to investing. They accept that some ventures will lose and some will win and never ever chase their losses like people with less money might. Their lives are just balance sheets with some ups and downs, but overall their net worth climbs steadily upwards. The rest of us don’t want to lose any of the little we have and would find it hard to approach life in this way.

 

Dreams

Millionaires dream of money. They might well even count golden sheep in order to get to sleep in the first place. But wait a minute, don’t we all dream of money? Well yes, we do. The difference is that you or I might have a “when I win the lottery…” kind of dream where we’ll think about going on a lavish holiday and buying a nice car, but barring us beating odds of several million to one it’s likely to remain just that – a dream. The super rich dream of what they want and make it a reality. It hardly seems fair, does it? But daring to dream is another driving force. It’s what gets millionaires out of bed in the morning. The rest of us no longer have the hope of a bright future and hide under the covers until the last minute every morning. Stark contrasts.

 

Knowledge

Knowledge is power, or at least it can be. Millionaires would rather be educated than entertained. Many of us might like to read a paperback when we’re on holiday. Millionaires will be reading about business or perhaps learning new skills that can make them more money. Money truly is their focus 24/7. You need to learn how the markets work and look at trends to be able to play them properly. The rich have the mindset for this whereas those of us on a budget don’t so much.

 

Selfishness

This is the part where most of us might struggle. Sure, everyone likes to think they’re a nice guy and some us might be, but if you want to be a millionaire that doesn’t work. In fact if you want to be a millionaire you might well have to be a complete bastard to a lot of people. Some of these people might be friends or family members. Could you do it? If you could then you might be able to become a millionaire. Remember nobody got rich by wasting money, so you’ll have to pay anyone who works for you the absolute minimum, you’ll work them like slaves and they’ll all hate you. If you would still be able to sleep at night and not worry that you’re treating employees like cattle and if you don’t fear union action or a lawsuit against you for offering a poor work environment for your employees then your bank balance could be increased exponentially. Real nice guys won’t get rich though. I’d just like to point out that I’m not implying for one minute that all millionaires are bastards. I’m sure some of them are great, caring people. You see, I’m not millionaire material as I do fear lawsuits.

 

So there we have it. That’s what sets millionaires apart from the rest of us. Do you have what it takes? Or are you still holding out for that illusive lottery win?

6 Things You Must Give Up If You Want To Be Successful

You want to be successful, right? People say one should develop more skills and abilities to be successful. As good as it sounds, this strategy can have you stay up at late nights trying to learn something new, which may not be that easy. But what if you already have some great skills but the success is still beyond reach? Well, my answer may be surprising to you.

 

Why keep on adding new things when we can give up the bad ones that keep us behind the others? The success can be reached by eliminating the things that stand on our way to it!

The good news is that you can begin right away and get rid of some of them even today! Let me walk you through this issue. I have prepared an awesome list of things you should give up as soon as you can. See whether some of these apply to you.

 

  1. Give up the dependency on social media

 

How many times have you seen people choosing to browse Facebook and Twitter when they were supposed to do other, more productive things? I see this every day and I have to tell you that this dependency does not bring you anything but a waste of time.

A recent survey of 1000 Americans that I found on Business Insider beautifully illustrates my point. 48 percent of the sample check or update Facebook even during the night and as soon as they wake up! Talk about a real addiction, right? These people forget about other things and worry about likes and updates and some of them even become depressed when they start comparing themselves to others.

Come on, guys. The world does not stop turning because of social media.

If impulsive Facebook browsing sounds similar to you, then we might have a problem here. Your dependence is a distraction from your life and your goals, so minimizing it can truly enrich your experience.

 

  1. Give up Multitasking

 

Having the ability to perform multiple tasks at one time sounds great but there is a big problem: it does not work. People cannot be effective doing several things because the brain needs to focus, neuroscience says.

