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Saturday, March 7, 2015

Few Ways To Control Your Emotions Effectively

Emotions are the most present, pressing and sometimes painful force in our lives. We are driven day by day by our emotions. We take chances because we're excited for new prospects. We cry because we've been hurt and we make sacrifices because we love. Without a doubt, our emotions dictate our thoughts, intentions and actions with superior authority to our rational minds. But when we act on our emotions too quickly, or we act on the wrong kinds of emotions, we often make decisions that we later lament.

Our feelings can alter between dangerous extremes. Veer too far to the left and you're bordering on rage. Steer too much to the right and you're in a state of euphoria. As with many other aspects of life, emotions are best met with a sense of moderation and logical perspective. This is not to say that we should stop ourselves from falling in love or jumping for joy after great news. These truly are the finer things in life. It is negative emotions that must be handled with extreme care.
Negative emotions, like rage, envy or bitterness, tend to spiral out of control, especially immediately after they've been triggered. In time, these sorts of emotions can grow like weeds, slowly conditioning the mind to function on detrimental feelings and dominating daily life. Ever met a person who's consistently angry or hostile? They weren't born that way. But they allowed certain emotions to stir within them for so long that they became inbred feelings arising all too frequently.
So how can we avoid operating on the wrong types of feelings and master our emotions under the harshest of circumstances?
Follow my six steps to control your emotions and regain rationality in any challenging situation:
Don't react right away. Reacting immediately to emotional triggers can be an immense mistake. It is guaranteed that you'll say or do something you'll later regret. Before refuting the trigger with your emotional argument, take a deep breath and stabilize the overwhelming impulse. Continue to breathe deeply for five minutes, feeling as your muscles untense and your heart rate returns to normal. As you become calmer, affirm to yourself that this is only temporary.
Ask for divine guidance. Faith is our saving grace in our darkest moments. No matter your creed, developing a healthy relationship with the divine world will help you surmount your obstacles more easily. This is because when you believe in a higher force, you also believe in the power of divine intervention to show you what you must do, teach you why something is happening or even save you from a certain unwanted situation. When burdened with emotion, close your eyes, envision a positive solution to your problem, and ask the universe to illuminate the best path forward.
Find a healthy outlet. Now that you've managed your emotion, you'll need to release it in a healthy way. Emotions should never be bottled up. Call or go see someone you trust and recount to them what happened. Hearing an opinion other than your own broadens your awareness. Keep a journal and transfer your emotions from your inner self onto the paper. Many people find it helpful to engage in aggressive exercises, such as kickboxing or martial arts, to discharge their feelings. Others meditate and chant to return to a tranquil state of being. Perform whatever activity is best-suited to you in order to liberate your being from pent-up sentiments.
See the bigger picture. Every happening of our lives, whether good or bad, serves a higher purpose. Wisdom means being able to see past the moment and discern the greater meaning of any given situation. You may not understand it in the beginning, but as time goes by, you'll begin to see the bigger picture falling into perfect order. Even in the midst of an emotionally upsetting moment, trust that there exists an ultimate purpose which you will come to comprehend soon.
Replace your thoughts. Negative emotions bind us to recurring negative thoughts, creating cycles of downright negative patterns. Whenever you are confronted with an emotion which is making you feel or think something bad, force it out of your mind and replace it with a different thought. Imagine the ideal resolution to your problem playing out, think about someone who makes you happy or remember an event that makes you smile.
Forgive your emotional triggers. Your emotional triggers may be your best friend, your family members, yourself or all of the above. You may feel a sudden wave of anger when your friend "does that thing she does," or a stab of self-loathing when you remember something you could have done differently. But when you forgive, you detach. You detach from the resentment, the jealousy or the fury lingering within you. You allow people to be who they are without the need for escalating emotions. As you forgive, you will find yourself disassociating from the harsh feelings attached to your being.
A constant reminder of our ardent nature, emotions surge through us at every second of the day. But we often take wrong actions when wrong feelings filter through our mind without restraint. To avoid the burn of acting out during an emotional upsurge, take a few simple steps to calm your heightened spirit and quiet your uneasy mind. When the moment has passed (in hindsight), you'll be grateful you were able to be the master of your emotions.

