Remember the last times you took the shower or bath. Were they steamy and long or did you just hop in and out without wasting tons of time and water? One of the answers to this question can uncover your hidden needs. In fact, scientists from Yale University made us scratch our heads with the idea that this shows how lonely we are.
The first step of the study involved 51 students from 18 to 45 years old. They were asked to complete a survey about their everyday habits and mark how lonely they felt. The survey included 3 questions about their bathing or showering routine — the researchers wanted to know the frequency, temperature, and duration of this procedure.
The results showed that students who felt lonelier took 23% more showers or baths in comparison to other students. The lonelier the student felt, the longer they spent in the shower and the warmer the water was. This happens because hot water essentially replaces a real companion and dispels feelings of isolation.
Although the results of the first step confirmed the initial theory, the researchers wanted to look at an older group of people to check and see if there would be any changes. So, they repeated the same test with 41 participants, ages 19–65.
The researchers reported almost similar outputs, except that they didn’t find a link between the frequency of bathing or showering and loneliness in this group. But this difference can be explained as well. Older people tend to have more regular and routine habits than students. So their need for social warmth is fully satisfied by an increase in both the temperature and duration.
We believe that it’s important to note here that loneliness can mean different things to different people. And sometimes it’s not about the number of friends a person has. Some of us might be surrounded by a lot of people and have friends, but still feel lonely or disconnected from them. In this case, it’s better to look at the problem and understand why it’s happening.
This is not the first study that has looked into the connection between physical and emotional warmth. For example, this study noted that even a simple act like holding a cup of hot coffee for a while can make a person feel more generous and trusting toward others.
So, next time you feel like taking a long hot shower, pour yourself a cup of hot tea or coffee, cover yourself with a soft blanket, and try to understand what your emotions are trying to tell you.
A messy room helps people break out of social norms and relax. According to a 2013 study, people are able to come up with more creative ideas when they’re in an untidy room. They are ready to try new things and are open to innovation.
It’s impossible to maintain order every second of the day. And people who aspire to this may experience something called compulsive tidying. Those who devote less time and attention to cleaning can be more relaxed and not inclined to feel irritation after seeing a small mess on the floor.
Those who are not concentrated on cleanliness save more time. In pursuit of organization and impeccable order, people spend many hours and a lot of effort to put everything in its place and clean every last spot. Disorder helps people devote more time and energy to what they are fascinated by and truly interested in.
It’s easier for people to find what they need in a mess. The things they need are always at hand, and not shoved into a faraway shelf. A messy table can be annoying, but a person who is used to it knows exactly where everything is. And they are sure that they will find exactly what they want there.
People who try to organize everything are less prepared for unexpected things. And our life is full of them and disorder will always return. Therefore, those who prefer disorder are less out of balance when something is not going according to plan.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should give up on cleaning and get stuck in a messy space. We just suggest that you go easy on yourself when it comes to cleaning and allow yourself to sit at a messy table in a messy room from time to time.
It all starts with adrenaline
Anger manifests itself not only in our emotional state, but also in the chemical processes of our body. When we get angry, adrenaline is released. It serves to make us ready to either "fight or flight." It activates us and causes anxiety.
Due to the blood flow from the internal organs to the muscles, we cannot feel hunger while we are angry. But this only has a short-term effect.
After the adrenaline level decreases, we feel the need to replenish the lost energy and we start to crave and eat food. But due to the fact that we are anxious, this can lead to us resorting to emotional and mindless eating. This means that we could eat something that's not good for us, that will bring us joy and comfort, not taking into consideration whether it's healthy for us or not.
What you can do:
Try not to eat to deal with your stress. Track your diet and stop every time you realize that you are full. This will help you to prevent weight gain.
Our anxiety is a reason for stress
Anxiety increases stress. Because of this, the level of the hormone cortisol increases. In addition to being harmful to the heart and blood pressure, it also affects our weight.
Cortisol converts blood sugar to fat and inhibits digestion. And as a result it leads to weight gain and forms fat that can be harmful for our heath.
What you can do:
Throw out your negative emotions with an active pastime. Go to the gym, do a workout, or take a walk in the park. This will help you change your state of mind and collect your thoughts.