Successful people stay away from multitasking because it kills their productivity. You can always tell when someone you are having a conversation with on the phone is distracted by other things, right?

Give up multitasking if you want to be successful because it is rather a distraction than a great skill. Focus on something and get it done without unnecessary stress and lower productivity.

 

  1. Give up on unhealthy lifestyle

 

Taking care of a body is one of the most important things every successful person does. Richard Branson, for example, says that making health and wellness a priority helped him to avoid a burn out in his business. The simple fact is that the key to your success is you, so taking care of yourself is vitally important to ensure that you accomplish everything you want.

In my experience, healthy diet and physical activity are the things to remember every day. All that junk food and passive lifestyle will deprive you of energy and turn you into a vegetable. For real.

On the other hand, regular exercise and healthy foods will provide you with a good amount of energy to run your errands. So, if you think you are taking the easy route by skipping a healthy meal and daily exercise, think again.

 

  1. Give up on playing small

 

You may have been playing small your entire life without even realizing its impact on your success. Think about it: how many times have you turned down a big opportunity because you were afraid of change or thought it was too overwhelming?

Even though you may have done it many times, you still have dreams about being more influential and decisive, right? Then why not take a big opportunity and let those dreams come true?

Playing small is not a good thing, believe me. If you are afraid to fail and unleash your true potential, you will never be decisive and impactful. And the world will never notice your presence.

 

  1. Give up the short-term mindset

 

It’s amazing how short-term mindset is different from the long-term one. I used to think in immediate terms as well but I quickly realized that I would never reach the desired outcome because I could not foresee my future.

By switching to a long-term mindset, I was able to change my life and you should do the same! To make sure that my long-term goals are in progress, I had to be strong and motivated even at the most difficult times. As the result, I learned how to develop short-term habits that contributed to achieving the long-term goals.

Let me illustrate what I mean with a simple example: there is a world of difference between working out for a show-off and working out because that’s who I am. Got it?

 

  1. Give up excuses

 

Excuses are a popular way to get rid of a responsibility. “Oh, I really don’t have that much expertise in marketing, you really shouldn’t use my help for this.” Does that sound familiar? What a lame excuse like this does is preventing you from taking the responsibility for your life.

Believe me, successful people take on responsibilities even if they need to go outside their comfort zone and recognize their past failures. As the result, they engage in both exciting and frightening business that adds experience and skill.

When you do the same, you will realize that excuses are a major obstacle that was holding you back all this time. It will be a new milestone in your personal development.

 

Concluding thoughts

 

Learning everything does not guarantee success but a total control over your time. As the result, the chase for new things may actually hinder your success by preventing you from unleashing your potential. My list in this article showed that they can keep you within serious limits, so you can’t let them win!

If you want to be successful in life, you need to give up as many of them as you possibly can, so if you saw something familiar on this list, feel free to change your life today!

It would be cool to know about your progress and success, so leave your comments below and share the wisdom!

12 Places To Go In 2017

Are you still to take on your biggest adventure yet? Or maybe you need some assistance with choosing the places to visit this year? Either way, you’ve landed on the right page because I have just prepared a fresh list of the most exciting places to visit in 2017.

Let this year be your year of adventures! Let’s go!

 

1. Viñales, Cuba

Cuba is not as unknown as it was just a decade ago because the country has been increasingly opening its stunning landscapes for travelers from around the world. Cuba’s capital, Havana, has been the most popular destination but I am going to recommend you something even more exciting: Viñales. This village is located just three hours’ drive from the busy capital and offers the visitors unmatchable views.

It hosts a lush valley of stunning limestone outcrops and tobacco fields that was named by UNESCO as one of the World Heritage sites. If you are looking for a real Cuba experience, you can find it here, with all those tobacco farms that make the best cigars in the world and botanical gardens and restaurants that serve roast pork and exquisite beans.