Source: Huffingtonpost
Dr. Carmen Harra Headshot

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge puts design first

Following countless leaks and endless teasers, Samsung has officially announced the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge smartphones. The pair of S6 phones succeed the Galaxy S5, Samsung's prior flagship announced one year ago, and will be available across the world starting on April 10th. All four major US carriers plus US Cellular have committed to carrying both the S6 and the S6 Edge, while smaller carriers such as Boost Mobile, Cricket Wireless, and MetroPCS will only offer the S6. The Galaxy S6 Edge will be priced higher than the standard S6, though Samsung isn’t saying exactly how much either one will be at this point.

The S5 was largely considered a misstep by Samsung: its advanced display and plentiful features were overshadowed by its plasticky build and ho-hum design, and during the course of 2014, Samsung's smartphone profits fell dramatically as a result. Clearly Samsung does not want a repeat of the Galaxy S5 and 2014.

So consider the S6 phones complete reboots of Samsung's top-end Galaxy, a back to the drawing board approach that has resulted in the most visually stunning devices Samsung has ever produced. Where the 2014 S5 looked almost identical to 2013's S4, the S6 and S6 Edge have all-new designs that look and feel significantly different than the older Galaxy devices.

Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge photos

Samsung is essentially splitting its flagship model into two distinct, but very similar designs. The Galaxy S6 has a flat display, metal frame, and glass front and back panels. Its counterpart, the S6 Edge, has all of the above, but throws in a curve to the sides of its front and rear glass, giving it a distinctive character. The curved glass is similar to the curved display and glass Samsung utilized on the Note Edge, but it’s not as aggressive and is found on both sides of the phone instead of just the right. Needless to say, the S6 Edge is the far more interesting looking and feeling phone of the pair.

Both of the new phones are made entirely of metal and glass: the cheesy and cheap-feeling plastics that have dominated Samsung’s products for years are no where to be found. This change can’t be overstated: Samsung finally has made flagship products that look and feel like they are worth the premium price tag they command. The flat S6 will be available in white black, gold, and blue, while the S6 Edge can be hand in white, black, gold, and green.

Samsung’s lead designer on the project says the company spared no expense when it came to materials that they could use in the new phones. The front and rear glass panels are Gorilla Glass 4, and the metal frame is significantly nicer than the plastic used on Samsung’s prior phones (and even the metal frame used in the Note 4 and others released late last year). With Samsung competing in the high-end market against Apple and HTC, both of which use premium materials in their devices, it’s important that Samsung shows it can hang. For the most part, the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge do.

Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge photos

Samsung didn’t just focus on design for the new phones either. In typical Samsung fashion, the Galaxy S6 phones are packed with the latest technology: an octacore Samsung Exynos processor (for the international version, Samsung would not confirm what processor the US models will use); 5.1-inch QHD Super AMOLED displays; 3GB of RAM; 32, 64, or 128GB of internal storage; 16-megapixel cameras with optical image stabilization; a new fingerprint sensor in the home button that no longer requires a swipe; an infrared heart-rate monitor that Samsung says also helps the camera obtain accurate white balance; integrated support for both Qi and PMA wireless charging; fast USB charging that’s 1.5 times faster than the Galaxy S5; a speaker that’s 1.5 times louder than the S5’s; and integrated support for Samsung Pay, which uses either NFC or MFT (LoopPay) technology for transactions.

But while Samsung certainly improved upon the Galaxy S5’s design in dramatic ways and upgraded the phone’s technology at the same time with the S6, it didn’t come without cost. Hallmarks of Samsung’s phones, such as removable batteries, microSD card slots, and waterproofing are nowhere to be found on the S6 or S6 Edge. That will likely upset some die-hard users and Samsung loyalists that relied on those features, but it’s clear that Samsung prioritized the phone’s design and its look and feel over things that appeal to a smaller segment of its customer base. Samsung also trimmed back the software features, claiming that there are 40 percent fewer features in the Galaxy S6 than the S5. Overall, the software feels largely the same as before, however. (It's based on Android 5.0 Lollipop.)