We lose appetite control
Stress in turn leads to sleeping problems. When we don't get enough sleep, we don't have energy. And we are more likely to fill it with carbohydrates, which are contained in sweet drinks, candies, and other unhealthy foods.
At the same time, it's more difficult for us to control ourselves. Lack of sleep disrupts the functioning of hormones that control the appetite.
What you can do:
Find a way to restore harmony in your life. This may be reading, meeting with friends, doing your favorite thing, or something else that brings you pleasure and peace.
1. Fear can cause allergies and dermatitis.
Some researchers say that some common allergic conditions can be linked to mental health. Eczema, high fever, and asthma can be caused by mental illnesses. You may have suffered from allergies for years and years but the allergen is still unknown. Inside fears can trigger this condition.
Asthma symptoms and dermatitis can be improved or cured by reducing the load of psychosocial factors.
2. Obsession can evoke problems with weight.
Problems with weight can be caused and triggered by obsession or preoccupation with a minor or imaginary flaw. You may be too worried about wrinkles, small breasts, or other body parts.
Taking care of your body is very important and, of course, we need to take care of it, but fanaticism may lead to unwanted or dangerous results.
3. Fears and obsessions can cause symptoms of many different diseases at the same time.
You may start to worry about having a serious illness, even though there is no reason for it. And then after thinking too much about it, you really start feeling symptoms in your body. Obsession or fixation can cause this.
Sometimes we may overestimate problems. Fixating on negative feelings only makes the situation worse and makes the disease more real.
4. Emotional conflict and stress can provoke digestive disorders.
Our stomach is controlled by a complex system. Life’s stress can modulate impulses and cause undesirable reactions inside of it.
Inflammation of the stomach and gastritis may be caused by a conflict in the sphere of your feelings: the inability to take responsibility, grow up, and find a way out of difficult conflicts. When we refuse to see an internal conflict, it descends into the physical in order to make the brain pay attention.
5. Self-criticism and fears can cause headaches and migraines.
Self-criticism, low self-esteem, and inner fears are all reasons that can cause you to be worried and stressed all the time.
You may feel humiliated, somehow underestimated, and that you have to work harder and harder to forgive yourself in some moments.
There is too much information in your head! Sometimes we expect way too much from ourselves and this can cause other physical problems.
6. Depression and anxiety can provoke cardiac diseases.
Recurrent depression and anxiety are associated with a significantly increased risk of coronary heart disease. Depressive disorders can also trigger critical cardiac events.
You may feel anxious and nervous more and more every day and feel your heart start beating so fast. This can trigger cardiac problems.
What to do to avoid it
Experts say mindfulness helps us learn how to refocus our attention. It is important to not judge yourself and other people and to turn off your mind sometimes.
1. You could have a yeast infection.
It’s also called oral thrush, and it affects the mouth, creating white spots on the throat and tongue. The infection is caused by a bacteria called Candida Albicans that naturally inhabits your mouth and is controlled by your immune system. However, if your immune system weakens, this bacteria can quickly reproduce causing an infection. Apart from the bits of white on your throat, another symptom of this is a weird taste in your mouth.
2. You could be pregnant.
Apart from nausea and fatigue, a vast proportion of pregnant women complain about a metallic taste in their mouths. This happens because of the hormonal changes that your body experiences when creating new life. Hormones can affect your sense of smell and taste, causing you to hate your former favorite perfume and ache for Brussel’s sprouts. But don’t worry, this usually goes away in the third trimester.
3. You could need more zinc.
If you’re eating a low-zinc diet, your body is not absorbing a proper amount of zinc, or you have a zinc deficiency, you may experience an odd taste in your mouth and scientists are still trying to figure out why. After this study, they believe it’s because zinc elevates the levels of gustin, a type of protein that controls taste buds.
4. It could be because of the flu or a regular cold.
If you have a bitter taste on your tongue, accompanied by the flu or a cold, don’t worry, this is totally normal. Both are common infections and, according to scientists, they make your immune system alert and ready to fight them off with protein production. While this is going on, it may leave a bittersweet taste in your mouth. Plus, if the infection is in your nose or throat, you may be experiencing an odd taste because of the bacteria that causes the flu.