 

2. San Sebastián, Spain

Next on my list comes a place commonly considered as a culinary paradise. It is a home to a famous La Concha resort and other beaches that serve stunning Atlantic waves and finest restaurants in Spain that specialize in Basque cuisine. The chefs that work in San Sebastián’s restaurants are constantly voted as the Spain’s best, so you will definitely find some tasty dishes there.

The city also hosts a number of annual festivals that will keep you busy during your visit, including Jazz Festival, Theater Festival, Film Festival, and the old La Tamborrada, when the people hit the streets to play musical instruments for two straight days. Fun is guaranteed!

 

3. Tamil Nadu, India

The most popular tourist destination of the country will impress you with a rich and undiscovered history. Ancient temples, 18th-century mansions, and local cuisine are the things to check out. Tourists often hit the countryside where more than a hundred temples from various Indian dynasties are located to discover a real India. One of the most impressive and massive temple complexes is Meenakshi in Madurai dedicated to Brihadeeswarar, a powerful female deity. It dates backs to the 9th century!

If you are a fan of spicy food, Tamil Nadu’s cuisine will be a great discovery for you because it is one of the most aromatic and spiciest in the world. Many of the dishes are traditionally served on banana leaves.

 

4. Brno, Czech Republic

The country’s second largest city is just as impressive as the capital with its stunning architecture, bars, and restaurants. Beautiful buildings like Villa Tugendhat, Spilberk Castle, and Cathedral of St. Peter will immerse you in an atmosphere of an old Europe while Super Panda Circus, Pavillon, Koishi and other restaurants and bars will introduce to a rich nightlife. Brno is the perfect place for those looking for stunning architecture, tasty European cuisine, and nightclubs.

 

5. Dalat, Vietnam

A former French colony, Dalat is a city located in the southern part of Vietnam. It made my list because it is considered as an agricultural El Dorado. The region is known for its locally grown strawberries, avocados, roses, coffee, artichokes, and asparagus. Plus, Dalat is a great destination for fans of hiking, golf, canyoning, and rafting, and other great choices for outdoor activities.

 

6. Tyrol, Austria

This well-known region of Alps has 3,000-meter high ski resorts like Pitztal, affordable hotels like Almfamily Scherer and even the Crystal Cloud by Swarovski. The world’s famous crystal maker is located in the region and has some astonishing sites to offer for tourists, such as the Crystal Cloud, which is a cumulous-shaped net featuring more than 800,000 crystals. Oh, and another thing: the city was a filming location of one of the latest Bond films (Spectre) that was released in 2015.

 

7. Toronto, Canada

Let me help you take a second look at Toronto. This city has been differentiating itself from Vancouver and Montreal by building new public art places, hotels, and hosting major events like the NBA All-Star game last year. Toronto’s former industrial area called the Junction is now a stylish neighborhood with numerous coffee shops, pubs, art galleries, and cafes with live music. It is definitely worth visiting this year.

 

8. Park City, Utah

This city has been a major news in American skiing last year because it emerged as the largest resort in the country. Apparently, it attracted a lot of investments (more than $50 million) to build a new 7,3000-acre resort and improve the overall experience of skiers. If you enjoy skiing, this should be your primary destination in the U.S., period.

 

9. Hangzhou, China

I call this next place on our list a perfect combination of ancient history and latest technologies. Until the city became known as the headquarters of e-commerce giant Alibaba, it was mainly known for ancient painters and poets and tea plantations. A number of hotels and tourist attractions has been opened in the recent years and you can easily find them using an app developed recently to satisfy the growing tourist demand.

 

10. Dublin, Ireland

This is one the most interesting destinations in Europe because of the abundance of historic sites and public art places. For example, the city has the National Concert Hall where you could listen to the best classic music and the National Gallery of Ireland that reveals a rich history of the country. If you are interested in something more interactive, the Guinness Storehouse in St James’s Gate is the place that offers an immersive brand experience and rooftop.