It’s easy to see where Samsung took its inspiration for the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge: the design is strikingly similar to the iPhone 6 in many places, and the features that Samsung did focus its efforts on are all things the iPhone has had for years. Look at the S6 from certain angles and you’d immediately think it’s an iPhone. Put your thumb on the home key and the phone unlocks almost instantly, just like an iPhone. Even the camera mount protrudes out from the rear of the phone, preventing the S6 from lying flat on a table, just like an iPhone 6. (The flat S6 looks like the lovechild of an iPhone 4 and an iPhone 6, while the S6 Edge is a little more distinctive.) Samsung has be known to copy Apple’s design before, which led to record sales and record-breaking lawsuits. It’s hard to say if the Galaxy S6 will bring about any lawsuits, but the similarities between it and the iPhone 6 are undeniable.

Of the two, I’m particularly drawn to the S6 Edge. While the standard S6 has a very generic design that could have come from any number of phone makers out of China, the Edge’s curved sides look cool and make it easier to swipe across the screen. The curves aren’t overly dramatic and the symmetrical design is far better than the Note Edge’s side panel. Also unlike the Note Edge, Samsung isn’t really using the curved sides to display specific information. It still has the bedside clock feature (activated by swiping back and forth on the curved part of the screen), but the news tickers, app launcher, and notifications panel are gone.

Design considerations and copycat accusations aside, the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge are sure to be great phones in their own rights. Samsung made them 2mm narrower than the S5, which doesn’t sound like much but does wonders for one-handed maneuverability. In my brief time with the two phones, performance was quick and snappy and it was easy to access all of the phone’s features with just my thumb, something I haven‘t been able to say for Samsung’s earlier devices.

Perhaps most impressive is the new camera. Samsung says it has listened to criticisms levied against its past cameras and has improved the S6’s camera to address them. It’s exceptionally quick, can be launched from anywhere with an easy double-tap on the home key (Samsung says it starts up in 0.7 seconds, and I have no reason to dispute that claim), and takes sharp, well-exposed photos. It also has automating focus tracking for moving subjects, a first for a mobile device. And Samsung claims that the infrared sensor on the back of the phone used to measure your heart rate can also pulls double duty to improve white balance quality when taking photos. I have a feeling it will see far more usage assisting the camera than it will measuring heart rates when the S6 hits stores. Most of those claims will need further scrutiny once we have a review unit of the Galaxy S6 to test, but my first impressions with the camera are really good.

Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge photos

The Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge both support Samsung’s new mobile payments program, called Samsung Pay. It uses technology Samsung acquired through its LoopPay purchase to let you make purchases at any retailer that has a standard credit card swiper. It also works with NFC tap-to-pay systems and is authenticated with the fingerprint sensor in the phone’s home button. Between the two systems, Samsung says it will be accepted at 90 percent of retailers. Samsung Pay will work with both MasterCard and Visa, as well as American Express, Bank of America, Citi, JPMorgan Chase, and U.S. Bank. It’s very obviously Samsung’s answer to Apple Pay, but it won’t be available until later this summer, a few months after the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge hit store shelves.

Samsung is also announcing a version of the Gear VR that will work with both the S6 and S6 Edge. It’s 15-percent smaller than the Gear VR for the Note 4, and it has improvements such as USB charging. Samsung is still calling it an "Innovator Edition", which means it’s not really designed to be used by everyday consumers. (Presumably, consumers will still be able to buy it pretty easily, however, just like the Gear VR for the Note 4.) I wasn’t able to test the S6’s Gear VR, so we’ll have to wait and see if it’s an improvement over the older model.

With sales falling and profits going down along with them, Samsung needed to do something much bigger and better this year than it did with the S5 last year. For most intents and purposes, the S6 and S6 Edge are just that: they are dramatically nicer and better phones than Samsung has ever produced. But it’s hard not to say that this is the phone the S5 should have been a year ago, and Samsung is still going to be playing catch up with Apple. The S6 and S6 Edge are certainly great phones, with solid performance and finally a design that Samsung can be proud of. Whether or not that’s enough to put Samsung back on top remains to be seen.

Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge photos

Input Source: THE VERGE

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Tips To Work Well Under Pressure

In the IT world working under pressure is a daily event. Knowing the steps to take when faced with an issue can lessen the stress of working under pressure.

Deadlines, project changes, unforeseen obstacles, critical outages are only a few of the stressful issues that can arise in the IT world. We face these circumstances often and can feel a great deal of pressure to get them taken care of.
“Pressure – The stress or urgency of matters demanding attention, The burden of physical or mental distress, The constraint of circumstances.”
Working under pressure involves dealing with circumstances that can be constrained by time, resources, the difficultly of the task, all of these and more. It involves the stress that comes from dealing with a matter that must be taken care of on time. This pressure can lead to physical or mental distress.

Maintain Control

The first step in learning how to work under pressure is to maintain control. For some pressure brings up emotions that can cloud decision-making and inhibit your ability to deal with a problem. If you cannot set your emotions aside take those emotions and turn them into the energy needed to deal with the situation.

Evaluate The Issue

Before you jump into action you must first evaluate the issue.
Be sure you know exactly what the issue is before you try to resolve it. On the surface it may seem like one thing, when in fact there is an underlying cause. By jumping to conclusions and acting on the wrong issue you may in fact make it worse. Ask the important questions who, what, when, where, why to get to the root of the problem.
Once you know what the issue is then determine the priority. Is it a high priority that must be dealt with immediately?

Have a Plan

The post “How a Proactive IT Manager Can Handle Any Crisis” details how important it is to have a plan or processes for dealing with a crisis already in place. When a crisis arises that puts you under pressure you execute the plan. Each step is outlined and everyone knows what they are supposed to do.

When There Is No Plan

There are times when something arises that there is no plan for. In these cases the best way to deal with it is a step-by-step process. Learning how to work under pressure means sometimes you have to work without a net.
  1. Determine what the issue is and document all the circumstances surrounding it.
  2. Determine how critical it is. This will determine how quickly it must be dealt with.
  3. Create a simple to-do list for each step that needs to be done to resolve it.
  4. Once you know the steps then it is just a matter of doing them or delegating them.
Anytime you deal with something for which you had no plan for after the issue is resolved write down everything while it is still fresh in your mind. You can use these notes later to create a step-by-step plan for dealing with that issue should it arise in the future.

Take Away

How to work under pressure can be summed up into three steps.
  1. Maintain control
  2. Evaluate the issue
  3. Execute the plan or prepare and execute the plan if no plan exist
You can relieve the stress of working under pressure by knowing what steps to take to deal with any situation that can arise. Being pro-active by having plans in place for common issues can make sure they are dealt with promptly and relieve the stress of working under pressure.
The more you have to work under pressure, the better you get at it. This builds confidence that you can deal with anything that arises. This confidence can relieve the stress and help reduce the emotions that can come up when working under pressure.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Three Eating Rules Bodybuilders Follow

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Tips To Avoid Dry & Cracked Skin This Winter