5. It could be diabetes.
If your body is having difficulties regulating sugar in your blood you may experience a strange sweet taste in your mouth. Research shows that this is the reason why, if you suffer from diabetes, you experience this. Another reason is that sometimes diabetes may lower the amount of zinc you absorb, making your mouth feel like it ate something bittersweet.
6. It could be the pine nuts you ate a few days ago.
Scientists are still trying to figure what causes “pine nut syndrome” which refers to the bitter taste some people experience a few days after eating pine nuts. It can last for a couple of days up to a couple of weeks, and it gets stronger with every meal or drink you ingest. You might not sense a strange flavor when you eat them, but that doesn’t mean you won’t get the syndrome. And there’s nothing to worry about since, other than that, there are no further side effects.
7. Your stress levels could be too high.
Anxiety can cause what is known as xerostomia or dry mouth which means exactly that, the effect of dryness caused by low amounts of saliva in your mouth. Saliva plays an important role in our health from the beginning of our digestion to fighting bad bacteria in our mouth. So if you don’t produce it in the necessary amounts, you’ll experience a weird taste. When you’re nervous, worried, or are anxious, you tend to produce less saliva which is the explanation for that odd taste.
8. It could be the medication you’re taking.
If you’re taking a specific type of medication, you may have experienced a bittersweet, salty, or even metallic taste in your mouth. However, as studies explain, this is a side effect of many medicines, prescribed or purchased over-the-counter like antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, and those used to treat hypertension and allergies. Even some multivitamins can have this effect. Luckily, it only lasts until you process the medicine or supplement.
9. Your oral hygiene may need to be improved.
Your mouth is home to many types of bacteria, good and bad. If you don’t have proper oral hygiene by brushing your teeth and flossing daily, you will allow harmful bacteria to proliferate, which will lead to a suspicious taste. In addition to a strange taste, you could have issues with your teeth and gums, which would only make matters worse.
Try not to lift your chin.
This is one of the most common mistakes: you try to sit straight but lift your chin too high. As a result, it looks like your nostrils are looking straight into the camera. This kind of picture doesn’t look natural, and your position makes your chin look big and “heavy”. Try to relax your shoulders and don’t throw your head back.
Don’t move your head back.
Don’t tilt or move your head back. Otherwise, you’ll get a double chin. To make the lower part of your face look better, slightly move your chin forward and lower your head a little.
Avoid a wide smile.
According to modern standards, a wide smile is inappropriate for photos in official documents in most countries. But a soft smile will do — just lift the corners of your mouth slightly.
Frowning eyebrows can spoil photos even more than a wide smile can. To avoid doing this, try to slightly lift your eyebrows as if something has surprised you. But make sure not to look too shocked!
Don’t forget about your hair.
Choose a neat look, avoiding fancy hairstyles and bangs that are too long. According to some rules, in certain pictures, your forehead, eyes, and eyebrows shouldn’t be covered. Those who prefer to go bald should make sure their head isn’t too shiny.
Pay attention to your makeup.
Avoid pearlescent eyeshadows and glitter (like glossy lipsticks and highlighters) since they can make you look older in bright light. It’s better to choose matte tones.
Eyebrows and eyelashes also matter. They should be accentuated as they “vanish” in pictures. Your lipstick should be matte and its color should resemble the natural color of your lips. Avoid nude and intense tones.
Choose an appropriate outfit.
As a rule, in most photos, only your face is required, so you don’t have to put on your best clothes. But remember, loud accessories may look strange and big collars or hoods may create an illusion that you have a hump. It’s recommended to choose a shirt or a t-shirt of a dark color.
1. Holding the keys between your fingers
Many people think the best way to use a key for protection is to hold it in a fist between the fingers. However, there are some downsides to this method:
A better way to carry a key is to hold it naturally, as if you were going to open your door. Thus you will not draw any attention to it, and it will be easier to handle.
You can also grip the key facing downward, like a knife. It could help you make a swinging, more powerful motion.
2. Running away from an attacker
Running away from an attacker isn’t always a good idea.
That being said, running might still be your best option. Just try to stay focused and assess the situation, remembering the consequences that running away from someone can have.
3. Trying to reason with the attacker
You might think talking to the attacker and trying to de-escalate the situation can increase your chances of not being hurt. Instead, this may result in exactly the opposite.