 

11. Pyeongchang, South Korea

Another ski-and-snowboard destination that will cause quite a boom in the global winter sports radar. The city has been selected as the host for the 2018 Winter Olympics, so it has been developing like crazy: many new hotels, restaurants, and ski resorts have been opened by local businesses and more are on the way. Check the website of the Olympics to see what the city has prepared for you.

 

12. Kansai, Japan

The last destination on the list is an ancient area that has been popular for several reasons. First, the beauty of Japanese nature that helps to relax and find some inner calm. Second, the city has recently opened a hot spring resort Amanemu, which has already attracted a lot of international travelers. Third, Kansai’s hospitality industry is already booming because of the G7 summit that was held last year.

 

Use the list for travel ideas and let me know which one you prefer!

best year ever

How To Have The Best Year Ever – 9 Thoughts For 2017

The best year ever… Who doesn’t want 2017 to become that year? There are people who didn’t enjoy 2016 too much. What about you? A lot of great celebrities were taken from us too early. There was a feeling that the world was no longer the place it once was, that it had changed for the worse. Some people even said that they were celebrating the start of 2017 purely because it meant the death of 2016.

 

Is there anything we can all do to make this year a better one? I believe so. In fact, there’s nothing stopping you making this year your best one ever.

 

Most people will have broken at least one New Year’s resolution before the first day of the new year is over. The best advice for your best year ever is to not bother making any. That’s not to say you shouldn’t make plans, but don’t call them New Year’s resolutions – according to the experts we attach too much significance to these and set ourselves up to fail. Not the best way to start your best year ever. And the best time to make a change is/was not on 1st January, but between the 12th and 20th – this is the time when we are more susceptible to changing ourselves for the better. So, how will YOU have the best year ever in 2017? Let’s have a look on what we can do.

 

Finances

 

We all wish we had a bit more money, but we can all get what we want with what we have – we just need to be better at it. Make a budget. There is a stigma attached to those “living on a budget”, but really it’s common sense to balance the books properly. If you’ve got loans or credit cards try consolidating them to reduce your monthly payments. Some credit card companies offer 0% for a limited time if you transfer an existing balance to them. Do this and save a great deal. Think about what you spend money on and reduce your outgoings by getting ready of unnecessary expenditure. A full year’s gym membership is days away from coming out of your bank account, but you only visited twice last year? Cancel the payment. You need all your money to be spent on useful things for you best year ever. However, if you go to the gym, or you COULD motivate yourself, continue doing it.

 

Leisure

If the sum of your leisure activities is falling asleep in front of the TV most evenings and going to the sports bar every Friday night then you need something else for your best year ever. Don’t panic, you can still go to the bar, but you need additional stimulation too. Try going to the cinema or theatre occasionally – you might be surprised at what’s on, particularly if you visit a local arts center.

 

Travel

Book a holiday. It doesn’t need to cost the earth. There are abundant last-minute deals to be had. You won’t believe it, but you could even leave this country for a while. Airbnb is a great way to stay somewhere affordable and you can meet some interesting and varied hosts if you do this. The important thing is to have a change of scenery, to get away from home and recharge your batteries. To have the best year ever, travelling should be on top of your list.

 

Socialise

You get enough of this at the bar though, don’t you? Wrong. Listening to the drunk, old racist at the end of the bar is not really intellectually stimulating enough. You need to spend time with like-minded people. A great way to do this is to join a club or take a course. Your local council will have a list of courses that are available – often many of them are free or certainly very cheap. Your local library might have a reading group if that’s your thing, and I’m totally sure it’s so much your thing. There is generally some pretty healthy debate to be had at one of these.

 

Learn something

You need to keep your mind active and learning a new skill is a way to do this. If you’ve planned an overseas trip then learning a language, at least conversational stuff, will be a good idea. Or you could learn a musical instrument. The ukulele is apparently quite easy to pick up and you’ll be the next Roy Smeck in no time. Never thought it needs a ukulele to have the best year ever, right?