Let's just put it out there: winter and skin are not the best of friends.
At this point in the season, your door can't hang one more heavy coat and your online shopping cart is full of one too many scarves, but let's not forget about the most essential part of winter: the ongoing battle with dry skin.
As the temperatures continue to drop, the dry environment and lack of moisture allows for cracked hands, chapped lips and scaly legs. Ew. This winter weather demands an upgrade to your skin care regimen, because nothing complements that seasonal vampy lip more than a hydrated, glowing face.
Read below for the basic rules to follow for skin care this winter.
1. Moisturize, moisturize, MOISTURIZE.
Moisturizing is an essentialpart of our skin regimen, but it's particularly so in this dry, freezing weather. Be sure to choose a product that is specific to your skin type and remember to apply within a few minutes of bathing to trap much-needed water.
2. Don't rule out the humidifier. 
Yes, it takes up space and, yes, it's not the first item on your Christmas list, but the added vapor will hyper-hydrate your skin and help prevent a flaky, itchy outer layer.
3. Vaseline is your best friend. 
Dry feet? Check. Dry elbows and knees? Double check. Lather up, ladies and gentleman, that little plastic container is your go-to all winter long. From lip balm to foot cream to makeup remover, this gooey substance can "fix" just about anything.
4. Keep a bottle of hand cream in your purse or on your desk. 
Cracked-hands? No thanks. Keep your hands soft and healthy this season by keeping a bottle on hand -- those mini bottles of lotion make great stocking stuffers, by the way.
5. Don't shower in super hot water. 
We know it's tempting, but showering in scalding temperatures tends to dry out your skin even more. Hot water removes natural oils from the skin, and the more oils removed, the drier the skin becomes.
6. Brush your lips with a toothbrush to get rid of that excess skin.
Because NO ONE likes chapped lips.
choosing the right toothbrush
7. What about those dry under-eye patches? Hello, Aquaphor. 
It may be in the Vaseline family, but Aquaphor is the advanced therapy you need to survive the chilly season, specifically for those exceptionally dry areas. Meet you at Duane Reade.
8. Ditch the drugstore makeup remover wipes and reach for the cold cream cleanser.
The towelettes may be convenient, but the cold cream cleanser moisturizes AND removes makeup. Skin care products with added alcohols, and sulfates not only irritate but dry skin, too. We recommend Pond's.
9. Never forget Chapstick. 
Bonus: Don't shave your legs as often!
Hairy is better than scaly and who cares, you're wearing pants anyway.
shaving legs

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

7 Exercises To Lose Weight And Transform Your Body

Exercises That Will Transform Your Body
Looking for some effective ways to transform your body? There are a few great exercises that will help you to reach your fitness goal. These exercises are easy but effective in strengthening your body along with burning unwanted calories. However, sticking to these exercises is not enough to transform your body, you should also eat healthy and get enough sleep regularly. Don’t waste your precious time doing other workouts, here are seven exercises that will help you transform your body in no time.

1. Jumping rope

Jumping rope
When was the last time you jumped rope? Perhaps in your childhood. Jumping rope is a cheap and easily portable exercise that you can do almost anywhere. This workout burns more calories per minute than any other workout. Get jumping for a perfect exercise and plenty of fun. One of the best things about jumping rope is that you can do it with your kids. Moreover, jumping rope is a fantastic way to fit in a highly effective cardio session when you are on the go. Simply toss your jumping rope in your carry-on and you don’t need to look for the nearest gym. So, who said jumping rope is only for kids?

2. Squats

The squat is a compound, full-body exercise that works more than one muscle group. This powerful exercise helps tone your glutes, strengthen your body and burn a lot of calories. To boost your calorie expenditure and raise your heart rate, you can try to do jump squats. Or stay in a squat hold with dumbbells in the hands to increase the resistance as well as feel the burn. Doing squats regularly is one of the best ways to transform your body as well as improve your physical health. If you sit all day at work or at home, you are at higher risk of serious disease. Why not do several squats whilst waiting for your dinner to cook, the kettle to boil, or your PC to boot up? Sometimes multitasking is a great thing!

3. Pushups

Unfortunately, many people avoid doing pushups since this exercise is a bit harder to perform, but it can do wonders for your body. There are plenty of different pushups that work the different muscles in the shoulders and arms. Try to vary your pushup style to lower your risk of becoming bored with exercise. Not only do pushups work the upper body, but also work the core. Do pushups a few days a week to help sculpt the arms and overall transform the body. Plus, pushups are good for your heart and cardiovascular health and this exercise helps to improve your posture. Just make sure you do them correctly – learn to do pushups with your back straight to reduce back pain and avoid straining your back.

4. Lunges

To tone the muscles in your legs try doing lunges. Lunges give you such amazing results because they isolate every leg individually, helping transform your body. To add some cardio and boost the intensity, do some jump lunges. I suggest you to do 3 sets of 10 lunges a day for the best results. Since lunges are a very effective workout for strengthening, sculpting and building a few muscle groups, why not do them every day? Even if you have a super busy schedule, you can still find time to do several lunges. Stop making excuses and start exercising to transform your body today.