The attacker will be focused solely on his/her objective (e.g., to mug you). So anything that comes between him/her and achieving that objective, like your talking, will be met with aggression. The irritation might compel the assailant to take more drastic measures and possibly hurt you.
4. Learning self-defense techniques online
While watching videos that explain how to defend yourself might make you feel safer, this is not the way you should learn self-defense.
So it would be better to sign up for a self-defense class or try martial arts.
5. Throwing your belongings on the ground when mugged
When being mugged, you might think it’s a good idea to throw your valuables on the ground in one direction and run in the other, while the mugger gets distracted for a second. That action can, in reality, make him/her angrier because you didn’t follow his/her instructions. So he/she might decide to use force on you and potentially hurt you more than if you’d complied.
6. Avoiding eye contact
Sometimes you hear this advice: avoid eye contact with an attacker, because that will rile him/her up and escalate the situation.
While in some situations this may hold true, in others it will only show an attacker that you are intimidated by him/her and an easy target. So by making eye contact you demonstrate that you are confident, alert, and also ready to identify him/her to the police.
7. Kicking them in the groin
Although this will inflict some pain, it will not help you much.
8. Pretending to talk on the phone
This is one more tip that can give you a feeling of security, but doesn’t really make you more secure.
You might think that if an assailant sees you talking on the phone, that it will scare him/her off, because there will be a witness — a person on the other end of the line. But it will actually show him/her that you are unaware of your surroundings and inattentive, because your mind is somewhere else. So he/she will see you as an easy target.
Bonus: Yell “Fire!”
Sometimes it is advised to yell, “Fire!” instead of “Help!” and this subject has been heavily debated.
The truth is probably somewhere in the middle. In the end, the most important thing is to show the people around you that you are in danger and in need of help, by any means possible, be it shouting, “Fire!” or “Help!”
Myth #10: You’re not allowed to take a bath.
Some girls avoid enjoying a bath during their periods, some women think that hot water encourages bleeding, and others are afraid to get an infection. But it’s not a wound that bleeds, it’s just the endometrium that separates from the endometrial wall. Water won’t ever be able to take that “too far.”
A warm bath can be helpful. Hot water improves the work of the blood vessels, relaxes our smooth muscles, and reduces menstrual cramps. So there’s a chance you’ll feel much better after taking a bath. Of course, it’s recommended to wash your bath before you get in, and if you’re still worried, use a tampon.
Myth #9: You’re not allowed to swim in a swimming pool or open water.
Many people think that this is bad for their health, but it’s not true. First, a tampon or a menstrual cup won’t let water get inside (pads won’t do the trick since they’ll get wet.) Second, swimming, as well as other exercises, reduces pain.
It’s not that easy to get an infection in a swimming pool. According to statistics, in a swimming pool, you’re at risk of getting a gastrointestinal disease, conjunctivitis, or skin diseases. To avoid skin irritation after swimming in a swimming pool, take a shower and put on clean clothes.
Myth #8: Periods synchronize when women live together.
Martha McClintock was the first to write about this feature in her article for Nature in 1971. In her experience, friends, relatives, and roommates have their periods almost 100% synchronized. The reason was because they exchanged certain pheromones that are produced by the female body.
Later studies have disproved the link between periods and the frequency of interaction. It turns out she hadn’t considered several factors, and a similar experiment gave absolutely different results. Today menstrual synchronization hasn’t been proven and is treated as a myth in the scientific community.
Myth #7: It’s better to postpone hair dying.
...Otherwise the color won’t spread evenly, and the hair will look scruffy. Internet users claim it happens due to a hormonal imbalance. Scientists were really interested to study this case and they found out that even if during menstruation the hair is more capricious and vulnerable, it doesn’t have any impact on sebum production.
According to data, unruly hair is the result of poor care or a genetic predisposition. Stylists agree with this: you can dye your hair whenever you want.
Myth #6: Strong drinks can affect the menstrual cycle.
It’s all about the dosage. Ladies who consume too much alcohol on a regular basis are prone to having irregular menstrual cycles, anovulations, and amenorrhea. Alcohol abuse has a poor influence on the whole body, not just the reproductive system.
If you want to drink a glass of wine or a couple of cocktails during your period, it’s OK. Studies show that moderate drinking doesn’t destroy the menstrual cycle phase and doesn’t affect your health.