 

Give to charity

Yes, charity begins at home, but helping others is a good thing too. The endorphins released by performing a charitable act will make you feel a lot better about yourself. There are researches proofing this. The donation needn’t be money either. Time can be given, or failing that donate a couple of bags of unwanted clothes to your local charity shop. It all helps.

 

Exercise

I know I just told you to quit the gym, but your exercise doesn’t have to involve lifting weights or training for triathlons. Walking is the best exercise there is. Try running or walking to town or work instead of taking a bus or taxi. Your body will thank you even more than your wallet will.

 

Make a bucket list

Everyone should have one, but make it realistic. You’re never going to be the captain of your favorite sports team and you’re probably never going to sleep with a supermodel so scratch those off the list immediately. Think of places you’d like to visit, experiences you’d like to have, food you’d like to eat. A bucket list doesn’t need to be full of impossible dreams. It pays to avoid things like skydiving and bungee jumping too. If you’re not generally an extreme sport kind of guy. Apparently, the mere thought of planning these into your future can raise stress levels. Not the best start to have the best year ever, right?

 

Have fun

It sounds so easy: You need to laugh more. You’ve heard all about laughter being the best medicine, well it’s true. Spend time with friends and maybe go to a comedy night. A few hours of side-splitting guffawing will make you feel fantastic. Perhaps have a go at a bit of stand up yourself if you’ve got the funny in you. (OK, you’re allowed to be drunk while doing it.)

Like with a lot of things, there is no money back guarantee with these tips for the best year ever. That being said I can promise you one thing: 2017 will be a damned sight better year if you follow some or all of these tips than 2016 ever could have hoped to be.

 

What do you think?

How To Survive A Zombie Apocalypse

Zombies. They’re everywhere. They’re on TV, they’re in films and there are books about them too. Zombies are so in right now. Right now? I think they’ve always been.

But what would happen in the event of a zombie apocalypse?

If you laughed at that statement and said “But, dude, zombies aren’t even real,” then you need to think again.

The threat of a zombie apocalypse is not necessarily imminent, but it’s very real indeed.

And while you’re laughing at this, others are preparing for it, so come with me if you want to live…

 

Now you’re a bit less sceptical what can you do to prepare?

 

Do your research

I’m not saying The Walking Dead is a documentary because it very obviously isn’t, but watch it. Watch I Am Legend, read Stephen King’s The Stand. The more information you can get the better. Just because these are all works of fiction doesn’t mean they weren’t well-researched. They’ll all give you the feel of what to expect. Don’t wait until the apocalypse starts to do this research or it will be a bit like watching Alive whilst on a plane.

 

Prepare a survival kit

You need a kit that’s ready to go ASAP because who knows how soon the zombie apocalypse will strike? You’ll need bottled water, tinned food, a comprehensive first aid kit and most importantly, a weapon – a gun ideally. Everyone knows someone who knows someone who knows someone who can get a gun, no questions asked. No? Just me then.

 

Be physically fit

Take it easy on the pies, champ. You’re going to need to be in top physical form if you’re going to survive and help repopulate the planet (Know what I mean? Wink, wink). Take regular exercise like CrossFit, running or bodybuilding and maybe drink a bit less too. I know, I’m a real party pooper.

 

Get a suit

No, not a typical whistle and flute, me old china, I’m talking about a radiation suit. When the apocalypse comes, we won’t know what’s caused it, but it could be spread as an airborne virus. You’ll want a fully protective suit for such an eventuality. It’s not a fashion show, so don’t worry that it looks ridiculous on the high street. The zombies won’t care. You know what’s more ridiculous? Being dead because zombies have eaten your brain.

 

So now you’re prepared. The apocalypse can come any time it damn well likes. What do you do when it hits?

 

Zombie-proof your house

Board up windows and barricade doors to stop the undead entering. It is unknown if pouring urine around the perimeter of your residence will deter them, but it can’t do any harm.