5. Swimming

The great news for all lovers of swimming and for those who are trying to transform their bodies – swimming is a super effective workout that will bring you astonishing results. Swimming helps strengthen your core and work different muscle groups. Swimming boasts numerous health benefits. It helps to reduce your blood pressure, strengthen your heart and improve your aerobic capacity. Plus, swimming is a wonderful way for your family to get moving and have plenty of fun together. Though, this exercise is not as portable as jumping rope.

6. Running

There are many benefits of running. It helps to relieve stress, improve your heart health, reduce the risk of depression, burn mega calories and improve your overall health. Running can actually transform the body like nothing else. It builds strong, toned legs and makes them look thinner. I enjoy running, especially early in the morning, and I think it’s one of the best exercises to do every day. I always feel a great sense of accomplishment after my run. If you don’t feel like running, try jogging. Not only does jogging help to burn calories, it also helps to improve your overall health.

7. Cycling

A cycling workout is a foolproof way to get a great sweat and work your legs. Cycling is a wonderful exercise since you can push yourself at a higher intensity. It strengthens your legs, arms and back, encourages your heart to work more efficiently and aids in weight loss. Cycling is also one of the easiest ways to fit exercise into your everyday routine since it’s a great means of transportation. It gets you fit, saves you money, and is good for your health. Bring along your significant other or friend, or cycle solo, and ensure you get the most out of your workout.
So there you have it! The list of the most effective exercises that will definitely help you transform your body. Just make sure you do them on a regular basis to see the best results. What’s your favorite exercise?

Friday, July 11, 2014

Remove Stress From Your Life Forever With These 7 Simple Steps

We all face stress, and it's what we do when we're stessed that defines the outcome.

While some let themselves get overwhelmed and shut down, others use stress to motivate and push them to greater heights. Without the proper stress management tools, it's easy to give in and find ourselves overcome by stress. By following these seven steps, you can banish stress from your life--once and for all.

1. Look at the big picture

While you may be coming uncomfortably close to a deadline, your lack of progress is not your wife's or your children's faults, and probably not your coworkers' or employees' either. It's very important to remember what's most important in your life, and to be aware when you're blaming others for your problems and then taking it out on those closest to you. Sometimes we get so stressed that we blow up, which just causes more stress and drama in our lives.Try to keep things in proportion and you will see your stress level diminish daily.

2. Exercise

Being active is healthy for the body and the mind. When you're feeling stressed, take a quick break and go for a walk outside your office. This short interruption will give you a fresh perspective while removing immediate sources of stress. And as an added benefit, the endorphins released in your brain from the physical activity will make you feel better and at peace.

3. Eat healthy

Sugar crashes are a real thing, and with sugar hiding out in most every kind of processed food, it's extremely important to be aware of what you put in your body. Start out your mornings with a big, healthy breakfast--something along the lines of eggs and vegetables--and be sure to take breaks for lunch no matter how busy your day is. Keeping your brain fueled with healthy foods helps to keep stress from creeping up on you.

4. Keep track of progress

Write down how much you've accomplished on a project. Keep track of your average progress and make a goal for when you can and will complete it. Through this process, you can truly see how much is left to be done and plan accordingly instead of feeling overwhelmed inside because you aren't sure how much is left to accomplish.

5. Stay organized

Disorganization in any form causes the brain to feel stressed. Organize your work, your surroundings, and your activities in a way that gives you the most breathing room. If you are sitting in a room of clutter, your brain won't be able to focus on the task at hand. The more organized you are, the better you feel subconsciously. If you are feeling disorganized, spend 10 minutes a day on organizing different areas of your office and the work itself, and set a schedule for yourself.

6. Remain positive

Don't let yourself hang onto negative thoughts that you won't accomplish whatever it is that you need to to do. Tell yourself that you can and will finish on time, get organized, and get healthy. Make a goal, write it down, and hold yourself accountable. 

7. Make time for fun

The old saying is work hard, play hard, but if you're focused on only work and set aside no time for fun, you will get stressed and burned out. Be happy, and spread some of that happiness around. Plan non-working vacations, get-togethers with your employees outside of your office, and fun-filled activities for everyone to participate in within your office.

Source: Inc.com