Myth #5: It’s better to postpone a depilation and your visit to a tattoo artist or a cosmetologist.
Some tattoo artists don’t recommend that women get tattoos during their periods since a tattoo can “smudge.” Cosmetologists also try to prevent their clients from undergoing some procedures such as Botox injections and so on. But the result depends on the expert. You shouldn’t postpone your visit, though you do have to remember: it can be more painful.
Myth #4: You have to tolerate the abdominal pain.
Yes, almost all women experience this pain, but its intensity may vary. From 45 to 93% of women suffer from dysmenorrhea. From 3 to 33% of them experience severe pain: high body temperature, vomiting, dizziness, and other symptoms that make women really miserable for 1-3 days.
If dysmenorrhea stops you from leading a normal life, it’s better to turn to a gynecologist who will find a suitable treatment. Generally, the treatment for this lasts for 3 menstrual cycles, and the effects can last for 2-4 months. Then the pain returns, but it’s less severe.
Myth #3: It’s impossible to get pregnant during your period.
This is one of the most common period myths. In fact, fertility isn’t that strong during periods, it’s the strongest 12-16 days before the next cycle. But don’t forget that in some women, the cycle lasts 21 days, not 28 days, and can be irregular.
By the way, sperm can keep its fertilizing ability in a woman’s body for 5-7 days. In this case, having unprotected sex can coincide with the ovulation period and result in pregnancy.
Myth #2: The cycle depends on the Moon phase.
This myth comes from ancient times, and modern studies can’t find any link between the phases of the Moon and dates when periods begin. A team of analysts has come up with the same results after studying 7.5 million cycles. The explanation is rather simple.
The lunar cycle lasts for 29.5 days, while an average menstrual cycle can vary from 21 to 35 days. The length of a cycle can change throughout a woman’s life. A phase and a cycle may coincide if the cycle lasts for 29-30 days, and it’s, in fact, just a coincidence.
Myth #1: It’s dangerous to delay your period with combined oral contraceptive pills.
Each woman probably has wanted to postpone her period at least once in her life. Some women don’t use pills since they think they can affect their health. But experts from the National Women’s Health Network have proven that delaying your period doesn’t do anything bad. In some cases, it’s even useful. For example, when a woman suffers from dysmenorrhea. Of course, it’s not recommended to use this method on a regular basis.
The exercises in this article are very powerful and work on isolated muscles which stimulate muscle growth. Needless to say that when muscles grow they become bigger, and so will the area you’re working on.
1. Side bends
Generally speaking, if you go crazy with the exercises that activate the obliques, you have a good chance of ending up with a blocky wide waist and side bends are on the top list for this.
Replacement option: Side plank is one of the most effective exercises to get strong obliques and avoid bulking them up.
Rollouts can be done with a barbell, a pair of dumbbells, or a rollout wheel and it’s a powerful workout for upper and lower abs, however if you over pump these muscles, your stomach may look bigger instead of looking flat.
Replacement option: Plank is a very simple exercise, but don’t underestimate its effectiveness. It engages the entire core but doesn’t bulk the core muscles.
3. Medicine ball jackknife
Medicine ball jackknives cover a few groups of muscles and may make your waist like look bigger.
Replacement option: A stomach vacuum is very effective for transversus abdominis muscles and if you practice it regularly, you get stronger and firmer core muscles.
4. Cable crunches
Cable crunches target the rectus abdominis muscle and if you get too crazy with this exercise, your stomach may become larger than you expected.
Replacement option: The static V hold also works on the rectus abdominis, but unlike the weighted workout, it builds core strength, not volume.
5. Weighted crunches
Bonus: Over exercising
When you want to get fit or lose those stubborn extra pounds, it is very tempting to start exercising like crazy. However, the experts warn that over exercising is your enemy on the way of achieving your fitness dream. Rest and recovery time are crucially important for building strong muscles and preventing injuries. And a balanced diet is always the must, because even the best muscles covered with a generous layer of fat will look big.
1. We don’t clean our washing machine.
A dirty washing machine is dangerous because it causes the spread of bacteria and mold spores on your clothes. It is harmful for both healthy people and people who suffer from allergies and asthma.