 

Take the car

Sure, you can just run zombies over if they get in your way. Make sure you have a full tank of petrol though as you wouldn’t want to get stranded. As more people become infected and petrol becomes short driving may become impossible due to the high number of abandoned vehicles which will be blocking roads. Electric scooters or Segways are not recommended for the zombie apocalypse due to the fact that despite humanity being under threat you will still have your pride.

 

Head for high ground

If it’s no longer safe at home head for the hills. Zombies are notoriously poor climbers and height would give you an advantage. Also if they do figure out how to climb, a high vantage point is great for throwing things at them. Choose a high place with a wealth of projectiles.

 

Wait for the authorities to fix it

I know, we can’t trust “The Man”, right? But in this situation we’ll pretty much have to. It’s unlikely everyone will become a zombie overnight and once a few have been observed there will be full investigations into what caused it, how it spreads, etc. To be fair, this is a real long shot.

 

Take matters into your own hands

If you are in a situation where you are under attack from a zombie, aim to decapitate or dismember. Sounds harsh but a swift jab with a shovel should do the job and give you enough time to escape. If you’re hunting zombies always go for the brain.

 

Get supplies

At first while there is still electricity food shouldn’t be a problem, but eventually supermarket freezers will stop working and food will melt or go out of date. Grab what you can. Once it gets to this stage looting will be commonplace, but be careful in a supermarket. Always have an exit strategy in case some of the undead turn up.

 

Find like-minded people

If films have taught us anything it’s that in a situation like this lots of people will be fleeing towns and meet up. Together you can form plans of what to do and how to re-establish society once all the zombies are dead. You’ll probably have a conflict with one of these people, another is a potential love interest and at least one of you will become infected with the zombie virus. Hang on, I’ve watched too many films, haven’t I?

 

It will be a long road back to civilization from the zombie apocalypse, but you can make it if you keep your wits about you.

Maybe.

Boffins have a different opinion. Yes, actual scientist people in laboratories with white coats and clipboards have given the matter some very serious thought.

They believe that in as little as three months humans could be outnumbered by zombies by as much as a million to one. That’s quite a hair-raising statistic. And the prognosis gets worse with the full extinction of humankind possible in less than a year from the first infected people.

But, if uninfected humans were wily enough and adapted to the conditions quickly they could wipe out all the zombies in under three years and re-establish a society within a quarter of a century.

That sounds like a lot of work and maybe you’ll prefer death, but it could be you’re the one whose destiny it is to save us all.

Good luck!

10 Easy Ways To Make Money Online

Level: Beginner

This post is more a reminder than the real big bang. Ever since internet has taken over world domination and changed the way we live in almost every faucet of our lives, people have been trying to benefit from it. Even though lately internet has gained notoriety for the fact that many people are becoming more and more addicted to it, we have to completely agree on one thing, we simply can’t do business anymore with business. Based on this fact, we can agree as well that people have also taken advantage of the fact that we can now do many things on our computers without as much as leaving our homes. We have come up with many ways as how to earn money online. Despite all of this, we need to be honest with ourselves, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows, it’s hard making a living by earning money online, you have to be persistent and patient in order to make it.

 

Making money online it’s not what usually people think, sending spam emails or clickbaiting us to open links we don’t want. There are many ways to actually do it.

1. Blogging

Many people have found blogging to be something very useful when it came to expressing their talents or their hobbies. Numerous people have even become famous from their blogs and have managed to make quite a living. After starting your blog what you need to do is to sign up for an ad service. What ad services basically do is they put the sponsored links on the sides of the website or at the top. It is a very smart way to earn extra money from your blog because each time someone visits your blog you earn more money from the ad service.

2. Selling things on eBay

We all know how this works, if you have things that aren’t useful to you anymore you can just sell them on eBay. Even though it may sound very easy to do, there are some things that we should know first or things that you’re going to learn from experience you get along the way. The first being that you’re going to have to do in order to sell products is to make sure that people are actually willing to buy them and after that you need to write product pages that are both convincing and legitimate that in order to garner interest from the actual buyers. It is also of the utmost importance to make sure that the minimum bids are on a reasonable level.

3. Selling T-Shirts with your design

T-shirts are something that people of all ages love. It is a way that many people even express their character or their humor, some people prefer T-shirts with funny quotes while some others want them to be more unique or ironic. While internet has continued to grow it has made it possible for people to sell them online without even leaving your home. Websites like Spreadshirt.com and CafePress.com have made the job a lot easier for people to sell T-shirts designed by you. It’s very easy, you set up your own store within the web and design them, if people like it and start buying it you can make some good money from it.

4. Freelancing

Freelancing has become one of the most sought out way to earn money online for quite some time now. People with writing skills have managed to make a living from for many websites or blogs. The difference between a blogger and a freelance writer is that the freelance writers usually have to be more knowledgeable about the topic that they write because sometimes the niche topics that they write about are very specific that it is almost impossible to write about them without any prior experience. Writing isn’t the only thing that freelancers do, people that are experienced in programming or graphic design can earn quite some money as well as there are people always in need for good programmers and graphic designers.

5. Financial Services

An increasing number of people are choosing to buy financial services online. Tax preparation, bookkeeping, accounting and payroll processing are the services that people offer online nowadays. This is a win-win situation for businesses and individuals. Businesses get to hire fewer people and individuals can hire one when they need it. You might need to create a website first, based on the work that you do and then correspond with your clients through the website or emails. Something that is very important to know is that you may actually need government licenses in order to offer some of the services offered here

6. Youtube.

Yes, you read that right, Youtube. Youtube-ing is something that people are actually making careers off. If your cooking skills are off the charts and you want to share your grandma’s cooking secrets with the world, or you’re an avid gamer that is really good at video gaming or you like to review movies, even if you’re a history buff and would like to share with us your passion, why not make any money alongside having fun doing it?

There are thousands of and thousands of famous Youtube channels that have millions of regular viewers. Same as blogging, you can sign up for an ad service like Google Adsense and every time someone watches your videos you earn money from it.

7. Tutoring

Tutoring is also something that is quite on demand lately. Many people have turned to internet when it comes to learning, so instead of inviting people over to your home to teach you, with a few clicks you can find a tutor that is fit to help you in the topics that you’re interested. Websites such as Tutor.com make this possible quite easily. In order to teach, you might need to enter some tests just to see that you’re actually knowledgeable enough to teach that subject to others. One thing that might make this job harder is that the working hours many times depend on the clients, for example during weekdays from 4 p.m. until 11 p.m. may be more required because a lot of students get back home from the school.

8. Virtual Assistant

It may not be the most ideal job that will help you earn a lot of money, but it is definitely something. If you’re confident in your organizational skills and you also can manage to stick to deadlines, you can start thinking of doing this. And if you add to the list, proficiency in programs such as Excel, word or Powerpoint and you’re good to go.

9. Online Photo selling

All of us have that certain relative or family member that think they can become a famous professional photographer. But nowadays it’s much easier to showcase your talent and earn money through doing so. Websites like Shutterstock.com and istockphoto.com let you sell your photos online. It is obvious that there is a lot of competition that you will face there but it is definitely worth a shot.

10. Write an eBook

If you think that you’re a writer at heart and have something that you know can sell, why not give it a shot?

Even though it may be easier said than done because books require massive amounts of time in research and it’s something that will guarantee you money. But if your serious about writing one and selling it, consider doing so through Amazon’s Kindle and Apple’s iTunes connect.

 

Well, did you find something fitting for you? As mentioned above, these are beginners’ solutions. I will tell you my deeper insights and secrets in the upcoming posts.