The particles of dirt can stay inside the drum, and inside the detergent and softener compartments. Experts recommend cleaning your washing machine once every 2 weeks. Run a wash cycle without any clothes in your washing machine at the highest temperature possible with bleach or citric acid. Another way to disinfect it is to wash your kitchen cotton towels with 100 ml of bleach.
Wash the compartments of the washing machine with the same regularity and don’t forget to dry the drum between the cycles. It’s very difficult to remove mold spots after they’ve already affected the door seal.
2. We keep a toilet brush in a sealed container.
A toilet brush is one of the dirtiest objects in your home. You can significantly reduce the number of bacteria on it if you just dry it before storing it and disinfect it regularly. A sealed container is the perfect environment for bacteria growth, which spreads all over your bathroom when you use the brush.
You can buy a brush in a special holder which lets the brush get dry between uses, or place the brush for 10 minutes after use as shown in the picture above.
3. We rarely disinfect our sinks.
When cleaning the sink, we often forget to clean the drain, and we do it only when a bad smells start coming from it. Particles of food and dirt remain in the drain, bacteria start growing there, and when water is poured into the drain under pressure, these things return to the sink. To clean the drain properly, put one tablespoon of baking soda into the drain, pour a bit of vinegar on top of it, and leave it for the night. In the morning, flush the drain with boiling water or just very hot water.
This procedure is especially effective after cutting meat, fish, or a large amount of vegetables.
4. One of the dirtiest objects in the house is a toothbrush holder.
The shocking fact is that your toothbrush is home to more than 100 million harmful bacteria. Apart from the bacteria from your mouth, your toothbrush can be infected by bacteria from the sink and the toilet because every time you flush, bacteria are released into the air up to 6 feet around the toilet. They can lead to diseases like cystitis, disorders of large intestine, and dysbacteriosis.
To reduce the harmful effects, store your toothbrush not on the sink but on the shelf above it. Using a toothbrush cap is a bad idea because bacteria grow faster in a closed environment. If you have an opportunity to store your toothbrush in a closed compartment, do it.
Regularly clean your toothbrush holder. One of the easiest ways to disinfect your toothbrush is keeping it in mouthwash for 30 seconds or in boiling water for 2 minutes.
5. We clean with cold water.
If you use lukewarm or cold water for cleaning, cleaning products won’t be that effective. The perfect temperature for water is 10 degrees higher than the room temperature, or it should be hot water which is comfortable enough for your hands.
In this case, alkaline cleaners will be twice as effective, while more bacteria and fungus will be destroyed.
6. We load the dishwasher incorrectly and don’t dry it after using it.
You don’t need to wash the dishwasher very often because it actually disinfects itself. However, you need to dry it every day, otherwise mold can grow inside of it.
As for washing dishes, it turns out that how you put your plates into the dishwasher is important. Experts recommend that carb-covered (potatoes, rice, pasta) dishes should be placed in a circle in the middle of the dishwasher. While protein-covered (meat, cheese, eggs) dishes should be placed around the edges of the dishwasher. The dishes will be washed better this way.
7. We forget to clean the shower curtain and the shower head.
We clean the shower curtain rarely because we think it gets clean while we take shower. But this isn’t true. It is the curtain and the space between the bathtub and the wall where black mold grows more often. It is better to replace polyethylene curtains with vinyl or fabric curtains and wash those in a washing machine once a month. The other method is to soak them in a salt solution or citric acid. After that, wipe the curtains dry.
Rub the space between the bathtub and the wall with baking soda and then spray vinegar on top to get rid of the black mold.
Though we use shower every day, bacteria can still grow inside the shower head during night when no one uses it. As a result it can become a home for black mold and staphylococcus bacteria which cause sinus infections, tonsillitis, and otitis. That is why, before taking shower, you should let water run for at least one minute. It is also worth soaking the shower head in soda or vinegar solution every 1-2 weeks.
8. We don’t clean exhaust fans.
An exhaust fan is one of the most dangerous places in terms of bacteria because it is connected with air shaft where the feces of rodents or birds can get inside your house.
You need to clean the exhaust fan every 2 weeks. Remove the grate, wash it with vinegar and cleaner, and then wipe it dry. After that remove as much dust as possible from the fan assembly using a vacuum wand attachment.